Life, health, and disability insurance litigation is a major focus of Bradley’s Insurance Practice Group. We represent both insurers and annuity companies in a variety of disputes before state and federal courts, U.S. Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Our work includes litigation involving coverage issues, policyholder disputes, ERISA, sales practices, fraud and bad faith, and rating and underwriting practices. Our insurance litigation attorneys have extensive experience in representing insurers in class actions, coordinated mass actions, and appeals, where we work to oppose class certification and follow other strategies to mitigate risk and seek favorable outcomes for our clients.
Our practice is national in scope, with lawyers licensed in a majority of states and matters handled across the country. Many of our appellate attorneys have clerked for the United States Supreme Court, as well as other federal and state appellate courts, earning the distinct set of skills this complex area of practice requires. Our litigation experience spans virtually all policy types, including major medical, disability, long-term care, cancer and other supplemental health policies, permanent and term life insurance, accidental death, and fixed and variable annuities.
Whenever possible, we work to resolve insurance related disputes through pre-litigation counseling and negotiations, arbitration, and mediation. Regardless of the venue, we are aggressive in defending our clients’ interests and have a demonstrated track record of success both in and outside the courtroom.
Our client-focused practice helps insurers avoid, defend and resolve disputes in every aspect of their business:
- We work to preemptively limit our clients’ exposure to litigation, beginning with policy design.
- Our legal team has successfully defended clients from allegations of wrongdoing associated with the development of new products, including claims of negligent underwriting and allegations of racial discrimination in the historical pricing of life insurance.
- We have extensive experience representing insurers in class actions, coordinated mass actions, and multi-district litigation.
- We have extensive experience in sales practices litigation stemming from point-of-sale disputes ranging from rogue agent cases to annuity suitability litigation.
- The firm has also successfully litigated cases concerning policy administration, such as disputes over cash values, interest rates, insurance charges, policy loans, and withdrawal privileges, as well as so-called “death spiral,” “vanishing premium,” and “vanishing insurance” litigation.
- We advise clients on the payment or denial of claims, including denial based on misrepresentations in the application, lack of insurable interest, or lack of the insured’s consent.
- We have considerable experience with stranger-owned life insurance (“STOLI”) issues.
- When the denial of a claim results in litigation, we have defended allegations of breach of contract, bad faith, and fraud, as well as violations of state consumer protection statutes.
- We have litigated a broad array of disputes regarding policy termination, including cases involving policy lapse or the alleged “twisting” or “churning” of policies by an agent.
- Clients also rely on us for affirmative relief, including simple interpleader and rescission matters, agent debt cases, disputes with reinsurers, and complex litigation over liability coverage.
- Our team is experienced with the unique issues and significant exposure posed by cases filed by agents and independent marketing organizations, whether involving a simple commission dispute or millions of dollars in alleged damages for lost profits.