Dan is a veteran of 15 of California’s 20 most destructive wildfires in history and has handled numerous other types of property loss and business interruption claims. Dan was driven to represent insurance policyholders during law school when an expensive pipe break claim in his own home devolved into a massive coverage dispute. Dan started his career by training at United Policyholders and is now a member of its Board of Directors. Dan is not only fluent in complex insurance claims but also with regard to agent/broker negligence, “underinsurance” and other professional negligence matters involving insurance. Dan also manages the firm’s nationwide life, health, disability, and ERISA practice. For the past several years, Dan has been bestowed the honor of being designated a Super Lawyer — Rising Star by his peers. He is also a frequent speaker to lawyers, policyholders, public adjusters, and other insurance-curious persons through numerous organizations. He was named San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association’s Outstanding New Lawyer in 2018 (although he disputes the “new” aspect).
To learn more about insurance claim disputes from Dan, read his valuable contributions to the Merlin Law Group Blog here.
- Designated a Super Lawyer — Rising Star
- 2018, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association’s Outstanding New Lawyer
Dan has handled and litigated hundreds of claims over his career resulting in multi-millions of dollars of recoveries for clients. Some of Dan’s successfully resolved claims and disputes include:
- After the Kincade Fire damaged and destroyed several family-owned wineries insured under a single policy, the insurer refused to pay and accused the insured of making misstatements on the application. Without litigation, the carrier was forced to withdraw its accusations and pay the claims.
- A leading wine science expert for wildfire claims lost his own winestock as a result of the Tubbs Fire. Due to his agent’s errors, the insurance company denied a significant amount of coverage. The insurance company ultimately settled and the case against the agent is currently set for trial.
- A historic comic company was forced to cancel its annual monster-themed convention when a wildfire damaged its headquarters. The insurance company dragged the claim out and eventually denied most of it. After litigating the case, the insurance company paid a significant settlement.
- The Woolsey Fire destroyed a sprawling family mansion owned by a fitness celebrity, and the insurer used an unlawful valuation method to severely underpay the claim. Without litigation, the insurer paid the claim in full.
- The Los Angeles Fire Department utilized a Malibu mansion to fight the Woolsey Fire, resulting in severe smoke contamination to the structure. The owner’s insurer underpaid the claim and referred the owner to an unqualified remediation company for kickbacks, which caused more damage. The insurer paid a significant sum to settle the matter in litigation.
- A former insurance agent was largely ignored by her insurer and former employer when nearby “fire tornadoes” from the Carr Fire inundated her home with smoke combustion byproducts. The insurer paid a significant sum to settle without litigation.
- After being diagnosed with toxic mold syndrome, a family discovered mold hidden behind the walls and under the floors of 75% of the house. The insurance company tried to deny coverage by misapplying exclusions. Without litigation, the carrier paid the full cost to remediate the home.
- Recent California wildfires exposed major problems with USAA’s implementation of a new software to estimate home replacement costs. The estimations were severely low. During and in some cases without litigation, numerous settlements were reached.
- A high-ranking engineer at a global firm lost his career due to the sudden onset of disabling back pain. After we disputed the insurer’s denial for a lack of medical evidence, the claim was paid in full.
- When a college student suffering from mental illness and medication mismanagement intentionally drove his car into property due to paranoia, his health insurer said inpatient treatment was not required. After representing the insured on appeal, the carrier paid the claim in full.
- After a large property insurance company failed to follow California depreciation laws, we certified a statewide class action and settled favorably to the class members.
- When a local market was destroyed by fire, the owners learned that their insurance agent reduced their limits significantly prior to the loss. The case resulted in a large settlement to the policyholders that allowed them to reopen with a larger store at a better location.
- A commercial shopping center was damaged by fire and the owners learned that their insurance agent made misrepresentations about fire sprinklers on the insurance application, resulting in a claim denial. A lawsuit resulted in a significant settlement from the insurance company and the insurance agent.
- After a young pastor’s family was denied life insurance benefits because the insurance company accused him of lying on his application, the insurance company paid a significant sum in litigation.
- Board of Directors, United Policyholders
University of California, Hastings College of the Law
San Francisco, California
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, California