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Michael Hamilton Speaks with Law360 about Clash between Insurers Following Factory Explosion


Michael Hamilton Speaks with Law360 about Clash between Insurers Following Factory Explosion

May 23, 2023
Michael A. Hamilton

Michael A. Hamilton, partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services group, spoke with Law360 about a recent factory explosion in Pennsylvania and the resulting coverage clash between insurers for property damage and personal injuries.

Given uncertainty around the source of the explosion, the gas provider, factory owner, and their insurers have disputed the issue of coverage.

Clashes in scenarios like this are not uncommon, Mike said.

“It certainly ends up happening in a lot of these types of tragic events that cause personal injury and property damage,” he explained. “Ultimately, you’re going to have different entities pointing fingers at each other as to what the ultimate cause was.”

Given the preliminary investigation found a natural gas explosion, Mike said that raises several coverage questions and investigators will likely look into records, reports, and the condition of the gas lines as well.

Further, given the cause of the explosion is not fully known, the investigation could have an impact on underlying lawsuits against both the factory and gas provider.

“Both the public utility and [factory] are going to be submitting these lawsuits to their liability insurance carriers, which will then make a determination based on the allegations in the complaint on whether they have a duty to defend,” Mike said. “To the extent the insurers determine there is a duty to defend, they’re going to be appointing counsel and defending these defendants in the wrongful death suit and other actions.”


Inter-Insurer Fights Sure to Emerge from Fatal Pa. Explosion,” Law360, May 19, 2023 [Subscription Required]


Michael A. Hamilton handles sophisticated and high-exposure insurance coverage claims and commercial litigation. As a leader of the firm’s Global Insurance Services Pennsylvania and Ohio teams, Mike focuses his practice on environmental, professional liability, construction defect, transportation, and business torts/advertising injury claims. He has been lead-defense counsel in class action litigation, representing insurance companies, self-insurers, and transportation entities. He also has extensive appellate experience, arguing numerous appeals in state and federal courts across the country.