Louisiana Insurance Defense Law Firm
Keogh Cox has been on the leading edge of insurance defense litigation since our founding more than 40 years ago. Clients seek our help with insurance matters in Louisiana, from routine disputes to complicated, high-exposure class action tort cases. Regardless of the size, type or nature of the matter, we apply the same collaborative, common-sense approach at trial, on appeal, or in mediation and arbitration. We are trusted advisors to many of the nation’s leading insurance companies and the businesses they cover. Our insurance law team has a broad and deep understanding of the unique issues, such as:
- Insurance, bad faith avoidance and litigation
- Coverage litigation and counsel, including coverage analysis, legal opinions and opinion letters regarding how policy language might be interpreted in Louisiana courts
- Complex coverage litigation including environmental losses, industrial catastrophes and other significant litigation requiring monitor and defense of insurance policies at trial and on appeal
- Insurance defense under commercial policies, general liability policies, automobile insurance, fire, casualty and property insurance, excess and umbrella coverage and construction site policies
- Hurricane and storm litigation, such as the complex trials and appeals that followed Katrina and the issues around primary and excess liability in the Legacy Liability context
Keogh Cox insurance lawyers including two former in-house insurance company trial lawyers look for favorable ways to close a case at the earliest appropriate opportunity, including the use of an aggressive motion practice, settlement and other alternative strategies. Thanks to our decades of work in this area of the law, we have a constructive relationship with the insurance bar in Louisiana, as well as with the judicial community in our home state and the surrounding region. We have served as preferred counsel to many of our insurance clients on multiple cases over several years. Our experience has also given our clients and us an edge in the efficient and effective management of cases. For example, clients tell us our communication about case status and outlook is superior to other firms, because we routinely include proactive recommendations on key issues and concerns. Our lawyers learn and rigorously apply our clients’ guidelines and case management requirements and best practices, often spending time (on our nickel) participating in our clients’ in-house workshops and educational updates. We are also diligent students of insurance law, tracking case law and legislative action throughout the U.S, aware that choice of law is a key component of any strategic litigation plan. Each year, typically late summer after the legislative session, we publish a comprehensive manual called the Keogh Cox Survey of Louisiana Insurance Law. This covers the most pertinent changes in the law that affect our clients, and covers topics from A to Z.
Recent Experience Highlights
Client Story: Prevailing in a Complex Insurance Dispute that Merged Louisiana Insurance and Business Law
Where we started: The underlying litigation involved a motor vehicle accident where the vehicle at fault was part of a fleet of shipping trucks that collided with a school bus. The plaintiff brought litigation against the driver, the driver’s trucking company and the customer for whom he was driving. Our roadmap: Keogh Cox represented the customer and its insurer in the principal litigation, and in a third party claim against the driver, his company and their insurer for reimbursement. At issue was whether the insurer represented by Keogh Cox was a primary or excess insurer. Ultimately, the question turned on whether the veil could be pierced such that the trucking company’s insurer was primarily liable for an accident involving a truck owned by an individual. Resolution: Keogh Cox was successful in merging business law regarding piercing the corporate veil and insurance law requiring reimbursement and a duty to defend the excess insurer to provide for a favorable ruling for its client and reimbursement of litigation expenses.
Client Story: Keogh Cox Develops Comprehensive Plan of Action to Address First Party Bad Faith Insurance Case and Obtains Favorable Settlement.
Where we started: Keogh Cox has handled numerous claims between a homeowner and their property insurer with regard handling of property damage loss due to a hurricane or other event. In one such case, a commercial property owner filed several bad faith suits against the insurers for his various properties for damage sustained during Hurricane Isaac. Keogh Cox defended two of these suits. Our roadmap: As a matter of court in hurricane cases, claimants assert that the insurer did not properly estimate the loss and/or did not pay a sufficient sum for their damage. Understanding these issues, Keogh Cox developed a targeted discovery plan and retained experts to address the differences between the estimated damages prepared by an independent adjuster and the estimated damages alleged by the property owner. Resolution: Keogh Cox used its targeted discovery to highlight the weaknesses in the property owner’s case and obtain a favorable settlement without extended litigation cost.
Client Story: Ensuring that the Correct State’s Law is Applied to an Insurance Dispute Changes the Course of Litigation.
Where we started: Choice of law is a frequent issue in insurance cases, and Louisiana courts frequently find that the law of the state in which the insurance policy was negotiated, premiums were paid and the policy was delivered should apply to interpret its terms. Our roadmap: Through its years of experience, Keogh Cox knows that choice of law can be a key issue that will drive the defense of an insurer. Thus, Keogh Cox will perform a choice of law analysis to ensure that the correct state’s law is applied. Resolution: Ensuring that the correct state’s law is applied has resulted in the assertion of set-off provisions or other coverage limitations not otherwise available under Louisiana law and avoidance of tender requirements and associated penalties not available under another state’s laws.
Client Story: Investigation of an Insured’s Intentional Concealment or Misrepresentation of Key Facts Raises Defense of Voidance of Coverage.
Where we started: In both first and third party insurance cases, evidence has been found in cases through investigation that the plaintiff either concealed or misrepresented key facts that are material to the claim. Our roadmap: The concealment or misrepresentation of key facts material to the claim can result in voidance of coverage under the policy. Keogh Cox has policy provisions to defend against coverage in both the first and third party contexts. Resolution: The assertion of voidance of coverage has been instrumental in achieving prompt and reasonable claim resolutions for insurers.
Client Story: Keogh Cox Assists its Clients in Obtaining Reimbursement of Defense and Indemnity Payments.
Where we started: In any multi-party insurance dispute, the opportunity can arise for a client to obtain defense and indemnity from another party. Our roadmap: Keogh Cox utilizes various options to obtain defense and indemnity reimbursement where appropriate, giving consideration to: “other insurance” provisions in policies; the ranking of coverage; other lines of coverage issued to additional insureds; and by application of horizontal and vertical spreading methods. Resolution: A claim for defense and indemnity can drive a favorable settlement of the underlying tort or property damage case. Then, the issues in the subrogation litigation can be handled separately in a more narrowly focused effort by all parties.
More Details about Insurance
Our insurance attorneys have the first-hand experience and knowledge of Louisiana’s unique issues such as Direct Action against the insurer and the unique defenses necessary to help clients assess the extent of a client’s exposure and to offer practical recommendations about a wide variety of insurance law issues. We represent insurance adjusters, claim representatives, self-insured businesses, professionals, corporate counsel, third-party administrators and corporate risk managers in numerous areas, such as:
- Pre-claim assistance for claims adjusters and insurance companies
- First-party defense of insurers and third-party defense of insureds
- Bad-litigation and extra-contractual litigation
- Outside legal counsel for insurance law and insurance disputes
- Litigation of bad faith insurance, workers compensation claims and uninsured motorist issues, including stacking policies
- Insurance coverage interpretation and disputes, including disputes among insurers, acting as Cumiscounsel in the event of a conflict
- Duties to insured as defined by law
- Subrogation rights, duty to defend, advertising injury and premium disputes, risk transfer and reimbursement of defense cost
Because our firm has represented insurance companies since 1969, we know what insurers expect from an insurance defense law firm and how their needs have evolved to get where the industry is today. Clients rely on us for prompt and frequent updates about the progress of each case, thorough and detailed opinions about the extent of their exposure and recommendations on how to resolve a claim quickly and affordably. Accordingly, we have developed the capacity, systems and infrastructure to be leaders in insurance law. For example, for more than a decade we have employed sophisticated paperless document management technologies well suited for these file-intensive matters. Our practice is highly regarded in Louisiana and elsewhere, earning top ratings by A.M. Best Company’s Directory of Recommended Insurance Attorneys in several insurance law categories.