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Roberts Levin Rosenberg
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Own a home? Have a homeowners insurance policy? Is Fido a resident? Is Fido a pit bull? A recent news article reports that payouts for "dog bites cost insurance companies about $479 million in 2011." The average claim on a homeowner's policy runs over $29,000 according to the Insurance Information Institute. The higher costs are due to higher medical costs, larger settlements, and jury awards for personal injury by dog bite. The Centers for Disease Control reports that over 4 million people suffer dog bites annually, and that... Continue reading
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Marixa Frias, an associate with the firm, focuses her practice on insurance recovery, insurance bad faith, commercial litigation, and personal injury. Ms. Frias earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and her master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies. She is a 2006 graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. While in law school, Ms. Frias served as the Managing Editor for the Denver Journal of International Law & Policy and as a teaching... Continue reading
Late last year, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) at the University of Denver held a national conference regarding appellate judicial performance evaluation (JPE). The institute serveyed the attendees and about 89% of appellate judges indicated that opinion evaluation should be a component of the evaluation process. In Colorado, we have the Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation, which recommends whether appellate judges should be retained or rejected by the people at periodic elections. The stated "mission" of the IAALS is to: empower[]... Continue reading
The Colorado Supreme Court has “consistently held that an insurer’s duty to defend arises solely from the complaint in the underlying action.” Cotter Corp. v. Am. Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co., 90 P.3d 814, 827 (Colo. 2004). Determining the duty to defend based on the allegations contained within the complaint comports with the insured’s legitimate expectation of a defense, and prevents the insurer from evading coverage by filing a declaratory judgment action when the complaint against the insured is framed in terms of liability coverage contemplated by the... Continue reading
The previous post discussed the recent opinion by the Colorado court of appelas in TCD, Inc. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company (April 12, 2012). The result there limited the coverage available to construction professionals under their CGL policies, but the court noted section 13-20-808, a new law passed in May 2010. The statute provides, in relevant part, that "in interpreting a liability insurance policy issued to a construction professional, a court shall presume that the work of a construction professional that results in property damage, including damage... Continue reading
Subcontractors, check your CGL policies! Claims of poor workmanship likely not covered as an "accident" under the terms of your supposedly "comprehensive" general liability (CGL) policy . So declared the Colorado court of appeals recently in TCD, Inc. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company (April 12, 2012). For the CGL policy in question, the insurance company was obligated to “pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’ to which this insurance applies.” The CGL policy defined... Continue reading
Thursday, May 3, 2012 Denver Marriott City Center - 1701 California Street Cocktails at 5 p.m. Dinner, Awards and Keynote Speaker at 6 p.m. Keynote Speaker Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. Kennedy, a professor of environmental law at Pace University School of Law, was named one of Time magazine's “Heroes for the Planet” for his success in helping Riverkeeper, New York’s clean water advocate, lead the fight to restore... Continue reading
Yesterday, the Colorado Court of Appeals decided a case which construed and applied what is called the Absolute Pollution Exclusion (APE) clause in various insurance policies. As was the fact in that case, the APE can be found in rental insurance policies. The rental policy had an exclusion clause, often called "an endorsement," on coverage for fungus, including mold and also had the APE, which provided in pertinent part: Premises Medical Payments do not apply to: i. bodily injury or property damages arising out of the actual, alleged... Continue reading
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Sometimes we toot our own horn. Tom was selected as a Colorado Super Lawyer for 2012! Here's an excerpt from the Super Lawyers website: Practice Areas: Insurance Coverage (70%), Appellate (20%), Personal Injury Plaintiff: General (10%) Industry Groups: American Bar Assn., American College Of Trial Lawyers, Best Lawyers In America, Colorado Bar Assn., Colorado Bar Fellow, Colorado Civil Jury Instruction Committee, Colorado Trial Lawyers Assn., U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society Law School: University of Denver Sturm College of Law Selected To Colorado Super Lawyers 2012 Colorado Super Lawyers... Continue reading
Last week, in National Farmers Union Property and Casualty Company v Garfinkel, the Colorado Court of Appeals decided whether a "Business Pursuits Exclusion" was ambiguous, and if not, whether it applied to the facts of the case. In general, the intent of a homeowner policy is to protect the insured homeowner against the risk of liability for injuries (damages) suffered by others. But these policies often exempt from coverage any injury (including property damage) "arising out of or in connection with a business engaged in by an insured."... Continue reading
Judge Jackson, on the US District Court here in Denver, got it right in a recent case of a claim made for disability benefits which the insurer denied. Here's the crux of the matter: A claimant’s attempt to continue working past the claimed date of disability does not necessarily preclude a finding that the claimant was totally disabled before ceasing to work entirely. A bright line test of that sort would unfairly penalize the individual who tries to work, notwithstanding a disabling condition, and would essentially mean that... Continue reading
New rule added to CRCP 121, Section 1-15: 10. PROPOSED ORDER. EACH MOTION SHALL BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PROPOSED ORDER SUBMITTED IN EDITABLE FORMAT. THE PROPOSED ORDER COMPLIES WITH THIS PROVISION IF IT STATES THAT THE REQUESTED RELIEF BE GRANTED OR DENIED. Continue reading
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The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) will host a Hot Coffee showing on Monday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the CU Law School (Room 204), 2450 Kittredge Loop Road in Boulder. After the movie, enjoy an informative discussion and debate about how tort reform (or is that tort deform?) affects cases in Colorado and across the nation with CTLA member and member of the firm, Ross B.H. Buchanan and Evan Stephenson from Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell. Ross posted his review of the film here and here. Make plans to... Continue reading
The changes to CRCP 45, proposed by the Colorado Supreme Court, are extensive, providing much needed guidance to attorneys and trial courts: Note: written comments, one original and eight copies, can be submitted to Christopher Ryan, Clerk of the Supreme Court, 101 W. Colfax Ave., 8th Floor, Denver, Colorado, no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, 2012. Proposed new rule 45: (a) In General. (1) Form and Contents. (A) Requirements — In General. Every subpoena must: (i) state the court from which it issued; (ii) state... Continue reading
Tom Roberts is now a member of the Denver Bar Association's Linkedin Group. Continue reading
The firm's lawyers have secured settlements in excess of seven figures in a variety of cases involving catastrophic injury and death. Cases of serious injuries or accidents which we have handled include: Bad burns Serious automobile accidents Motorcycle accidents Airplane accidents Significant personal injury settlements include: $1.25 million settlement of mild traumatic brain injury claim $875,000 settlement of wrongful death claim $860,000 settlement of wrongful death claim $870,000 settlement of wrongful death claim $750,000 settlement of brain injury claim $1.5 million settlement of personal injury claim $1.15 million... Continue reading
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In our previous post, Insurance and Global Warming, we discussed an interesting case from the Supreme Cpurt of Virginia regarding CGL coverage of an insured for claims against it alleging harms caused by greenhouse gases. The insured, AES Corp., according to its website, "is a global power company with generation and distribution businesses. Through [its] diverse portfolio of thermal and renewable fuel sources, [it] provide[s] affordable and sustainable energy in 27 countries." As we stated in our previous post: The court determined that the village's complaint not only... Continue reading
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Nelson specializes in the areas of insurance bad faith, personal injury, and insurance coverage. His firm website profile is here. Continue reading
The Colorado Division of Insurance produced this video. The firm posts in here strictly for your convenience. Once the courts get involved, as they will, it is important for you to understand that expert representation by insurance bad faith attorneys may be your best asset as a health insurance policy-holder, especially if your health insurance claim is denied. The question is not only"are you prepared," but "are you protected" by a trusted attorney devoted to the rights of policy-holders? Continue reading
As time goes by, there is often a disconnect between insurance coverage and reality. In a recent opinion by the Supreme Court of Virginia in The AES CORPORATION v. STEADFAST INSURANCE COMPANY, reported at 715 S.E.2d 28, the court decided whether the CGL policies AES purchased from Steadfast obligated Steadfast to defend AES on claims for damages allegedly stemming from global warming. The Native-American Village of Kivalina, located on an Alaskan barrier island, filed a lawsuit in federal court for the Northern District of California against AES, teh... Continue reading
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Tom Roberts, founding partner of the firm, highly recommends this novel about an American war which should not be forgotten or eclipsed in memory by more recent and equally questionable misadventures in the Mid East. Matterhorn, A Novel of the Vietnam War, by Karl Marlantes, is supurb. Marlantes is a graduate of Yale University and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He served as a Marine in Vietnam, and was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten... Continue reading
This old case, Pomeroy v. Rocky Mountain Ins. & Sav. Inst., 9 Colo. 295, 301-04, 12 P. 153, 156-57 (1886), is more than a curiosity. Consider the highlighted text - the principle expressed remains the pole star of bad faith insurance law. That there was a dissent is not surprising! Opinion ELBERT, J. Johnson was the president and general manager of the defendant company, and had charge of its home office, at Denver, with full power to write insurance, and to represent the company. The company is bound... Continue reading
Lawyers have woken up to the treasure trove of evidence that social media offers them. If you’re a witness or juror in a lawsuit, expect a junior lawyer or paralegal to be scanning your social media profiles for anything that might impeach your credibility. If your company is a party in a lawsuit, you can bet that the other side has already checked your official social media sites — and those of your key employees — for damaging admissions. This trend has already started, and you can bet... Continue reading
The firm is pleased to acknowledge the efforts by Mike Rosenberg, writing as amicus curiae on behalf of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), which contributed to a right result - when do new insurance statutes apply and to what? - in the Colorado Court of Appeals. The case is Kisselman v American Family Insurance. The issue addressed by Mike's amicus brief was central and simple: whether the district court erred when it ruled C.R.S. §§10-3-1115 and 1116, did not apply to the policyholder's claims where competent evidence... Continue reading