Douglas Lange Negotiates Subrogation Settlement Despite Waiver Provision and Other Obstacles in Missouri

Partner Douglas Lange successfully negotiated a favorable pre-trial settlement on behalf of a property owner in Kansas City, Missouri against two tenants that shared a space in the client’s warehouse.

One defendant stored brakes and other automobile equipment in their section of the warehouse. The other defendant stored used appliances, furniture and allegedly constructed a makeshift break area with several stored sleeper sofas in their section of the warehouse. The plaintiffs claimed that the fire was caused by the defendants’ employees who negligently discarded smoking materials while using the break area. The defendants alleged the fire was caused by faulty wiring, an overhead light fixture and the acts of each other’s employees.

During the litigation, the original lease with one of the defendants was discovered, which contained a waiver of subrogation provision. Shortly thereafter, the other defendant produced a certificate of insurance with limits significantly lower than the claimed damages and also produced documentation requiring the landlord and tenant to be co-insureds.  A motion for summary judgment premised on the waiver of subrogation provision was filed, the other defendant expressed their intention to file additional dispositive motions and its carrier advised they were defending pursuant to a reservation of rights.

The COVID-19 pandemic restricted the ability to conduct depositions and prevented the parties and their insurance representatives from attending an in-person mediation. Doug conducted a lengthy settlement conference call with counsel and their respective insurers during which the case was favorably resolved.

Doug has extensive experience in the areas of property subrogation, casualty, general and professional negligence.  He has resolved numerous six and seven-figure cases through direct negotiation, mediation and trial in both Federal and State courts throughout the country.

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