Insurance & ERISA Litigation

For more than a century, Dickinson Wright has represented the insurance industry, providing our clients with unparalleled knowledge and expertise. Our experience spans all aspects of insurance industry litigation, including: ERISA, life, health and disability cases; insurance coverage disputes; and administrative and regulatory issues.

Expert Representation in ERISA and Life, Health and Disability Cases

Dickinson Wright’s ERISA litigators are experienced in every aspect of this complex statute, from the defense of national class actions to individual claims by plan participants, beneficiaries and others. We represent insurers, employers and other plan fiduciaries with respect to fiduciary obligations, plan administration and interpreting the intricacies of the statutory framework.

Our experienced team has successfully defended clients in matters involving breach of fiduciary claims and other allegations of wrongdoing in connection with payment practices of a nationwide healthcare provider network; inclusion of company stock as an investment option in a national employee savings plan despite decreasing market price; and understatement of pension plan liabilities. Our group is also well-versed in cost-effectively handling individual claims such as challenges to the denial of life, disability or health benefits, resolving coordination of overlapping policies, recoupment of overpayments and alleged procedural violations.

Clients benefit from our team’s unmatched breadth and depth of expertise in defending life, health and disability litigation. We have the skills to deliver results in all types of insurance litigation, from “traditional” insurance (challenges to life, health and disability claims; priority disputes, allegations of agent misconduct, bad faith, and breach of fiduciary duty) to increasingly complex and novel claims such as RICO actions, requests for extra-contractual remedies, related tort and employment-based claims, and challenges to policies and procedures. We also frequently represent insurers before regulatory bodies, arbitration panels, and administrative tribunals.

Broad Experience in Insurance Coverage Disputes

Dickinson Wright represents both insurers and policyholders in litigation spanning the breadth of insurance coverage issues, including: comprehensive general liability, property, builder’s risk, business interruption, crime, D&O, E&O, environmental, employment practices and professional liability policies. We often succeed in resolving coverage disputes early in the process by conducting prompt, but thorough initial investigation, and applying our significant experience and knowledge of the law to frame the issues favorably to our client’s position. However, when early resolution is not attainable, we vigorously pursue the same favorable results through litigation. Whether by motion, trial, arbitration or settlement, our coverage litigators possess the experience, creativity and tenacity to achieve the desired end in a cost-effective and timely manner.

Dickinson Wright’s coverage lawyers also provide policyholders with pre-purchase insurance audits and counseling. We review and analyze proposed policy language to ensure that policyholders receive the best possible protection, and endeavor to eliminate coverage issues should claims arise. Because of our experience in both coverage litigation and insurance policy counseling, our coverage lawyers know the critical definitional considerations and policy language issues.

Industry Leadership

We are leaders in insurance industry litigation, as evidenced by the positions we hold in industry organizations, the types of cases our clients trust us to handle and our commitment to remaining at the forefront of industry issues.

Members of our team are members and leaders of industry and bar organizations such as the Defense Research Institute’s Life Health and Disability Steering Committee, the Federal Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Michigan State Bar Insurance and Indemnity Committee.

We are often chosen to serve as lead defense counsel in complex, multi-defendant cases and as national class action counsel on behalf of insurers. In fact, we serve as regional counsel with responsibility for all Midwest litigation for one of the country’s largest insurers.

Members of our team often speak and write on cutting-edge issues impacting the insurance industry. We are committed to mastering–and making—the law that will affect how our insurance clients conduct business.
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