Insurance & Loss Recovery

Insurance & Loss Recovery

At Vanek, Vickers & Masini, we work to ensure that each policyholder recovers the maximum insurance benefits to which it is entitled. We bring three decades of experience in the areas of coverage analysis, claim presentation, coverage prosecution and the recovery of extra-contractual damages stemming from improper claims-handling and the wrongful denial of coverage.

Our attorneys have been involved in some of the most complex, catastrophic loss claims in recent years. Notable examples include 9/11 claims; Philadelphia’s One Meridian Plaza, one of the largest high-rise building fire claims in history; the Banker’s Trust Building Fire in New York City; the Americold underground cold storage facility fire outside of Kansas City; the Heaven Hill Distillery fire; Hurricane Andrew claims and the pursuit of the maximum coverage available under comprehensive general liability policies for mass tort claims.

Because of our attorneys’ previous experience representing insurers, we are knowledgeable and well-versed not only in the claims-handling process, but are also well known and respected in the insurance community. Vanek, Vickers & Masini is therefore in the position of being able to offer its clients this unique advantage of familiarity with the entire insurance process, from claim analysis and presentation, to prosecution and ultimate payment.

Years of experience helping clients resolve property insurance claims provides our attorneys with a unique understanding of all aspects of property insurance. Our attorneys have been involved in some of the largest and most complex property insurance claims to arise over the past three decades.

Vanek, Vickers & Masini has had the privilege of assisting its clients on a wide variety of claims under all risk policies. When Sargento Cheese’s primary storage facility in Wisconsin was destroyed by fire, we recovered $35 million under Sargento’s all risk policy (its full third excess layer of coverage) after one of its excess insurers refused to honor its coverage obligation for that layer of coverage. In another case, Indiana Harbor Coke Company’s East Chicago, Indiana Coke Plant sustained physical damage, and its property insurer denied coverage for the damage. We represented Indiana Harbor Coke in litigation before the federal district and court of appeals to recover insurance benefits under its all risk policy.

In the specialty area of boiler and machinery coverage, our attorneys have excelled in the analysis and resolution of numerous boiler and machinery claims. Cytec Industries produced various chemicals at its Westwego, Louisiana plant. The “recovery column” involved in Cytec’s chemical process became damaged and its insurer denied all coverage under Cytec’s boiler and machinery policy. We represented Cytec in successful litigation to recover full insurance benefits for repair and replacement of its damaged property, as well as the business income loss sustained. In Mansville Forest Products, our attorneys successfully resolved boiler and machinery coverage issues for our client relative to a black liquor recovery boiler.

In the expanding area of builder’s risk coverage, our attorneys have been at the forefront of resolving construction oriented/ insurance coverage disputes. Titan Methanol was expanding its methanol production capacity through construction of additional equipment and machinery at is already existing Trinidad methanol plant. Titan Methanol’s construction project was insured under a builder’s risk policy which included an Endorsement for Advance Loss of Profits (“ALOP”). Certain covered losses during the course of construction delayed completion of the construction project and, therefore, delayed Titan’s ability to generate profits from the facility. We represented Titan in the dispute that arose regarding the proper interpretation of the deductible provision under the ALOP coverage.

One of the most challenging risks to manage relates to business interruption and extra expense. We have helped our clients meet this challenge. In 1998, Hurricane George disrupted American Airlines’ flight operations in the Caribbean for weeks. We represented American with respect to its claim under its all risk policy for extra expense and business interruption losses, recovering 100% of its claimed losses. In another case, the Hotel Deaville in Miami, Florida sustained a severe electrical fire. Post-loss inspections undertaken by the Miami Building Department resulted in the enforcement of certain code requirements not previously enforced. We represented the Hotel in recovering the millions of dollars of code upgrade costs, including all business interruption losses and extra expenses incurred during the period of time that it took to repair the Hotel and implement the building code upgrades.

Our attorneys have been lead trial counsel in some of the largest environmental coverage cases ever litigated, including Westinghouse’s claim for coverage for the contamination of its manufacturing facilities; the Port Authority of New York, New Jersey’s claim for coverage for the removal of asbestos from over 75 buildings owned by the Authority, including LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark Airports; Alcoa’s claim for coverage for the contamination of its manufacturing facilities, as well as for alleged damage to property of others caused by Alcoa’s operations; PPG’s claim for insurance coverage for contamination at its manufacturing facilities; and PECO Energy’s claim for insurance coverage for contamination at its former manufactured gas plant sites.

Vanek, Vickers & Masini attorneys have extensive experience at the trial and appellate level in all aspects of third party liability coverage. This includes the representation of insureds in coverage disputes, as well as the defense of insureds against contract, tort, and product liability claims. Chemcentral was one of some ten defendants sued in Texas in a class action lawsuit involving alleged injuries to workers at a medical supply facility. The claimants alleged that their exposure to chemicals over a 20-year period caused their injuries. After the class action was resolved, Chemcentral sought reimbursement from its comprehensive general liability insurer for the settlement amounts. The insurer refused full reimbursement. We represented Chemcentral in the ensuing litigation to recover full insurance benefits.

Our attorneys were intimately involved with one of the largest warehouse losses in the United States, the Americold Cold Storage underground warehouse fire in Kansas City. Our expertise was brought to bear on the questions of what damages were covered under the warehouse legal liability policy and the extent of the defense afforded/coverage provided for the losses of various bailees. As a result of our attorneys’ efforts, our client was able to resolve all of its issues while other parties continued to litigate the same issues for years.

Our attorneys are well-versed in the recovery of uninsured losses, i.e., those losses which are not reimbursed under the insurance policy; whether that shortfall is due to application of the self-insured retention, losses in excess of limits of liability or limitations of coverage in the policy.

Let Vanek, Vickers & Masini counsel your company on the recovery of monies you thought might not otherwise be recoverable in the absence of insurance.