The Gilbert Edge
Our specialty is complex dispute resolution, and we bring unmatched insight and innovation to every problem we confront.
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Millions of Americans are addicted to prescription opioids, and tens of thousands die annually from opioid overdoses. Across this country every day, children are born opioid-addicted. Indeed, the number of people who take prescription opioids for non-medical purposes is far greater than the number who use cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens combined.
America is reeling from a massive public health crisis, and Gilbert LLP is a leader in the legal fight to stem the opioid epidemic throughout the nation and to establish effective, long-lasting solutions. We approach this challenge with the same insight, innovation and commitment we bring to every problem we confront, devising and implementing strategic, enterprising paths to the best outcomes possible.
Specifically, the firm represents multiple state attorneys general and sovereign Indian tribes in litigation against opioid manufacturers, distributors, chain retailers and others seeking damages and other relief for their roles in causing and fueling the opioid crisis. Gilbert brings to these cases and other pending opioid-related litigation its considerable experience and successful track record negotiating historic, complex multiparty settlements in mass-tort and other matters. Gilbert also is utilizing its insurance expertise to determine the extent to which insurance may be available to fund potential solutions.
Environmental Insurance Coverage Litigation
Environmental remediation of allegedly contaminated industrial sites continues to be a focus of government regulators and a substantial source of potential liability for companies nationwide.Through our ongoing representation of a leading manufacturer of building products in multiple litigation proceedings, Gilbert has spearheaded our client’s efforts to recover insurance proceeds for defense and remediation costs arising from several environmental sites around the country. Our client’s insurers denied coverage for the environmental matters at issue on numerous grounds, none of which we or our client view as meritorious. Several of the insurers filed a summary judgment motion in one of the pending litigation matters arguing that their policies are simply inapplicable to our client’s claim, because our client acquired the facility site at issue after their policy periods. We demonstrated to the court that the insurers’ arguments were contrary to the plain language of the policies, because the insurers’ coverage obligations are triggered not by ownership of the site during their policy periods, but rather by property damage during their policy periods for which our client was alleged to be liable. Because the environmental authorities were seeking to hold our client jointly and severally liable for property damage prior to its ownership of the site but during its insurers’ policy periods, the court rejected the insurers’ bid to avoid their coverage obligations. Gilbert’s victory on this issue paved the way for settlements with several insurers, while preserving our client’s ability to continue to pursue claims against the remaining insurers.
Asbestos-Related Insurance Coverage Litigation
In our experience, insurance companies very often contest their contractual duties and obligations to pay mass tort product liability claims facing their policyholders. Gilbert LLP is continuing to lead the fight on behalf of corporate policyholders, trusts and others against insurers in courts throughout the country, including its representation of an internationally renowned manufacturer of auto parts.Through litigation in Illinois state court, Gilbert LLP has zealously pursued over a dozen of the nation’s largest insurers, securing ground-breaking rulings under Illinois law regarding the manner in which excess insurance policies are impacted by and required to respond to asbestos claims. As a result of Gilbert’s advocacy, its client has resolved hundreds of millions of dollars in disputed insurance limits and defeated several insurer motions for summary judgment that could have limited or eliminated insurers’ obligations. We also have preserved our client’s rights to seek additional recoveries, including relief based upon the insurers’ bad faith refusal to pay claims. Discovery in this litigation is set to close in July 2019, to be followed by motions practice, pre-trial proceedings and a jury trial.