Insurance Claims Rejections over Covid-19 spur Plaintiffs’ Attorneys to work together for Businesses

Because insurance companies have rejected virtually all Covid-19-related claims, a group of plaintiffs’ attorneys have come together to help businesses recover their losses.

So many business owners are seeing so much loss which insurance companies are refusing to pay, that the attorneys realized they needed to work together to tackle the enormous number of  cases. The group are pooling their resources and their combined insurance claims experience to help business owners seek fair compensation for their losses.

The Business Interruption Claims Attorneys Group

Attorney David P. Matthews was selected by his peers as a US News & World Report “Best Lawyer,” and voted one of the top trial attorneys in the country. He began his legal career developing coverage opinions and defending insurance carriers.  He transitioned to handling major subrogation claims ranging from $5 million to $500 million.  He has prosecuted claims involving insurance carriers for 35+ years, trying more than 150 cases to verdict. His Matthews & Associates Law Firm – selected among the best plaintiff’s firms in the country by US News & World Report – has secured more than $2.5 billion for a wide variety of clients.  With law offices in Houston, Texas; Chico, California; and New York, New York, his firm is nationally recognized as a longtime leader in civil litigation for plaintiffs.  Mr. Matthews is licensed to practice law in Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi; but he has, for decades, handled cases nationwide through pro hoc vice arrangements with attorneys licensed in virtually every state.

“We all know these Business Interruption Claims are some of the most important cases we’ve ever handled,” says Mr. Matthews. “We know we must find ways to make insurance companies honor their coverages. Too many businesses have paid too much in premiums for too long to be denied coverage now when they need it most.”

Related: Frequently Asked Questions for Covid-19 Business Interruption Claims

Attorney Riley L. Burnett has actively litigated insurance cases for 30 years. He has represented thousands of individuals and hundreds of corporate clients in First Party and Bad Faith Insurance claims brought against most major insurance carriers in both State and Federal Court, including claims arising out of major catastrophes such as Hurricane Ike, Rio Grande Valley Hail storms, and Hurricane Sandy. He was honored by the Courts to serve in a co-lead position as to all Hurricane Ike insurance claims in Harris, Brazoria, Montgomery, and Galveston Counties. His leadership in the TWIA settlement in Galveston County for the slab cases (total losses) helped bring approximately $200 Million in insurance payouts for the residents and business owners who lost their property on Bolivar Peninsula during Hurricane Ike. Those cases went from being paid at 14 percent of the policy limits to near the dwelling limits.  That settlement allowed for the rebuilding of Bolivar, but with everything rebuilt safer and up to code, with better storm protection for the residents of the hardest hit county on the coast.  Most of those clients would have lost everything without the work that was done by Mr. Burnett in those cases.

Mr. Burnett has also successfully litigated insurance claims on behalf of businesses damaged by flood, fire, wind, and other events. He retains, at his request, multiple experts to fairly maximize his clients’ recovery for property damage and large Business Interruption Claims. These experts include engineers, builders, and financial experts, a team of forensic accountants. Mr. Riley’s firm has recovered more than $2 billion for clients.

Attorney Tim Goss began his legal career in 1986 with a large national defense firm, Andrews & Kurth. He later co-founded an insurance defense firm he helped run for nearly 15 years: Capshaw, Goss & Bowers.  Mr. Goss and his firm defended national insurance companies in every aspect of insurance litigation, including first party coverage and bad faith insurance practice claims.  This work gave him invaluable experience in proper insurance claims handling and investigation, along with the trial and resolution of claims.  Tim has been certified by numerous state and federal courts as Class Counsel in consumer class actions – including claims involving insurance practices. He is currently negotiating on behalf of a judgment for a plaintiff with numerous carriers that provided coverage for $32 million in insurance compensation secured by Freese & Goss and Matthews & Associates. Mr. Goss is licensed to practice law in Texas and New York.

Attorney Richard Freese has practiced law for 35 years exclusively in litigation matters. Rich specialized for two decades in class action litigation representing plaintiffs in insurance disputes. His class cases resulted in hundreds of millions in recovery for his clients. Because of his litigation experience, he was consulted in drafting national legislation that was ultimately signed into law by President Bill Clinton, legislation which has effectively saved insurance policy holders billions of dollars in insurance premiums. He has further litigated for years against insurance companies over multiple matters that include toxic torts, environmental litigation, and product liability. Mr. Freese has been AV rated by Martindale Hubbell for more than 25 years. He is licensed in Alabama and Mississippi, and has been admitted to try cases in state and federal courts in more than 25 states.

Attorney Tim Bearb has handled coverage and bad faith insurance litigation for more than a dozen years.  He has tried multiple cases to verdict, including an $11+ Million failure to defend/coverage case for a commercial retail establishment, which is believed to be the first Insurance Fair Conduct Act treble damages jury verdict in Washington state.  Mr. Bearb has handled bad faith insurance claims in state and federal courts across multiple jurisdictions on the West Coast and in Texas. He has recovered tens of millions of dollars for his clients – both commercial and residential –over the past 12 years.  He has been voted by peers as a SuperLawyer in the Insurance Coverage category. He is the author of a series of CLE presentations and articles covering topics such as claim handling and bad faith litigation best practices and tactical considerations. He has also been a special presenter at Seattle University School of Law insurance law class, regarding bad faith litigation and the status of insurance law in Washington state.  Mr. Bearb is licensed to practice law in Texas and Washington.

Attorney Julie Matthews worked extensively on business insurance matters as a Director and Senior Counsel for 18 years at American Girl, a division of Mattel, Inc. – a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. At American Girl, she managed contract negotiations and legal issues across all channels, including digital, catalog, and national retail, as well as stores in Canada and Mexico. Ms. Matthews was also responsible for the Risk Management Department, charged with managing claims, disputes, and litigation, including Business Interruption Claims for more than 20 retail stores and restaurants. She handled insurance matters for flagship locations in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  Ms. Matthews was also member of the legal team that successfully argued a key insurance issue before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Her extensive experience as a corporate attorney brings a unique perspective to her work representing plaintiffs at Matthews & Associates. She brings valuable insight into corporate structures, their legal strategies, and insurance and risk management practices – all of which she uses today to fight for her clients’ rights. Ms. Matthews is licensed to practice law in Wisconsin.

“I realize the unprecedented hardship that business owners are experiencing during this pandemic” she says. “I am grateful to bring my risk management experience to support you and your business to get the compensation you deserve from your insurance company.

Attorney Ryan Haun has worked extensively in insurance law for 12 years, securing millions of dollars for his clients. Mr. Haun worked with some of the largest insurance firms in Texas before opening his own law firm. In 2006, he handled Hurricane Rita insurance claims in East Texas, representing homeowners and small businesses across the state. Between 2006 and 2018, Mr. Haun has handled more than 1,000 first party insurance claims at every stage. He is committed to obtaining positive outcomes for his clients.