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Property Litigation

There are few areas of the insurance industry that involve such direct and personal contact with insureds in their time of need than first party claims that arise out of homeowner and commercial property policies. Unfortunately, there are few areas of insurance claims that generate more complaints and litigation. Even when an insurance company handles first party property claims faultlessly and fairly, it is an unfortunate inevitability that some litigation will result.

The direct and personal contact with the insureds, the complex nature of the policies at issue, the limitless number of claims scenarios, combined with the ever-increasing percentage of insureds represented by public adjusters, make this area of insurance claims ripe for lawsuits. When other unique areas of dispute – such as appraisal, matching and replacement cost – are considered, sometimes during catastrophe (CAT) operations, the importance of having legal counsel concentrating his or her practice in property litigation cannot be underestimated.

Our Property Litigation Practice Group is very familiar with these issues and the state of the law as it pertains to first party matters and bad faith. Marshall Dennehey's Property Litigation Practice Group maintains a synergistic relationship with our Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith and Fraud/ Special Investigative Litigation Practice Groups. These relationships allow our attorneys to coordinate their efforts and stay current relative to these overlapping areas of practice.

Our services go beyond representation after a lawsuit is filed and include:

  • Coordinating counsel services;
  • Pre-litigation commercial and residential claims consultation, including such issues as business interruption, extra expense, profit and overhead, “matching” and appraisal;
  • Drafting reservation of rights and coverage position letters;
  • Drafting property coverage opinion letters;
  • Regulatory consultation and responding to insurance department complaints and inquiries;
  • Examinations Under Oath to clarify facts and coverage;
  • Training of management and staff;
  • Selection of vendors;
  • Assistance in developing claims protocols; and
  • Assistance in drafting new and revising existing policy language.


Included in the Property Litigation Practice Group are attorneys who, prior to law school, worked as property claims representatives. These attorneys bring experience in property damage estimation, contents evaluation and public adjuster representation. They possess a unique perspective that enables them to advise and assist the claims professional both before and after litigation.

We welcome the opportunity to be of service to you. We are available to discuss any property claims issues, as well as give presentations or lectures at your location or at any one of our regional offices.


May 11, 2017
Obtained the dismissal of a first-party property insurance lawsuit based on the marring exclusion in the policy. ​Dismissal was prior to any discovery. The plaintiff sought insurance benefits for damage that resulted from an object that was dropped...
Sep 21, 2015
Successfully represented a homeowner's insurance carrier in a claim for breach of contract before a federal arbitration panel in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiff husband, a former Philadelphia...
Jun 8, 2015
Obtained a unanimous jury verdict after a four-week trial in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs' demand never moved from $9 million throughout the trial. The plaintiff family (mother, father and adult daughter) claimed that their house...
Oct 27, 2011
Attorney obtained dismissal of his client on 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss upon claims by her neighbor that an "illegal garage" constructed on her property impinged on Township set-back requirements, was constructed without the necessary permits and...
May 16, 2011
Attorneys received an affirmed dismissal of all claims against the insured. Plaintiff had attended a yard sale held by the insured and the insured’s mother at the home of the grandmother for the insured. Plaintiff parked his car on a highway...
Mar 29, 2010
Attorneys obtained Summary Judgment on behalf of homeowners who were sued by the estate of a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle. Plaintiff's decedent was on the Defendants' property looking at a snow blower set out "for sale." While returning...
Jun 16, 2009
Attorneys obtained dismissal of a Verified Petition brought by five condominium unit owners against a condominium association seeking to compel pre-suit disclosure of an extensive and onerous volume of records based on possible allegations of...
Jun 1, 2009
Attorneys obtained summary judgment on behalf of a Township.  Plaintiff owns a dental practice on property that contains a large underground drainage pipe that runs between two concrete culverts owned by PennDOT.  The Plaintiff alleged that the...
Feb 13, 2009
Attorney obtained summary judgment on behalf of the individual members of a condominium's board of trustees. Plaintiff's condominium unit suffered extensive interior water damage when an upstairs unit owner's washing machine failed. In addition to...
Aug 25, 2008
Attorney obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial on behalf of defendant camping organization. Defendant was sued by two railroad conductors/engineers who sustained serious injury when their train collided with a large tree which had fallen from...


Law Alerts April 1, 2017
The plaintiff was injured at her place of employment when she slipped on ice in the parking lot during a storm. She sued the snow and ice contractors, alleging her injuries were proximately caused by their failure to maintain the premises in a safe..., Case Law Alerts, 2nd Quarter, April 2017 Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice...
Defense Digest Article March 1, 2016
By Michael A. Packer, Esq.* Key Points: Florida’s Valued Policy Law provides that when any building or structure sustains a total loss as a result of covered peril or a partial loss as a result of fire, the liability for said loss..., Defense Digest, Vol 22, No. 1, March 2016 Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal...
Defense Digest Article June 1, 2015
Key Points: Under Florida law, prejudice to an insurer is presumed upon the breach of a notice provision. The policyholder must notify a carrier about a potential claim when the loss is perceived, even if the extent of the damage is..., Defense Digest, Vol. 21, No. 2, June 2015 Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal...
Articles January 2, 2014
Defense Digest Article September 1, 2013
By Jennie Philip, Esq. and Edward Louka, Esq.* Key Points: District court discusses a policy's appraisal requirement. When an insurer does not dispute coverage and invokes the appraisal clause..., Defense Digest, Vol. 19, No. 3, September 2013 , Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to...
Defense Digest Article June 1, 2013
By John R. Nealon, Esq.* Key Points: Landlords may be found liable for injuries inflicted by a tenant's dog. Key to any defense of a landlord from a dog-bite claim is the landlord's prior..., Defense Digest, Vol. 19, No. 2, June 2013
Defense Digest Article December 1, 2012
  Key Points: Residential homeowners in New Jersey are not liable for negligent maintenance of abutting sidewalks, unless they have created a dangerous condition. Condominium associations may now claim the immunities previously..., Defense Digest, Vol. 18 No. 4, December 2012
Defense Digest Article September 1, 2012
The endless claims scenarios, coupled with face-to-face contact and helping insureds through difficult times, are part of what makes property claims so challenging and rewarding. Unfortunately, more and more insureds and their representatives view..., Defense Digest, Vol. 18, No. 3, September 2012
Law Alerts April 1, 2012
The Supreme Court reaffirmed the Delaware common law rule in premises liability cases that property owners/possessors must refrain from willful and wanton conduct toward trespassers and licensees. The plaintiff was riding his bicycle through the..., Case Law Alert - 2nd Qtr 2012
June 29, 2015
Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin has added Shareholder Dennis P. Dore, Special Counsel Jessica Lanifero and Associate Christopher D. Walsh in Jacksonville. All three attorneys join the firm’s Casualty Department and were previously with the Jacksonville office of Kelley Kronenberg. “...
Conference Mar 29, 2015
Jennie Philip, a member of our Property Litigation group, is presenting at the PLRB Conference in Anaheim California on "Potentially Fraudulent Claims on Foreclosed Properties". In her session, she and her co-presenter will discuss:...
Conference Apr 27, 2015
The Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA), Delaware Valley and Greater Pittsburgh Chapters of the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU) will host the 2015 Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Conference on April...
Conference Apr 7, 2016
Pennsylvania’s 2016 Insurance Fraud Conference, jointly hosted by the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority and the Delaware Valley and Greater Pittsburgh Chapters of the International Association of Special Investigation Units,...
Conference Apr 17, 2016
PLRB Claims Conference & Insurance Services Expo - the industry's largest and diverse educational conference. The claims conference delivers resources to improve job performance with nearly 100 educational classes, more than 50 percent new...
Seminar Jun 2, 2016
Join the attorneys of Marshall Dennehey for a discussion and in-depth look at trending topics in Fraud and SIU. Don't miss the panel discussion on emerging trends in fraud with insight from members of the insurance industry. Guest Speaker:...

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