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Insurance Litigation

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Insurance litigation is a broad and often complicated area. Our insurance team handles virtually all matters related to insurance. Indeed, we routinely represent insurers providing insurance including:

  • Commercial and general liability
  • Title insurance
  • Governmental liability
  • Accounting, legal and medical malpractice
  • Insurance agent liability
  • Life insurance
  • Property and casualty insurance
  • Excess liability
  • Inland marine
  • No-fault and automotive liability
  • Product liability
  • Environmental and pollution
  • Officers and directors liability
  • Errors and omissions
  • Vicarious liability, including franchise litigation
  • Employment and ERISA
  • Agency and broker disputes
  • Bad faith claims
  • Construction
  • Coverage disputes
  • Disability
  • Fiduciary liability
  • Fraud claims
  • Privacy, including HIPAA

How We Handle Insurance Defense Litigation

We understand that the key to a successful defense is working closely with both the insurer and the insured. Our goal is to achieve the best result in an efficient and cost-conscious manner consistent with our ethical obligations.

Development of a sound legal defense is our responsibility, but it is critical that we develop the plan in close consultation with both the insurer and insured. Our goal is to identify -- as quickly as possible -- claims in which there is liability. For those claims, we will discuss settlement opportunities with the insured and insurer as early as possible. Further, we recognize that an early resolution of most suits is desired by both insurers and insured, whether through use of alternative dispute resolution or through direct settlement discussions with plaintiffs' counsel.

We also recognize that some cases are destined for trial, for any one of a number of reasons. We strive to identify those suits as soon as possible, and then to craft a discovery and motion practice plan preparing the matter for trial promptly, so there are no last-minute surprises, and to ensure the best possible trial outcome.

While we aggressively defend all our cases, we understand that unnecessary motions and discovery disputes should be avoided. It is our belief that an aggressive defense is best accomplished in a civil manner, and that unnecessary motions and discovery generally lead to increased expense with no discernable benefit to the insurer or insured.

Practice Areas


Miller Canfield’s Insurance Practice Litigation Team is made up of attorneys and paralegals with a wealth of trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts.

Our practice includes the representation of insurance companies in many areas of insurance litigation including D&O and E&O liability, insurance coverage, bad faith, fraud, and liability defense. On behalf of insurers, we also represent their insureds in virtually every type of litigation including commercial and professional malpractice (including attorneys, architects, accountants, physicians, hospitals, nurses and pharmacists), catastrophic personal injury, product liability, product recalls, title insurance, employment liability, including discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge, retaliation, ERISA, and class actions.

Litigation and Investigation Fraud Sub-Team

We have particular expertise in representing insureds and insurance companies in fraud litigation, including schemes as diverse as kickbacks, pay-to-play, embezzlement and a variety of claims related to fraudulent injuries and fraudulent damages (including no-fault schemes). This Team includes former state and federal prosecutors, and individual attorneys who have tried more than 100 cases to verdict.


The team regularly represents insurers and insurance agencies in insurance regulatory matters and representation of clients before state departments of insurance.

Representative Recent Clients

Insurance Companies
(Includes cases in which we directly represented the insurer, and where we were retained to defend the insured.)
Allied World Assurance Company
American International Group (AIG)
OneBeacon Insurance Group
Auto-Owners Insurance Company
CNA Insurance
Detroit Medical Center Insurance Corp.
Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance
Hartford Insurance Company Management Liability and Specialty (approved as panel counsel)
Michigan Insurance Coalition
Meadowbrook Insurance Group
Nationwide Excess and Surplus/Specialty (approved as panel counsel)
Oakwood Insurance Company
Prudential Insurance Company of America
Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

Agencies and Brokers
Advasure Insurance Agency
All Risks Insurance Brokers
Blackwell Insurance Agency
Burnham & Flower Agency
Burnham Group
McNish Agency
Peppler Agency
Rose Street Agency (Nulty Insurance Agency)

Representative Matters

  • Insurance Company v Various Medical Providers (names confidential). We successfully represented a large insurance company as a plaintiff in a series of cases involving with allegations of no-fault insurance fraud and the submission of false claims related to a variety of types for providers and billing practices. In so doing, we developed several methods to root out fraud through litigation.
  • City of Detroit v Walbridge et al. We represented the City of Detroit (a self-insured entity) and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in a case against contractors, which alleged fraud, kickbacks and a pay-to-play culture. Our case resulted in a large confidential settlement. (See Crain’s Detroit Business, February 21, 2013, Chad Halcom, Walbridge Aldinger, "Detroit Water and Sewerage end quarrels related to Kilpatrick corruption case.")
  • Detroit Public Schools v. Stephen Hill. We represented a large local school district (a self-insured entity) in a fraud and kickback matter related to the Detroit Public Schools Risk Management Department. Our suit resulted in an eight-figure recovery. After our case, several defendants were indicted and charged with various federal crimes related to the scheme. Some pleaded guilty, and another was convicted after a lengthy trial. (See Crain's Detroit Business, February 21, 2011, Chad Halcom “Risk Management Crackdown”.)
  • Doe v. Large Industrial Company (name confidential). This case was filed in Wayne County and involved the explosion of a gas pipeline at an industrial site resulting in the death of one person and serious personal injuries to another. We represented the defendant, and settled the case very favorably for our client.
  • Roe v. Large Industrial Company (name confidential). This case involved a death and as a result of an industrial accident. We obtained summary judgment for our client.
  • Murphy v. Confidential Commercial client. This case, filed in Kalamazoo County, was a car versus pedestrian accident in which the Plaintiff, an employed young woman with small children, alleged permanent brain and leg injuries. We represented the large commercial client, who is self-insured for auto liability. We settled the case very favorably for our client.

Selected Appellate Cases

  • Ali v. City of Detroit, 218 Mich. App. 581 (1996). Summary judgment affirmed on behalf of our municipality client based on governmental immunity; building exception did not apply.
  • Baldaga v. Independence Health Plan, 162 Mich. App. 441 (1987). Summary judgment affirmed in favor of our health insurance plan client. Court held that no contract cause of action could be brought for alleged negligent treatment.
  • Brown v. Drake-Willock International, 209 Mich. App. 136 (1995). Summary judgment affirmed in favor of our client regarding toxic tort claim. Court held intentional tort exception to Worker's Disability Compensation Act exclusivity provision did not apply to claim against employer; claim against suppliers was barred by statute of limitations; and manufacturers had no duty to warn of dangers associated with use of formaldehyde.
  • Danley v. Yuzon, 128 Mich. App. 228(1983). Summary judgment affirmed in favor of our client, a psychiatrist, based on governmental immunity).
  • Griffith v. Brant, 177 Mich. App. 583 (1989). Malpractice case dismissed on appeal against our client based on statute of limitations.
  • Holmes v. Allstate, 119 Mich. App. 710 (1982). Directed verdict affirmed in favor of Allstate. Plaintiff brought action against workers' compensation carrier to recover for intentional infliction of emotional distress in the handling of plaintiff's workers' compensation benefits claim. The Court of Appeals held that plaintiff could not recover for intentional infliction of emotional distress in the handling of his claim, since the unjustified termination of plaintiff's benefits did not establish an intent to cause plaintiff severe emotional distress and was not done in reckless disregard of the consequences.
  • Jackson v. Sedgwick Claims Management Service., 731 F.3d 556 (6th Cir. 2013) (en banc). In a very rare en banc decision, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a RICO claim against our client for alleged wrongful denial of workers-compensation benefits.
  • Krusac v. Covenant Medical Center, Inc., 497 Mich. 251 (2015) (amicus curiae). Supreme Court reversed Court of Appeals ruling, agreeing with the position we briefed on behalf of the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel holding that objective facts in incident report were subject to peer review privilege.
  • May v. Harper Hospital, 185 Mich. App. 548 (1990). Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a for entry of judgment in favor of our client, after an adverse jury verdict. Court held that there is no viable cause of action against educational institution at which student perfusionist was obtaining training, and against hospital at which student was stationed.
  • Rudisill v. Ford Motor Co., 709 F.3d 595 (6th Cir. 2013). The Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for our client on a claim brought under the Ohio intentional-tort statute arising out of a factory accident.
  • Taylor v. Michigan Petroleum Technologies, 307 Mich. App. 189 (2014) (amicus curiae). Court of Appeals agreed with the position we briefed on behalf of the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, based on an argument we raised, which had not been briefed by the parties, holding that the Michigan non-party at fault notice requirement was not met when raised as an affirmative defense.
  • Urban Global v. DibbsBarker, 2011 WL 2802904 (E.D. Mich. 2011). We won dismissal of multi-million-dollar fraud and malpractice claims against an Australian law firm.