Investigation and analysis are key in subrogation matters. Weber Gallagher urges clients to notify the firm immediately after a loss. We will assist with the prompt retention of forensic experts and, if appropriate, join them at the loss site to manage the investigation. The aim is to recover evidence, ensure that it is properly preserved, and analyze it to determine potential third-party responsibility. The origin of our clients’ cases vary, from structural collapses and gas leaks to fires and hurricanes. In addition to handling these more traditional subrogation cases for insurance carriers, we also recover for self-insureds in such areas as information loss, workers’ compensation, and bonds.
Negotiated the settlement of a complex subrogation matter, filed against our client, for nuisance value. The matter arose out of a claim for defective workmanship that homeowners filed with their new home warranty company, which had issued a warranty for a multimillion-dollar new residential construction project at which our client acted as general contractor. The warranty company, without performing any good faith investigation or adjustment of the homeowners’ claim, quickly issued a check to homeowners and filed a complaint against our client seeking repayment of the indemnity payment to the homeowners and administrative fees (among others) – a total of over $220,000. Judicious use of discovery uncovered egregious fraud perpetrated by the homeowners, including misrepresentations regarding notice of the alleged defects and falsified estimates, as well as vanity projects completed by the homeowners at the warranty company’s expense, such as the installation of an outdoor fireplace. After pleading in select subcontractors, and developing facts to support filing a counterclaim against the warranty company for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, a global settlement was eventually reached to which our client only contributed $15,000 on the $220,000 claim.