Insurance and reinsurance companies engaged in complex disputes need counsel who understand the impact of litigation on their bottom line. Shook, Hardy & Bacon approaches coverage and bad-faith litigation as litigation first and insurance second. We obtain results by being experienced trial lawyers with significant insurance knowledge—not insurance-coverage lawyers with some litigation experience.
We have broad experience with numerous types of coverage—including commercial general liability, property and casualty, directors and officers, and employers liability—in the primary, umbrella and excess contexts. We have represented cedents and reinsurers under both facultative and treaty reinsurance. We have litigated insurance breach of contract, declaratory judgment, unfair trade practices, fraud, misrepresentation, vexatious refusal, and common law and statutory bad-faith claims nationwide.
Advantage Buildings & Exteriors, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District (2014) — Shook obtained reversal of a $5-million jury verdict in this bad-faith failure to settle case after another firm tried the case. The appellate court remanded for a new trial on damages.
Nooter Corp. v. Allianz Underwriters Insurance Co., et al., St. Louis, Missouri (2014) — Shook represented Evanston Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Markel Corp., in a two-week jury trial involving breach of excess insurance policies and vexatious refusal to pay claims. While the jury found for Nooter, which sought more than $11 million in damages, it awarded an amount significantly lower than the case could have settled for at any point before or during trial.
Bellco v. AMCO, Greene County, Missouri (2014) – Shook successfully resolved a $27-million bad-faith claim involving four separate lawsuits arising from a catastrophic injury to a contract employee of the insured within the commercial policy’s coverage.
Beckon, Inc. v. AMCO Ins. Co., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (2013) — The insurer retained Shook after a $2.2-million jury verdict in this coverage dispute that also involved a claim for vexatious refusal to pay. The case settled after oral argument and before the court handed down an opinion.
Hayes v. AMCO, Flathead County, Montana (2013) – Shook obtained summary judgment on bad-faith claims after an underlying declaratory judgment action resulted in a finding of partial coverage under a policy’s TPDLL provision arising from a fuel leak at the insured’s business.
Block and Ammann v. Nationwide, Day County, South Dakota (2010) – A commercial coverage and bad faith case in which plaintiffs sought more than $30 million in coverage, bad faith and punitive damages tried in a two-week jury trial and resulting in a verdict of less than one-fifth of plaintiffs' last settlement demand on the eve of trial.
Keener et al. v Allied, Jackson County, Missouri (2012) – A favorable resolution was reached in a bad-faith claim arising from a single vehicle accident leading to a $9-million underlying judgment against the insured.