Our diverse, lean-by-design team brings unique experience and insight.
Jeremy A. Lawrence
Cary B. Lerman
We act in high-value cases, dispensing advice to some of the largest corporations in the United States and their boards of directors on matters that are sensitive and often non-public, and overseeing multimillion dollar settlements. Our recent public engagements include:
GEICO, and its parent company Berkshire Hathaway, in numerous matters. Historically we advised GEICO on internal and operational issues, but the company has been keen to use us for high-value insurance coverage and bad faith cases.
Ameron International in several insurance cases, including as a defendant against BP in a case involving claims of over $10 million for alleged product defects.
Amgen Corporation in seeking indemnity coverage under a D&O policy when shareholders sued the directors of Onyx Corporation for Amgen’s acquisition of Onyx.
Transocean, as co-counsel, in securing the Texas Supreme Court’s refusal of British Petroleum’s bid to be an unlimited additional insured in a $750 million liability insurance policy related to an oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico.
A Clear Win in Transnational Litigation
Client Name: Ameron
Munger, Tolles & Olson successfully represented Ameron International and Ameron B.V. in an appeal to the Ninth Circuit following the district court’s judgment denying insurance coverage for litigation costs arising from a lawsuit in Canada. The Canadian lawsuit alleged that the Ameron coating materials used to protect the surfaces of facilities in a gas project in Nova Scotia were defective. The district court held that Ameron’s alleged awareness, prior to the inception of the insurance policy, of some of the alleged damage to some of the project facilities barred any coverage for any of the damage to any of the facilities in the project, and that the insurer therefore had no duty to defend the Canadian case. The Ninth Circuit reversed, granting Ameron’s partial summary judgment motion on duty to defend and denying the insurer’s cross motion.
Press Coverage: Ninth Circuit Clarifies When Known Damages Are Known And Are Damages
Victory in ‘Clawback’ Insurance Coverage Suit
Client: Connex Railroad LLC
Munger, Tolles & Olson represented Veolia Transportation Inc. and its subsidiary Connex Railroad LLC in winning an appellate victory affirming a lower court ruling preventing insurers from “clawing back” more than $132 million they paid out to settle claims resulting from a deadly train accident in 2008. The case stemmed from the aftermath of a tragic railroad accident in Chatsworth, California, during which a freight train and a commuter train collided, resulting in the death of 25 people and numerous injuries. Connex and Metrolink settled all of the personal injury lawsuits for $200 million, the maximum allowed under federal law for a single train accident. After Connex’s insurers paid $146 million of the $200 million settlement, most of the insurers sued Connex and Veolia for reimbursement of $132 million of the payments.
We represented Connex and Veolia in trial court, obtaining summary judgment rejecting the insurers’ reimbursement claims. Later, a three-judge panel in the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District affirmed the lower court’s ruling.
Press Coverage: Insurers' $132.5M Clawback Denial Upheld In Calif. Rail Crash