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 toolkit. 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 as leaking pipe 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, nearly 10 years ago he helped to achieve a $950 million settlement involving California wildfire-related cases on behalf of homeowner insurance carriers in the San Diego Fire Cases.

Since that time, Berger Kahn has been leading the charge for insurers in the major California wildfire cases, where utility companies, government agencies or private companies cause catastrophic losses. These fires include Grass Valley, Malibu Canyon, Sesnon, Sayre, Crown, Yorba Linda, San Bruno, Bernardo, Powerhouse, Butte, Petaluma, and Round. Berger Kahn serves as Liaison Counsel for the Subrogation group, along with other well-known firms.

Berger Kahn is currently serving as Co-Lead Counsel in the JCCP actions involving the two largest fire cases in California history: the North Bay Fire Cases against PG&E and the Southern California Fire Cases against Southern California Edison. Berger Kahn is actively pursuing Cal Trans and a flare manufacturer in the Canyon 1 and 2 fires of 2017, and PG&E and its tree trimming contractors in the Railroad Fire.

In addition to California, Berger Kahn represents insurers in utility-caused fires across the United States. Berger Kahn is actively litigating the 2016 Tennessee fires (Cobbly Nob and Little Cove) and the 2016 Nevada Little Valley fire. Berger Kahn successfully litigated the (Texas) 101 Ranch. Bastrop Fire Complex, Spicewood, Steiner Ranch, Hidden Pines, West Explosion, (Washington State) Taylor Bridge Fire, (Nevada) Caughlin, (Wisconsin) Germann Road, (New Mexico) Las Conchas Fire, (Utah) Wetmore and Wood Hollow.

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 attorneys’ fee and cost reimbursement for our clients. This cause of action is under attack by the defense, and Berger Kahn is active at the appeal level on these issues.

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.

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.