Settlement - Declaratory Judgment Action / Insurance Coverage January 2016
Lori A. Vanderlaan and Thomas J. Costello, III
Lori Vanderlaan and Tom Costello were able to secure an early and favorable settlement of a declaratory judgment action filed on behalf of their client, prior to any responsive pleadings having been filed by the defendant. After obtaining dismissal of an underlying suit in which their client was being sued for allegedly negligently contributing to an injury suffered by a person that fell on premises owned by their client, the declaratory judgment action was filed against the tenant’s insurer, who had denied a tender during the course of the underlying suit. After discussions with the insurer following service of the declaratory action, Tom and Lori were able to convince the insurer to pay almost 90% of the claimed damages short of any responsive pleadings or discovery. This is an example of the cost-effective and efficient approach that BVH takes to its clients’ issues and disputes. By being able to work cooperatively with their opponent and explain the shortfalls of the articulated defenses, Lori and Tom obtained a positive result for the client at a minimum of expense.