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Michael McCormack
Hartford, Connecticut
Michael is a trial lawyer who represents corporations, small businesses and individuals in business disputes, insurance coverage disputes, and commercial litigation matters.
Recent Activity
When an insured suffers property damage or a business interruption loss for which they seek insurance benefits, most property insurance policies include provisions governing how the loss is to be resolved. Property policies generally include an appraisal provision that may be invoked to resolve disputes over the amount of an... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2021 at Coverage Insights
Property policies indemnify an insured for damage to covered property. They generally indemnify the insured for damaged property based on an actual cash value basis or replacement cost basis. Most property policies provide for indemnity based on replacement cost value, which indemnify the insured for the cost to repair or... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2021 at Coverage Insights
A recent report from the FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report shows that complaints of internet crime rose nearly 70% in 2020 as compared to 2109, with reported losses exceeding $4.2 billion. Cyber extortion and ransomware attacks were among the leading incidents of increased crime. Victims of a ransomware attack may... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2021 at Coverage Insights
A Connecticut federal judge issued the first decision barring a Connecticut policyholder from recovering business income losses under a property insurance policy arising from a government-ordered shutdown of its restaurant due to the coronavirus. Judge Michael Shea dismissed a proposed class action complaint filed in LJ New Haven LLC d/b/a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2020 at Coverage Insights
Most liability insurance policies include a provision that requires the insurance company to defend the insured in a legal proceeding, that is hire an attorney to represent the insured and pay the insured's legal expenses in defending the lawsuit, when the lawsuit alleges a claim which is covered under the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2020 at Coverage Insights
A bill was introduced in the Massachusetts legislature on March 24, 2020 that, if passed, will require property insurers which issue insurance policies in Massachusetts insuring against loss of use or occupancy of property or business interruption losses to pay for business interruption losses arising from the COVID-19 virus. The... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2020 at Coverage Insights
The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant financial impact on businesses in each industry that is likely to continue for an uncertain period of time. Many businesses have closed or limited their operations due to the virus, including restricted operations imposed by governmental authorities. It is also inevitable that there... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2020 at Coverage Insights
In a companion case to the Karas v. Liberty Insurance Corporation case discussed in a previous entry, the Connecticut Supreme Court addressed the issue of collapse coverage under a property insurance policy which provided coverage when a building collapses and which narrowly defined the term “collapse” to mean “an abrupt... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2020 at Coverage Insights
The Connecticut Supreme Court recently issued decisions in three cases resolving insurance coverage issues concerning the extent of coverage available for collapse of a building under property damage policies. As reported in previous entries, hundreds of homeowners in northeastern Connecticut suffered damage to their homes due to defective concrete supplied... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2020 at Coverage Insights
In a previous entry, I referenced the many lawsuits filed by Connecticut homeowners involving crumbling concrete basement walls, in which homeowners seek coverage under their homeowner insurance policies for damage caused by deteriorating basement walls arising from hidden decay believed to be caused by defective concrete. On April 2, 2019,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2019 at Coverage Insights
On March 28, 2019, the Connecticut Supreme Court will entertain oral argument in the case of R.T. Vanderbilt Company, Inc. v. Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, in which the Court will address significant insurance coverage issues that often arise in asbestos litigation and other cases involving progressive injuries which expand... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2019 at Coverage Insights
There are more than fifty insurance cases pending in Connecticut courts against insurance companies arising from the denial of insurance claims under homeowner property policies for damage to homes due to defective concrete used in construction of the homes dating back to the late 1980s. The property damage claims arise... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2018 at Coverage Insights
Equitable subrogation is a common law doctrine that permits an insurance company which has paid its insured for a loss covered under an insurance policy to substitute itself for the insured and proceed against a third party for a loss caused by the third party. The doctrine of equitable subrogation... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2018 at Coverage Insights
The Connecticut Appellate Court ruled in 21st Century North American Insurance Company v. Perez, 177 Conn.App. 802 (2017), that an insured may not avoid cancellation of an automobile insurance policy for failure to pay the full amount of an installment premium due by payment of a substantial portion of the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at Coverage Insights
“Deep are the sorrows that spring from false ideas for which no man is culpable.” The Connecticut Appellate Court relied on this quote from George Eliot’s novel, Silas Marner, about a man falsely accused of stealing, as partial justification for affirming a trial court judgment holding Travelers Home and Marine... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at Coverage Insights
I have had policyholders complain to me about the fact that an insurance company did not advise them about the scope of damage from a particular loss. Until recently, no Connecticut court had decided whether an insurance company has a duty to inform its policyholder of the presence of mold... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2016 at Coverage Insights
In a case of interest to motor carrier policyholders and risk managers, the Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that a federally mandated insurance endorsement that requires insurers to pay certain liability judgments against a motor carrier even if the insurance policy otherwise excludes coverage only applies when a motor carrier... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2016 at Coverage Insights
In a recent decision of interest to corporate policyholders exposed to liability claims for data breaches or unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, a federal circuit court of appeals has ruled that coverage for liability claims arising from the unlawful exposure of medical records over the internet may exist under a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2016 at Coverage Insights
There is an old adage in the legal profession that bad facts can make bad law. A recent Connecticut Superior Court decision serves as an example that an insurer’s right to cancel an insurance policy for nonpayment of premium is not absolute. In 21st Century North America Insurance Company v.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2016 at Coverage Insights
Insurance companies may rescind an insurance policy that was issued based upon fraud. When a party has been induced by fraud to enter into a contract, the party may rescind the contract and recover restitution or it may affirm the contract and recover damages caused by the fraud. Situations may... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2016 at Coverage Insights
I recently wrote an article published in the Connecticut Law Tribune about the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s decision in Boyle v. Zurich American Ins. Co., 36 N.E.3d 1229 (Mass. 2015), in which the Court held Zurich Insurance Company liable for a default judgment entered against its insured notwithstanding that the insured... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2016 at Coverage Insights
In a case of first impression in Connecticut, a Connecticut federal court recently addressed when property damage caused by intruders breaking into a building while stealing items from within the building constitutes damage from vandalism covered under a property policy versus damage from theft excluded under the policy. Mercedes Zee... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2016 at Coverage Insights
A Connecticut trial court recently ruled that a liability insurer breached its duty to defend the City of Waterbury as an additional insured under a tenant’s liability insurance policy. The insurer failed to defend the city in a lawsuit seeking damages for personal injuries sustained by a patron of a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at Coverage Insights
Corporations and property owners faced with toxic tort and environmental claims arising from alleged exposure to toxins spanning many years often need to evaluate insurance coverage available under multiple insurance policies issued by different insurance companies over different years. Issues arise when one or more insurance companies who issued such... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2016 at Coverage Insights
The Connecticut Appellate Court recently interpreted a “business pursuits” exclusion in a homeowner’s umbrella liability policy broadly and held that a claim for coverage for tortious conduct related to or connected with one’s business pursuits falls within the exclusion and that a direct proximate causal connection to the business is... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2016 at Coverage Insights