Susman Godfrey represented Universal Cable Productions (UCP)—a subsidiary of NBC Universal—in its dispute with insurance carrier, Atlantic, which claims it was not required to provide coverage when Hamas bombing forced UCP to relocate filming of the TV miniseries “Dig” out of Jerusalem. After a successful appeal to the Ninth Circuit by Susman Godfrey on the scope of the exclusions, UCP then received a full win in the district court which found in its favor on all remaining liability issues. The case – which was set for trial in 2020 on the amount of damages Atlantic owed to UCP for the relocation, whether Atlantic’s denial of coverage was done in bad faith and the amount of punitive damages owed to UCP – was settled favorably on the eve of trial.
In 2020, Susman Godfrey, secured a partial summary judgment win for Houston’s historic Alley Theatre in an insurance coverage lawsuit the firm handled pro bono. The suit claimed the theatre was not properly reimbursed by Hanover Insurance Company for claims related to business interruption losses sustained during Hurricane Harvey.
In Connecticut Gen. Life Ins. Co. and CIGNA Health and Life Ins. Co. v. Humble Surgical Hosp., LLC, Susman Godfrey secured a $19.2 million judgment for Humble Surgical Hospital (HSH) against health insurer CIGNA in 2016. HSH filed its case against CIGNA after the insurer sued the hospital alleging it had inflated its bills. In his decision, Hon. Kenneth Hoyt found that CIGNA violated the terms of its policies by denying coverage to patients who exercised their contractual right to choose HSH, an out-of-network provider. The court dismissed all of CIGNA’s claims, and found for HSH on its affirmative claims. In recognition of the seriousness of CIGNA’s actions, Judge Hoyt ordered the insurer to pay in excess of $14 million to HSH.
Susman Godfrey served as lead counsel for Walmart on the insurance coverage dispute between Walmart and certain of its insurers, regarding the settlement of claims arising out of the 2014 accident on the NJ Turnpike that injured comedian Tracy Morgan and others.
In 2012, Susman Godfrey resolved a $450 million business interruption insurance claim arising out of Hurricane Ike. The case settled one day before the arbitration hearing was scheduled to commence. Susman Godfrey served as co-lead counsel in the arbitration and led the settlement discussions with insurers.
Susman Godfrey has represented two of the world’s largest insurers, Ace Property and Casualty Co. and Equitas, to handle coverage disputes involving hundreds of millions of dollars across the United States.