Public Sector Coverage

Lugenbuhl provides both counseling and litigation services for insurance companies seeking assistance evaluating and handling the complexities of public-sector insurance coverage issues involving third-party claims arising under public-entity-management liability, public-entity general liability and law-enforcement liability coverage forms.

Counseling

Lugenbuhl frequently provides advice and counseling regarding insurance coverage under policies of insurance, including both occurrence-based and claims-made policies, issued to municipalities, counties, city, parish or county, and other local governments. Lugenbuhl attorneys regularly counsel insurers on a variety of public-sector liability coverage issues including takings and expropriation claims, inverse-condemnation claims, public-officials liability claims, public-sector negligence claims, law-enforcement-liability claims, and constitutional claims asserted under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Our counseling services include evaluating policy language, drafting insurance coverage opinions, and drafting reservation-of-rights letters on behalf of insurers.

Representative examples of the many issues for which Lugenbuhl has provided counseling include:

  • Whether a city employee or elected official is a protected person under the terms of the policy
  • The applicability of a wide variety of exclusions, including false material, complaint-or-enforcement action, and intentional act
  • The consequences of a policyholder providing late notice of a loss, including its effect on the insurer’s duty to reimburse pretender defense costs or indemnify the insured
  • Whether failure to properly maintain an easement resulting in erosion and expansion of the easement boundaries constitutes “property damage” within the meaning of a policy
  • Whether a board or commission is an additional insured under a policy issued to a parish or county government
  • Contribution and solidary liability issues

Litigation

We have extensive experience representing insurers in litigation involving public-sector insurance policy coverage issues. We regularly defend insurers against coverage claims brought by both policyholders and third-party claimants and file declaratory-judgment actions against policyholders and third-party claimants on behalf of insurers. Some representative examples of the wide variety of the public-sector insurance claims and issues that Lugenbuhl litigates include:

  • Excessive-use-of-force claims asserted against city and parish/county governments and police officers
  • Denial-of-substantive-due-process and detrimental-reliance claims asserted against a city government and planning commission
  • Claim by local-government-elected official for indemnity and reimbursement of defense costs arising out of ethics charges brought against the official
  • Negligence claims brought by landowners against parish police jury and port commission arising out of alleged failure to maintain the boundaries of an easement for a canal
  • Claim for failure to defend and indemnify by former police officer against city government, parish district attorney, city police department, and insurer arising out of civil judgment against the officer for false arrest and malicious prosecution
  • Takings-and-inverse-condemnation claims against city and parish governments
Key Contacts
Joseph P. Guichet

Joseph P. Guichet

New Orleans Office
Tina L. Kappen

Tina L. Kappen

Baton Rouge Office
Céleste D. Elliott

Céleste D. Elliott

New Orleans Office

The following list includes more Lugenbuhl attorneys who focus in Public Sector Coverage: