City of Long Beach v. ISOP

Its not just individuals that get treated badly by insurance companies. In this case the insurers had no problem denying the claim of one of California's largest cities.

I was (still am) representing the City of Long Beach. The City lost a multi-million dollar judgment in a housing discrimination lawsuit. The City turned to its excess coverage insurers for them to pay their share of the judgment. But the insurers denied coverage.

The insurers claimed that the discrimination had been intentional, and that under California law they had no obligation to provide coverage for intentional conduct. The problem for the insurers was that the City was named as a separate insured under the policies, and had to be evaluated separately for coverage. So, while the City's employees might have been guilty of intentional conduct, there wasn't any evidence at all that the City itself had done anything wrong.

In fact, as attorney Ricardo Echeveria and I showed at trial, the City didn't discriminate against anyone, but was only trying, in good faith, to enforce dangerous violations of its building codes.

Anyway, at the conclusion of the trial, the Court issued a judgment of almost 2 million dollars in the City's favor.


© 2015 The Law Offices of Russell G. Petti