On January 4, 2017, the firm obtained a complete victory in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas for a client in an insurance coverage dispute. The Northern District of Texas granted summary judgment in favor of Hunton & Williams LLP’s client after years of contentious litigation, just as the parties were finalizing preparations for a lengthy jury trial.
The case arose out of a dispute involving insurance coverage for a lawsuit filed in Dallas Civil District Court. The underlying plaintiff and a bankruptcy trustee — backed by an undisclosed litigation investment firm — filed claims asserting that Hunton & Williams’ client owed the plaintiff, the bankruptcy estate, its creditors and their attorneys approximately $80 million to cover a state court lawsuit and judgment, plus interest, costs and four law firms’ attorneys’ fees. Shortly after Hunton & Williams was engaged to represent its client in the federal court insurance coverage litigation, discovery revealed that the underlying state court judgment for which the trustee sought coverage appeared to be a product of a sham trial and collusion among the underlying parties — which had resulted in the largest bench trial judgment in Texas in 2015.
Hunton & Williams vigorously litigated the insurance coverage action, as well as parallel suits in the Texas Supreme Court, Dallas Court of Appeals and US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The parties took dozens of depositions and traded dozens of motions, including disqualification and sanctions motions, and the issues cascaded toward what was expected to be a highly contentious jury trial. Just days before the trial setting, the Honorable David C. Godbey stayed the case pending a ruling on the parties’ summary judgment motions, and ultimately granted final summary judgment in favor of Hunton & Williams’ client.
Hunton & Williams’ multi-office litigation team included Walter Andrews, Sergio Oehninger, James Bowen, Greg Hesse, Neil Gilman, Paul Moura, Andrea DeField and Katherine Chambers.