Subrogation

Berger Kahn’s active Subrogation Team draws on the firm’s litigation and insurance coverage experience to maximize recovery for its clients. Our lawyers use their knowledge and imagination to find the best legal theories applicable to subrogation and contribution cases, often employing theories that are not a part of some other firm’s tool kits. Creative thinking coupled with abundant experience enables us to achieve outstanding results for our clients.

Our attorneys have obtained sizable recoveries for clients in construction defect cases after earthquake or water damage claim payments; in products liability cases from the small, such leaking pipe damage damage, to the large, such as cogeneration plant explosions and copper smelter operations. The firm also has excellent knowledge of the unique rules that apply to cargo cases, knowledge that has allowed us to promptly assess recovery likelihood and quickly secure recovery.

Through the firm’s wildfire practice, we have obtained recoveries for clients who have paid losses for damage to homes and businesses arising from large wildfires across California and the nation.

Berger Kahn Managing Principal and Subrogation leader Craig Simon is an innovator when it comes to subrogation litigation tactics. As National Subrogation Counsel to a nationwide insurer, he helped to achieve a $950 million settlement involving California wildfire-related cases on behalf of homeowner insurance carriers.

Berger Kahn has been extensively involved in major California wildfire cases, where utility companies, government agencies or private companies cause catastrophic losses, including the San Diego Fire Cases, and fires known by the names Grass Valley, Malibu Canyon, Sesnon, Sayre, Crown, Yorba Linda, San Bruno, Bernardo and the Powerhouse Fire against LADWP. Berger Kahn usually serves as Liaison Counsel for the Subrogation group, along with other well known firms.

Berger Kahn is currently serving as Liaison Counsel in the Butte Fire Cases against PG&E and in the Round Fire Cases against Southern California Edison and others.

Berger Kahn also represents insurers in utility caused fires across the United States, including the Bastrop Fire Complex, and fires with the names of Spicewood, Steiner Ranch (Texas), Taylor Bridge Fire (Washington State), Caughlin (Nevada), Germann Road (Wisconsin), Lower North Fork (Colorado) and the Las Conchas Fire, one of the largest fires in New Mexico history. Berger Kahn helped to achieve resolution of the 101 Ranch Fire in Texas, and the Wetmore and Wood Hollow fires in Utah.

Berger Kahn often uses inverse condemnation to pursue recovery where a public improvement causes damage. From electrical fires to landslides to broken sewer pipes, we can use inverse condemnation to recover without showing fault, and to obtain attorney fee and cost reimbursement for our clients.

In higher profiles cases, the firm becomes involved in subrogation cases from the onset of damage. Early involvement allows us to assemble the best possible case while the evidence is still fresh. Retaining the right experts for pre-clean-up forensic investigation and taking early statements greatly enhances the probability of successfully resolving a case. Of course, Berger Kahn’s lawyers have also obtained very favorable recoveries in many cases where they were retained much later in the process.

Contribution

The firm also represents insurance companies in actions seeking contribution in connection with property and liability insurance policy obligations. Our lawyers have successfully obtained contribution for defense costs and settlements paid in environmental cases, construction defect cases and other large litigation.

Berger Kahn’s lawyers have also obtained recoveries for excess insurers who have been compelled to pay portions of judgments when the primary insurer failed to accept reasonable settlement offers within the primary policy limits.

In seeking contribution, as well as in pursuing subrogation matters, the firm’s extensive experience in first and third party insurance coverage has been of great value.

A Final Word

Berger Kahn understands insurance companies and their needs. This gives the firm the ability to work closely with our insurance clients to pursue their interests aggressively while being sensitive to their role in the industry.