Staff Investigations Major Case Unit utilizes a solutions platform combining proven investigative skills, extensive technology assets and 35 years of insurance defense experience to assist client senior management, complex directors and analysts in managing and favorably resolving critical high exposure cases. Our services are value added as evidenced in the actual case studies outlined below.
Fact Pattern I
The insured, a national level publicly traded corporation, carried a claims made policy with our client with a $25 million self-eroding year to year limit. Client wrote this policy for an extended period beginning in the late 1990’s. In 2007, during which policy period there was $23 million left on the policy limits, the insured presented a claim requesting litigation defense with an exposure well over the available policy limits.
Staff Investigations was tasked with determining if there were any “mother case” litigation claims presented for defense by this insured during any prior policy period. Detailed bordereaux were not available for all claims presented in all policy periods and as the insured policy was no longer in effect, relations were strained and cooperation was not forthcoming from the insured.
Staff Investigations conducted a nationwide search, state by state, county by county, using both internal research resources and on site investigation and eventually located, in a small Western county venue, a mirror image “mother case” filed against the insured. That litigation had resulted in a claim being presented by the insured in a prior policy period in which the entire policy limits had been expended. This “mother case” took the more recent claim back into the exhausted policy limit period, thus representing a hard savings to the client of approximately 19 million dollars.
Fact Pattern 2
Client wrote a $10 million limit policy on an international alcoholic beverage manufacturer and retailer. The insured organized an ad campaign with a slogan linking their product together with rock music and placed copies of ticket stubs to certain band concerts in the advertisement. One of the bands represented on a ticket stub claimed to be strongly against drugs and alcohol and filed suit against our client’s insured alleging $10 million in damages due to being linked with alcohol in the advertisement.
Staff Investigations was retained to determine whether or not the plaintiff’s’ claims of no drug or alcohol usage were valid.
After searching both nationally and internationally, again utilizing our internal and on site research assets, Staff Investigations located an audio interview conducted in the Netherlands with the band leader bragging about ingesting alcohol in large amounts, due to the lesser alcohol content of the product in a particularly unique way while recording a recent hit song, “to get in the mood”. This case settled immediately at mediation for pennies on the dollar.
MCU Value Added Services Synopsis
- “Smoking gun” research designed to isolate the one fact that will change the face of the claim.
- “Fill the empty chairs” research designed to identify co-defendants, shift the focus of the plaintiff or judge/jury and isolate your insured from the “bad guys”.
- Asset research to support pursuit of contribution to settlement from the insured or co-defendants and/or identify the plaintiff’s ability to fund protracted litigation.
- Damages evaluation research to diminish the value of plaintiff’s’ claim through investigation of financial or physical losses alleged.
- Plaintiff/witness background assessment designed to evaluate an individual’s potential impact on the stand.