Through its many years of experience, Degan, Blanchard & Nash's property litigation section attorneys have developed a technical expertise in handling a wide array of property cases involving both commercial and residential properties. With offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this includes defense of claims due to the weather – e.g., for damage occurring as a result of storms or extreme temperatures. The firm served as primary counsel for all Hurricane Katrina and Rita claims of several insurers and handled almost a thousand hurricane claims. Degan, Blanchard & Nash has a broad expertise in defending property claims arising out of hurricane claims and other natural disasters, as well as catastrophic events such as smoke, fire or explosion, oil spill, building collapse. The firm also has been involved in numerous cases involving arson, theft, vandalism, civil strife or riot, or electrical surge, as well as emerging issues concerning residential mold, Chinese Drywall, foundation subsidence, improperly applied roofs, EFIS cladding system failures, formaldehyde exposures, CCA treated wood. Degan, Blanchard & Nash has extensive experience helping clients investigate and resolve claims involving business interruption and income loss, fraud, FEMA-related matters, forensic accounting, employee dishonesty and other disputes involving specialty and industry niche lines of property insurance.
Degan, Blanchard & Nash's attorneys perform strategy analysis that enables the client to make early decisions regarding settlement, or, where necessary, defense of the case through trial. Moreover, our firm fully understands all issues that may arise in the defense of the insured and/or its property insurer from claims for damages. Our firm's trial attorneys serve our insurance clients by not only defending these claims, but also by protecting and pursuing subrogation interests wherever necessary. In addition, Degan, Blanchard & Nash has extensive experience handling ancillary claims that can periodically arise, such as claims for bad faith or unfair business practices.
The firm regularly advises clients with respect to property coverage issues, including interpretation of all types of first-party policies for complex claims. We are fully experienced in all areas of coverage, and are familiar with the issues arising out of the insurance contract language itself, including coverage triggers, duty to investigate damages, legal trends regarding coverage for novel types of claims, and applicable exclusions which may apply.
Degan, Blanchard & Nash has litigated cases in every trial and appellate court in Louisiana, from inception through trial to conclusion, and has represented clients from all over the United States. Our property litigation section's aggressive, proactive defense maximizes results for the client, while minimizing costs to the greatest extent possible considering the client's potential exposure. Degan, Blanchard & Nash is able to litigate these claims more efficiently than less experienced attorneys. The firm has developed an extensive file bank that includes pleadings, discovery and other resource material vital to the efficient, and successful, resolution of property claims, including an updated library of property treatises and a growing database of expert witnesses. The firm has accomplished attorneys who have formed longstanding relationships with experts and consultants whose assistance is essential to defense of property claims. With the use of these and other efficient systems of operation, the firm is positioned to efficiently represent clients while maintaining a strong defensive posture. Consequently, the members of our property litigation section are able to pride ourselves on gaining the best overall economic outcome for our clients.
Degan, Blanchard & Nash has considerable experience litigating, and has realized substantial success, in third-party casualty and general liability cases at all levels of state and federal courts, as well as administrative bodies, for clients in Louisiana and throughout the country. Our casualty litigation section understands the complexities of a broad range of casualty liability issues, and our lawyers are equipped to handle these matters in a thorough and efficient manner.
Our casualty litigation section has defended insurance carriers traditionally falling within third-party general liability, auto liability, and homeowners' and other personal lines coverages, in cases broadly ranging from simple auto (both personal and commercial) and premises liability “slip and fall” cases to extremely complex, multi-party litigation involving commercial auto accidents, uninsured and/or underinsured motorist claims, wrongful death, product liability (including pharmaceutical and medical devices), construction defects, medical and legal malpractice, chemical and asbestos exposure, bad faith and unfair trade practices, environmental and toxic tort lawsuits, professional liability, warehousemen's coverage, fidelity coverage, complex claims arising out of construction activities, maritime, class actions, and all other general negligence claims. As appropriate, we call upon Degan, Blanchard & Nash's coverage specialists with experience and particular knowledge of coverage law. We counsel our insurance clients in complex coverage matters, including coverage opinions for both primary and excess policies on the duties of defense and/or indemnity and co-insurance, as well as draft coverage position letters. As a consequence, Degan, Blanchard & Nash's casualty practice provides a diverse, but cohesive and thorough service for our clients.
Degan, Blanchard & Nash's attorneys work closely with our clients in the handling of casualty matters to provide an early and objective evaluation, as well as a comprehensive litigation plan to minimize exposure for damages. We ensure that our clients can quickly decide whether to settle or try a case and, when appropriate, explore alternative ways to resolve disputes, such as mediation and arbitration. Equipped with knowledge gained from participation in a wide range of Alternative Dispute Resolution proceedings, our casualty team advises clients about the advantages of litigation versus ADR methods and proactively represents their interests in the ADR processes so as to obtain optimal results in an economical manner. The firm believes that a successful defense requires not only zealous advocacy, but also prompt reporting, as well as adherence to our client's cost control procedures. Finally, technical expertise, including the education and training of our attorneys, is believed to be invaluable when dealing with complex issues that often arise during the course of casualty litigation.
Given that our casualty lawyers have experience representing insurers as well as corporate entities, the attorneys in our casualty practice anticipate and understand the positions of the various interests in this field. Degan, Blanchard & Nash is highly experienced in handling Direct Action claims filed against both an insured and its insurer in the same lawsuit. As Direct Action claims are permitted in Louisiana, our attorneys routinely deal with complications arising between the insurer and the insured.
Accordingly, Degan, Blanchard & Nash can confidently steer the defense of either the insurer or the insured from the inception of litigation to its conclusion.