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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Conflicts of Interest Between Insurer and Insured in Repetitive Product Liability Cases- A Pharma Ex

Pharma lawyers also have concerns about insurers creating conflicts of interest by mismanaging underlying pharma case that involve repetitive fact patterns. Who says so? Michelle Yeary in a July 8, 2014 post at Drug & Device blog. The key quote:

“For so many reasons, we don’t usually blog about insurance coverage issues.  First, it’s not really our area of expertise.  Second, because of point number 1 we tend to find the issue a little dull.  Third, most tort litigators – on both sides of the v. – aren’t all that fond of insurance companies.  On the defense side, it is our clients who are often pitted against insurers who deny coverage.  And as our client’s advocates, from time to time we have concerns with insurance company’s micromanagement which can lead to conflicts regarding the best way to defend cases.  This is certainly an over-generalization and we don’t mean to lump all insurers in the same boat.  But, the disputes are what make it to the courtroom. “

Under the principle that misery loves company, it’s good to see the occasional gripe from a pharma lawyer. Unfortunately, asbestos defendants and insurance companies are too frequently at war with each other because insurers appoint counsel with conflicts of interest and/or refuse to pay reasonable rates for defense work and/or refuse to pay expenses for needed defense work. (That is NOT to say that all insurers act wrongfully, or that all lawyers who work for insurers have conflicts of interest. To the contrary, some insurers behave fairly well, and some of the insurance defense lawyers are top notch lawyers who avoid conflicts.)

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