David J. Pettinato, Esq.

David J. Pettinato, Esq.

Mr. Pettinato represents policyholders in first and third party insurance claims and subsequent Unfair Claims Handling Practice litigation (bad faith). His practice areas include large property losses, business interruption, insurance coverage, and international insurance disputes. If the insurance dispute is unable to be resolved amicably without litigation, he is an experienced policyholder advocate in both state and federal courts. Additionally, he handles any appeals as may be necessary to protect his clients’ rights, having dozens of reported decisions. He is experienced in complex insurance coverage disputes and claims in litigation, as he began his insurance career more than 20 years ago as insurance defense counsel.

Mr. Pettinato is an aggressive, thorough, persistent, and diligent attorney in his relentless pursuit of justice on behalf of his clients. He is licensed to practice in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and Texas, which include the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, and Southern District of Florida; U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Federal Court of Colorado; and the U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia. He litigates in other states as well, associating himself with local counsel. He is the former chair for the Insurance Section of The American Association of Justice (AAJ), and held multiple former chairs and vice chairs for the Bad Faith Litigation Group (BFLG) for the AAJ since 2000 to 2012. He is the past co-chair of the BFLG. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Wiedemann & Waysocki Award, which honors attorneys for their commitment to their profession and support for improving the civil justice system. In 2010, he was selected by his peers as one of the Florida Legal Elite (Florida Trend Magazine). He is also an AV rated attorney through Martindale-Hubbell. He regularly speaks before professional associations and groups such as the Windstorm Insurance Network, AAJ, Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, the First Party Claims Conference, the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, Home Owners Associations, Texas Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, Rocky Mountain Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, Georgia Association of Public Adjusters, and Condominium Associations. Additionally, Mr. Pettinato has made numerous media appearances to discuss first party insurance claims, bad faith and other related insurance issues.

Mr. Pettinato has recently tried four cases to verdict in the last 12 months, one of which was in Modesto California involving a homeowner insurance claim where the insurance company denied the claim because the fire was accidentally caused by an extension cord being used as a grow light for medical marijuana; the insured was growing with a proper California medical provider recommendation. The second trial success for the policyholder was when an insurer denied a homeowner’s kitchen fire based upon tainted samples of alleged gasoline in the frying pan. The third involved a verdict for a policyholder in regard to her Hurricane Wilma homeowner’s claim. Mr. Pettinato handles insurance claims in many different states, including Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, California, Pennsylvania, and New York, among others. He has significant experience in dealing with fire, water, sinkhole, weight of snow, wind, and hail claims and is involved in a number of significant cases in Colorado that are paving the way for good claims handling in these types of claims.


Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Lansing, Michigan

Juris Doctor
Honors: Dean’s List
Honors: 14th Edition of Who’s Who: American Law Students

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Arts

  • Published Works

    “How to Deal with Denied Hotel Insurance Claims” – Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) Lodging Business Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 3, March 2014

    “Water Damage – What Your Provider Won’t Tell You” – Asian American Hotel Owners Association Magazine (AAHOA) February 2015

  • Classes/Seminars Taught

    “Using Experts Effectively”- Rocky Mountain Association of Public Insurance Adjusters Seminar, July 8, 2016

    “Preexisting Damages v. Damages Caused By A Covered Peril -Windstorm Insurance Network Annual Conference, 2016

    “Policy Coverage and Exclusions – What Every PA Needs to Know” – FAPIA Conference, November 2015

    “Claims Principals and Practices For Adjusters” – First Party Claims Conference, October 2015

    “Insurers Errors In Adjusting The Claim / Gross Negligence Or Insurance Fraud” – AAJ Annual Summer Convention, July 2015

    The Mock Deposition” – FAPIA Conference, November 2014

    “Handling Attorneys, Accountants and Other Experts Request for Document Production – The Pros and Cons” -First Party Claims Conference, October 2014

    “Understanding Your Franchise Agreement” 
    -Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) Convention, Philidelphia, PA, 2014

    “Property Insurance Fraud From All Perspectives” – FAPIA 2013 Success Symposium, August 9 – 10, 2013

    “Business Interruption Claims – Challenges and Solutions” – AAJ Winter Annual Convention, 2013

    “Insurance Adjusters – How to Prepare For Your Deposition” – Windstorm Insurance Network Annual Conference, 2013

    Practical Lessons Public Adjusters can learn from recent litigation against insurers“- FAPIA Conference, November 2012

    “Knowing and Understanding Policy Language, Exclusions, What Does it Mean – My Loss is Not Covered” – First Party Claims Conference, 2012

    “Deposing the Insurance Company Representative” – AAJ Annual Summer Convention, 2012

    “Adjustment Techniques Never Stay the Same: How Recent Statutory and Legal Challenges Impact the Adjustment of Windstorm Claims in Florida” – Windstorm Insurance Network Annual Conference, 2012

    Insurance Fraud- What is it and where is it Found?” – First Party Claims Conference, October 2011

    “Insurance Fraud from all Perspectives” – Windstorm Insurance Network Annual Conference, 2011

    “The Proper Preparation and Presentation of an Insurance Claim: And When Has the Line Been Crossed to be Insurance Fraud by Insurer or Insured” – National Association of Catastrophe Adjusters Convention, 2011

    “Proven Strategies for Deposing the Claims Adjuster” – AAJ Annual Summer Conference, 2011

    “A Primer on Proving Roof Damage” – NAPIA Summer Meeting, 2011

    Proving Pattern and Practice of Improper Conduct by Insurance Companies” –Florida Justice Association Masters of Justice Insurance Seminar, October 2010

    “Proper Preparation of an Insurance Claim” – Windstorm Insurance Network Annual Conference, 2010

    “Insurance Fraud and Bad Faith: Legal Perspective” – First Party Claims Conference, 2010

    “Learning From Those on the Other Side of Claims Negotiations: Persuasive, Professional, and Ethical Techniques of Adjustment for the Policyholder” – FAPIA Summer Conference, 2010

    “Proofs of Loss, EUOs, & Requests for Documentation” – FAPIA Winter Conference, 2010

    “The Adjuster as an Expert Witness” – First Party Claims Conference, 2009

    “How Ethical and Knowledgeable Claims Handling Adds Value to Your Client’s Claim” – NAPIA Mid-Year Meeting, 2008

    “Insurance Claim Do’s and Don’ts” – FAPIA Summer Meeting, 2008

    “Where Danger Lurks: Discovery and File Documentation In Today’s Electronic World” – Windstorm Insurance Network Annual Conference, 2008

    “Insurance Law Legislative Changes and Case Law Update: Recent Insurance Legislation” – Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA) Annual Conference, 2006

    “Insurance Bad Faith” – The National Business Institute’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Seminar, 2006

    “Valued Policy Law: Life After Mierzwa” – Windstorm Insurance Network Annual Conference, 2006

    “Other Coverages and Incurred Coverage”
     – (Co-Author with Robert C. Groelle, Esq.) Windstorm Insurance Network Annual Conference, 2005

  • Honors & Awards

    Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, 2010

    Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated Attorney

  • Professional Associations & Memberships

    American Association for Justice, Insurance Law Member, 2001-2017

    American Association for Justice, Insurance Law Section Vice Chair, 2009-2010

    American Association for Justice, Insurance Law Section Chair Elect, 2010-2011

    American Association for Justice, Insurance Law Section Chair, 2011-2012

    American Association for Justice, Bad Faith Insurance Litigation Group Member, 2001-2017

    American Association for Justice, Bad Faith Litigation Section, Vice-Chair, 2005-2006

    American Association for Justice, Bad Faith Insurance Litigation Group Chair, 2007-2012

    American Association for Justice, Bad Faith Insurance Litigation Group Co-Chair, 2013-2016

    American Association for Justice, Bad Faith Litigation Section, Membership Director, 2007-2016

    Florida Justice Association, E.A.G.L.E.

    Hillsborough County Bar Association

    American Bar Association (Trial Lawyers Division)

    Windstorm Insurance Network, Member, 2003-present

    Windstorm Insurance Network, Member – Educational Committee, 2008-2009

    Windstorm Insurance Network, Wind Professional Designation Fellow Level, 2016

    Asian American Hotel Owners Associations (AAHOA) Associate Member

    National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) Associate Member

    Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA) Associate Member

    Georgia Association of Public Adjusters (GAPIA)

    Rock Mountain Association of Public Adjusters (RMAPIA)

    Texas Association of Public Adjusters (TAPIA)