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Massachusetts Insurance Coverage and Litigation

Our practice includes the preparation of detailed coverage opinions, the prosecution or defense of declaratory judgment actions, and the response to claims under consumer protection statutes or insurance regulations. We defend class actions and multi-district litigation and assist underwriting departments with regulatory issues and policy drafting.  Since 1992, Attorney Marie Cheung-Truslow has focused on representing insurers in the analysis and litigation of disputed first-party coverage claims.  We are at the forefront of cutting-edge litigation in the property insurance field. We counsel insurers regarding first party coverage issues, collaborate with insurers’ Special Investigation Units, coordinate outside experts and consultants, take examinations under oath, and represent insurers in appraisal and reference proceedings. We also serve as referees and umpires on reference and appraisal panels. We have extensive knowledge and experience in defending extra-contractual claims asserted by policyholders.

Our tenacious advocacy tempered with common sense and practical advice achieves positive resolutions for our clients.

Our unsurpassed expertise covers many different types of insurance policies. We consistently achieve strong results for our clients.  We counsel and litigate on coverage matters involving:

  • Personal and Commercial Auto
  • Boiler and Mechanical Breakdown
  • Builder’s Risk, Businessowners
  • Condominium/Cooperatives
  • Commercial Property
  • Homeowners
  • Inland and Ocean Marine
  • Jewelers
  • Manuscript Forms
  • Mobile Homes
  • Property and Casualty
  • Renters
  • Reinsurance
  • Restaurant
  • Surety and Bond

Representative Cases

  • Appraisal of business income loss of a private school’s claim that refund of tuition is loss of income.
  • Coverage dispute under businessowners policy involving collapse of a metal storage building caused by landslide. Policyholder claimed $2 million in damages. The value as to the damage to the building and business income loss claim was submitted to reference, with an award of $450,000.
  • Coverage dispute where the $600,000 damage was caused by hail or wear and tear to the roof. Case to be submitted to reference for determination of reasonable value of damage.
  • Coverage dispute under businessowners policy for damage to business personal property located at a location that is not listed on the declarations page.
  • Declaratory judgment action for determination of coverage of a $10 million loss where policy was scheduled to be cancelled ”as soon as possible,” but did not cancel until after the loss and policyholder obtained another replacement policy. Court held both policies covered the loss.
  • Coverage under a “Comprehensive Jewelers Block Policy” for jewelry stolen from a vehicle. While the policyholder was in a convenient store, his vehicle containing his jewelry stock was robbed. The court granted insurer motion for summary judgment and denied policyholder’s motion because it was apparent that the policyholder was neither “in” nor “on” the vehicle and thus under the policy definitions, the vehicle was not attended.
  • Prosecution of arson case involving a leading restaurant chain under the Maine’s fraudulent insurance act.
  • Prosecution of fraud in the presentment of the claim where policyholder intentionally misrepresented additional living expenses.
  • Coverage dispute involving homeowner’s mold damage claim where some mold existed before pipe burst, while other mold resulted from water damage.
  • Coverage dispute involving a house fire where policyholders failed to appear for examination under oath.
  • Coverage dispute involving a $10,000.00 sub-limitation of coverage for lost key coverage where the master key to 15 commercial buildings was stolen. Policyholder submitted a claim for $85,000.00. Case was submitted to reference where panel awarded the sublimit of $10,000.00.
  • Coverage dispute under a builder’s risk brought by contractor for a $2 million water damage loss. The Court allowed the insurer’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the policy terminated by the terms of the termination clause in the policy.
  • Coverage dispute under builder’s risk policy of a $32 million insurance claim involving the Boston Big Dig Project (a public highway and tunnel construction project). Panel of arbitrators determined notice of claim was untimely and therefore rendered a zero award.
  • Coverage dispute under master condominium association policy for $450,000 loss to unit owner’s unit. Court held that there is no coverage for unit owner as she is not named insured.
  • Coverage dispute on 25 Boston Big Dig claims under builder’s risk policies with exposures of $50 million involving tunnel collapse, flooding of work sites, slurry wall/retaining wall collapse, freeze pipe foundation breakage, and underground steam line meltdown.
  • Coverage dispute over $800,000 fire loss by landlord who applied for general liability and loss of business income coverages, but not for property coverage. The Court held that the property loss was not covered under the policy.
  • Arson defense involving restaurant in the North End of Boston where brother was charred in the commission of the arson. Policyholder was successfully prosecuted for insurance fraud.
  • Defended class action over $25 million wrongful retention of premium under insurance policy.
  • Coverage dispute involving a claim of $600,000 for water remediation caused by sprinkler head malfunction. Case submitted to reference where reference panel awarded only $250,000 to policyholder.
  • Coverage for sewer back up loss which had a sublimit of $10,000, but policy form setting forth the sublimit was not provided to the policyholder through a scrivener’s error. Case was tried to a jury for reformation of the insurance contract to include the form.

 

Law Offices of Marie Cheung-Truslow – Serving Boston and all of Massachusetts

We welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss ways we can assist you with insurance coverage issues. To speak with Attorney Marie Cheung-Cheung, please call our office at 617-777-4748 or send us an email.