Torts and Insurance

Torts and Insurance work is a mainstay at Friday, Eldredge & Clark. Our firm is defense counsel for many insurance carriers as well as their corporate insureds, regularly handling disputes that involve first-party and third-party claims, along with bad-faith suits. Whether the issue involves toxic tort liability, professional negligence, product liability, premises liability, or environmental liability, we have effectively defended clients in the energy, health care, transportation, chemical, retailing and financial sectors, among many others. No matter how specialized your dispute is, we have the experience to handle it. No matter what the dispute, we have the trial skill and insurance industry knowledge for successful resolution.

We are respected by insurance professionals for our trial and appellate capability on insurance matters, and we also represent insurers in civil lawsuits brought by individual insureds, corporate policyholders, and class action claimants. We have hundreds of jury trials in state and federal courts to our credit, so we fully understand how to present the nuances of your case to a judge and jury.

With a team that includes Fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a past president of the Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel, and a number of lawyers recognized for inclusion in Chambers USA and The Best Lawyers in America, few firms surpass our ability to evaluate claims and litigation and identify the best strategy for trial or settlement.

Although we excel at trial representation, your company will also benefit from our effectiveness at filing declaratory judgment actions to minimize claims liability and at seeking to resolve claims through arbitration or settlement.

Third-party Claims

Our coverage lawyers defend insurers in third-party claims involving virtually every area of insurance and heard in local, state and national trial courts. In individual and class action or mass tort lawsuits, we offer effective defense against allegations of injury or damage involving product liability, environmental contamination, and toxic torts (including asbestos liability). We also defend insurers in coverage matters related to general premises liability, vehicular accidents, and construction and real estate claims. Finally, we defend third-party allegations involving business disputes regarding professional liability, trade secret disclosure, director and officer liability, products liability, and environmental liability.

Insured Representation

Our firm helps corporate, business, and organizational insurance policyholders maximize and effectively manage their insurance coverage as a financial tool. When we represent you as a policyholder, our familiarity with how insurance companies underwrite, reinsure, and evaluate risks and claims gives us particular insight into the coverage your policy entitles you to. We represent business policyholders in disputes over denial of insurance coverage in environmental liability, asbestos exposure, errors and omissions claims, and similar catastrophic liability issues.

Since these disputes often involve class action or mass tort litigation, we regularly reconcile your coverage needs with the settlement strategies carriers prefer, and are adept at reconciling settlement strategies when multiple carriers are involved. Because of our success at class action litigation defense, particularly in securing denial of class certification, we are particularly effective at resolving coverage disputes in these matters.

We also are experienced at helping clients manage their own risk. Many employers use self-insurance to finance their group health care and workers’ compensation liabilities, and because we work with the plan’s various companies, we can advise you on the most effective options and strategies to use. If you choose to set up a captive insurance company to secure excess coverage for product liability and other claims, our lawyers will help you create the claims administration structure, secure regulatory approval, and allocate financial resources.

Professional Liability

Friday, Eldredge & Clark understands the stakes in professional liability controversies. Even though much of our work comes to us on referral from malpractice insurance carriers who often remain involved in the case, our number one loyalty is to the health care providers, lawyers, realtors, insurance brokers, and registered representatives who are our clients. If you are a professional service provider who turns to us for help, you will find that our concern is not just for your case but also for protecting your livelihood and reputation.

Most professional malpractice actions do not go to trial, but we can walk you through the decision to try to settle using negotiation or alternative dispute resolution. Litigation often involves related actions before professional regulatory bodies, and our lawyers are experienced at proceedings involving the Office of Professional Conduct (lawyers), the State Medical Board (physicians), and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (broker-dealers). If we can resolve the dispute through arbitration, we will craft the settlement that is most advantageous to you. If it is necessary to go to court, we will be vigorous advocates for you at trial and on appeal.