In laymen's terms, subrogation is the right of one party to recover out-of-pocket payments from the party or parties responsible for causing the loss.
The large subrogation matters handled by Crawford Law Firms are handled on a contingency basis. Accordingly, the cases are handled in an aggressive manner and with the temperament that the case will be tried. Subrogation is a firm specialty.
Some of the subrogation trial results on behalf of Mr. Crawford have been:
• A $2.2 Million verdict in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court which resulted in an assignment and settlement against the tortfeasor’s carrier for wrongfully denying coverage.
• A $500,000.00 verdict in Camden County, New Jersey, as the result of an upscale home being destroyed by fire. It was argued that the electrician should have used a screw-down method to affix electrical wire to a garage door opener, as opposed to a punch-back connection.
• A $400,000.00 verdict in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Scranton, Pennsylvania, which arose from a residential home fire. The theory of this case involved a gas pipe which leaked. Unfortunately, the gas pipe had been lost by the insurance carrier. In face of spoliation issues and an adverse inference, Mr. Crawford was able to try this case to completion, with a favorable verdict, relying on the scientific method outlined in NFPA 921.
• A $120,000.00 verdict in Gloucester County, New Jersey as the result of damage to a carpet store adjacent to a Chinese restaurant. The theory of causation was related to spontaneous combustion that took place at the restaurant.
Although we believe every case garners the best result by treating it as though it will be tried, many cases settle without a trial. The time value of money often demands such a result. Thus, those cases that can be settled are done so expeditiously. Those which need resolution through an adversarial process, but may not lend themselves to a trial are “fitted” into a forum that best suits the case, whether it be Inter-Company Arbitration by way of Arbitration Forums, court-appointed Mediation/Arbitration, or private ADRs.
Recent subrogation recoveries in excess of six figures involve:
• The roof collapse of a 7-11 Store (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area);
• Church roof separation (Burlington County, New Jersey);
• Underground storage tank leak (Bergen County, New Jersey);
• Computer battery explosion (Delaware County, Pennsylvania);
• Manufacturing defect of flex tube nuts attached to HVAC unit (Atlantic County, New Jersey);
• Leak caused by water hammer resulting from contractor starting a pump too quickly to a commercial HVAC system (Camden County, New Jersey);
• Fire caused by negligent installation of roof (Mercer County, New Jersey).
• Barn fire in Delaware County, PA.
• Handling of documents/evidence – spoliation;
• Expert competency – Daubert hearings;
• Insurance coverage issues;
• Product liability/negligence theories.
The subrogation industry is ever-evolving. Issues, such as the following are always issues of concern:
As members of National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), we stay abreast of all current trends, product recalls, expert theories and litigation techniques within the industry. Furthermore, there is no substitution for the experience that Mr. Crawford brings to the table by having tried in excess of 50 cases to trial verdict, as well as handling hundreds, if not thousands, of subrogation cases to conclusion. His Board-certified civil trial attorney status in New Jersey has helped him gain the experience and litigation nuances which make him an effective subrogation attorney, knowing when to push the hot buttons, and when to settle a case, while maximizing a return for his clients.
At the time of this writing, Crawford Law Firms has handled subrogation matters for: American Compensation Insurance Company, New Jersey Manufacturers, Merchants Insurance Company, ACE-Westchester, Philadelphia Contributionship Insurance Companies, Utica Insurance Company, Pennsylvania School Claims Service.
To refer a new matter in this area, please e-mail us.