Should a Horizontal Exhaustion or Vertical Exhaustion Approach Apply?

April 2022

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Vertical Exhaustion and Horizontal Exhaustion

In “all sums” jurisdictions, like California and Washington, there is a coverage dispute as to whether a horizontal exhaustion or vertical exhaustion approach should apply. In his article for the American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Partner Timothy Thornton examines recent, significant developments in this coverage dispute.

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Michelle MacDonald Elevated to Partner

Congratulations to Michelle MacDonald on being named partner, effective January 1, 2022. Michelle has more than 20 years of litigation experience, notably in personal injury, construction defect, federal statutory claims, employment law, insurance law and governmental tort liability.


“Michelle is a talented lawyer and has proven herself time and again as a critical member of our team,” said Managing Partner Michael Eisenbaum. “She embodies the firm’s client-centric approach and commitment to providing unparalleled service. We are thrilled to welcome her to the partnership.”

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WEBINAR AVAILABLE: Excess Insurers’ Right to Challenge the Primary Insurers’ Claim Adjustment

Partner Nathan Lee was a co-panelist on the webinar “Excess Insurers’ Right to Challenge the Primary Insurers’ Claim Adjustment” discussing when prior rulings on coverage do not bind an excess insurer that follows form and when it can challenge the primary carrier’s coverage, settlement, and payment decisions, including the theory of “improper erosion.” CLE credit available in most states.

Purchase the Webinar
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Tulsa Race Massacre Fire Insurance Claims – A Mini Trial Experience

In 1921, mobs of White residents attacked Black residents, and destroyed homes and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, the “Black Wall Street.” Many of the properties were insured under fire policies, but the insurers denied coverage because of riot exclusions. Partner Timothy Thornton is speaking on the panel “Tulsa Race Massacre Fire Insurance Claims” which will conduct a mini trial to try the issue of whether the riot exclusion should apply, considering rules for interpretation of insurance policies, analyzing remote, proximate, intervening and concurrent cause issues.

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The Changing Face of the Auto Industry – Erin Tenner Attends NADA

Partner Erin Tenner attended National Automobile Dealers Association’s 2022 annual convention last month. Auto dealers are doing remarkably well notwithstanding all the challenges they have faced with COVID-19, supply chain disruptions and staffing shortages, not to mention the changing face of the auto industry as dealerships continue to consolidate and manufacturers continue to offer more and more electric vehicles while at the same time trying to maneuver their way to and through what will be the next big shift in the auto industry. It is yet to be seen what that will be, but that it will be, is certain. 

Uncertainty makes people who want to retain wealth nervous, and those who want to grow wealth, excited for new opportunities that always arise out of uncertainty. Auto dealerships are changing hands in record numbers, creating great opportunities for both buyers and sellers. If you need legal advice with buying or selling a dealership, contact Erin at 818-907-4071 or [email protected].

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West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar 2022

Managing Partner Michael Eisenbaum will be attending the West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar on May 12-13, 2022 at the Disneyland Resort Hotel in Anaheim.

Contact him at [email protected]

if you’d like to schedule a time to meet at the conference. Hope to see you there.

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These articles are necessarily general in nature and do not substitute for legal advice with respect to any particular case. Readers should consult with an attorney before taking any action affecting their interests.

Please Note: This article is necessarily general in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice with respect to any particular case. Readers should consult with an attorney before taking any action affecting their interests.