Subrogation

Bowitch & Coffey’s subrogation practice group is dedicated to the recovery of property damages paid by insurers due to the fault of third parties.

It is the philosophy of Bowitch & Coffey that subrogation cases should be pursued vigorously and quickly, while remaining mindful of the economies of litigation. While settlement is explored during all phases of litigation, we are prepared to take matters through trial to successful verdicts if necessary.

We have secured several successful subrogation verdicts in New York state and federal courts. We have argued many appeals in New York appellate court on a variety of subrogation topics. We also have considerable experience in arbitration (such as before Arbitration Forums), collections and judgment enforcement. We have also successfully sought recovery of Additional Personal Injury Protection (“APIP”) benefits paid in automobile cases and have filed suit asserting a lien for Workers Compensation benefits paid.

We believe subrogation claims are won or lost in the early stages. Therefore, we work with carriers soon after a loss claim is made, at no charge, for early subro evaluation.  For fire losses, we recommend one of our attorneys be present at the fire scene to assist in the preservation of evidence so as to avoid spoliation, to coordinate with local fire officials and to retain expert private fire investigators and engineers.  We work with a network of loss investigators throughout upstate New York to timely, cost-effectively and thoroughly examine a loss scene, preserve evidence, ascertain the cause of a loss, and put potential responsible parties on notice. We have successfully fought back claims of “spoliation of evidence” and “Daubert” challenges to our experts.

Dan Coffey has been a member of the New York bar since 1991.  He is admitted to practice in all New York state and federal courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court and Vermont federal court (pending).  He is an active member of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (“NASP”) and serves on NASP’s amicus and “The Subrogator” magazine committees. Dan has successfully represented a broad segment of the insurance industry in subrogation claims for over fifteen (15) years.  Dan previously practiced in the subrogation recovery department while a partner at Bouck, Holloway, Kiernan & Casey, and Hiscock & Barclay, LLP.

Below find examples of some of the property subrogation matters we have handled:

  • Product-related fires, caused by appliances such as stoves, coffee makers, washers/dryers, refrigerators, automobiles, gas grills, halogen lamps
  • Fires caused by caused by furnace malfunction, faulty wiring, improper installation, careless smoking
  • “Puff back” damages from furnaces
  • Hot water heater failures and mold damage
  • Environmental cases, such as property damage caused by leaking underground oil storage tanks under New York’s Navigation Law
  • Actions against insurance agents for accepting risks contrary to carrier underwriting guidelines
  • Failure of fire suppression system company to adequate inspect/test alarm
  • Improper preventive maintenance of a main disconnect switch at a commercial establishment
  • Inadequate water treatment services performed on an industrial boiler
  • Failure of a credit card company to provide for secure online payment to customers
  • Recovery of APIP/ workers compensation benefits
  • Collection enforcement on General Agreements of Indemnity (GAI)

 

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