Thomas M. Jones joined Cozen O’Connor in 1986. He is vice chair of the firm’s Global Insurance Department and serves as co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Electronic Discovery Practice Group. Tom has a national practice representing insurers in complex litigation, and is frequently retained as national coordinating counsel in high-profile insurance coverage disputes.
Tom has successfully represented insurers in the following types of matters: casualty, bad faith, construction defect, property, professional liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, environmental, e-discovery, fidelity and surety, medical device, cyber risk and privacy, health care, product liability, and toxic and other mass torts.
Tom’s experience in insurance coverage disputes is widely recognized. He has acted as lead counsel in many high-profile insurance coverage suits across the country. He is an active author in the insurance bar, publishing and lecturing frequently on issues of import to the insurance industry. Tom was recently nominated by his peers as one of the leading practitioners in the U.S. in the International Who's Who of Insurance and Reinsurance. He has also been selected as a “Super Lawyer” in Washington state from 2000-2014 and has been awarded the AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubble. Tom is Vice Chair of the Defense Research Institute’s E-Discovery Committee and serves on the electronic advisory panel for ARMA, International.
November 25, 2013
On November 12, 2013, in Quellos Group LLC v. Federal Insurance Company, the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of two excess professional liability insurers because the excess policies “require[d] exhaustion of the underlying liability limits by actual payment by the insurer before excess coverage is triggered ...” even though the insured “filled the gap” by paying the difference between the value of the settlement with the primary carrier and the primary policy's limits. This holding represents the latest in a growing line of cases finding that an insured cannot settle with an underlying insurer for less than policy limits, absorb the difference between the settlement value and the limits, and then trigger excess coverage.
August 27, 2013
Proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure may impact the management, scope and sanctions related to e-discovery in federal courts. The changes are aimed at encouraging early and active case management, ensuring e-discovery remains proportional to the action, and advancing cooperation among parties. If approved, these amendments to the civil rules will become effective on December 1, 2015.
January 22, 2013
In Washington State Department of Transportation v. James River Insurance Company, Wash. No. 876444 (January 17, 2013), the Washington Supreme Court declared binding arbitration agreements in insurance contracts void and unenforceable. The court explained that binding arbitration frustrates legislative intent to protect Washington policyholders' rights to sue insurers in Washington courts for coverage disputes over subjects located, resident or to be performed in Washington.
June 20, 2012
Drama stirred in the burgeoning e-discovery world on March 15, 2012, when Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck denied Plaintiffs’ request that he recuse himself from Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe, No. 11-CV-1279 (ALC) (AJP) (S.D. N.Y. June 15, 2012).
May 26, 2012
The Supreme Court in New York County recently dismissed a $20 million suit in a sanctioning order in response to the Plaintiff’s destruction of electronically stored information (“ESI”). In 915 Broadway Associates LLC v. Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP, 34 Misc. 3d 1229A (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2012), the court made clear that it would not tolerate spoliation of evidence and that it was willing to impose even the severest of sanctions.
April 21, 2011
Two Important Climate Change Cases Were Argued Before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Virginia Supreme Court on April 19, 2011 - Insurance Coverage Alert! - At issue in the Supreme Court case, American Electric Power Co. (AEP), et al. v. Connecticut, is whether states can use public nuisance laws to force coal-burning power plants to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.
December 07, 2010
U.S. Supreme Court Accepts Certiorari in an Important Climate Change Case - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On December 6, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted certiorari in American Electric Power v. Connecticut, a public nuisance case which may have broad implications on climate change litigation in the federal courts.
September 30, 2010
Maryland Federal Court Imposes Sanctions for Egregious eDiscovery Violations - Insurance Coverage Alert! - In Victor Stanley, Inc. v. Creative Pipe, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 93644 (2010 D. Maryland Sept. 9, 2010), the United States District Court for the District of Maryland imposed sanctions for some of the most egregious eDiscovery misconduct ever reported in any decision. The court entered a default judgment, awarded attorneys’ fees and costs allocable to spoliation of evidence. Additionally, the court directed one of the defendants to be “imprisoned for a period not to exceed two years”
April 19, 2010
Medicare Secondary Payer Update - CMS Delays Reporting Deadlines - Health Law Alert! - In December 2007, Congress amended the Medicare Secondary Payer law (MSP) through Section 111 of the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act (MMSEA). The amendment imposes mandatory reporting obligations on Responsible Reporting Entities (RREs), including liability, self-insured, no-fault and workers’ compensation insurers (collectively referred to as “non-Group Health Plans” or “Non-GHPs”) regarding settlements with Medicare beneficiaries.
February 02, 2010
Revisiting Zubulake: Discovery Sanctions in the e-Discovery Context - Commercial Litigation Alert! - On January 11, 2010, Judge Scheindlin, who authored the groundbreaking Zubulake opinions, issued a new opinion regarding sanctions in eDiscovery.1 Pension Comm. of the Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of Am. Scs., 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 1839 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 11, 2010), involved an action against defendants who were connected to a hedge fund that lost money. These defendants sought sanctions against the plaintiffs for their alleged failure to
properly preserve and produce documents,
January 27, 2010
E-Discovery: Revisiting Zubulake: Discovery Sanctions in the e-Discovery Context - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On January 11, 2010, Judge Scheindlin, who authored the groundbreaking Zubulake opinions, issued a new opinion regarding sanctions in eDiscovery.1 Pension Comm. of the Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of Am. Scs., 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 1839 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 11, 2010), involved an action against defendants who were connected to a hedge fund that lost money. These defendants sought sanctions against the plaintiffs for their alleged failure to properly preserve and produce documents,
January 12, 2010
Washington Supreme Court Affirms $8,000,000 Discovery Sanction - Insurance Coverage Alert! - In Magaña v. Hyundai Motor America, et al., 220 P.3d 191, (Wash. 2009), the Washington Supreme Court affirmed a default judgment against a car manufacturer for $8,000,000 for discovery violations. The Supreme Court’s holding was
supported by evidence of willful efforts to frustrate and undermine “truthful pretrial discovery efforts.”
December 15, 2009
In House Counsel Sanctioned for Failure to Issue Litigation Hold - Insurance Coverage Alert! - In Swofford v. Eslinger, ___ F. Supp. 2d ___, 2009 WL 3818593 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 28, 2009), the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida imposed severe sanctions for failure to preserve electronically stored information.
January 29, 2009
Winter 2009 - Insurance Coverage Observer -
October 02, 2008
Washington Federal District Court Holds Montrose Endorsement Bars Coverage for Property Damage Known to Insured Prior to Policy Inception - Insurance Coverage Alert! - In Trinity Universal Ins. Co. v. Northland Ins. Co., No. C07-0884-JCC (W.D. Wash. Sept. 23,2008), District Judge John Coughenour granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss claims for breach of contract and contribution based on the insured’s knowledge of the relevant damage prior to the inception of the policy period. Although the Court cited and relied upon a 2002 Washington Supreme Court case interpreting different policy language, Trinity Universal is
August 30, 2008
Summer 2008 - Insurance Coverage Observer -
February 26, 2008
Insurance Coverage Observer - Winter 2008 - Fifth Circuit Upholds Flood Exclusion in Katrina
Decision….,… While Louisiana’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds the Flood Exclusion Ambiguous, Application of Faulty Workmanship Exclusion Does not Require Showing of Proximate Cause, Louisiana's Value Policy Law Does not Apply When Total Loss Does not Result From a Covered Peril,Payment Under Law or Ordinance Coverage Required Showing of Actual Loss Incurred,Ensuing Loss Clause Do not Provide
January 01, 2008
Should an Insurer Institute a Litigation Hold to Preserve Electronic Data after Denying a Claim? - Tort Source: A Publication if the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section -
January 01, 2008
Formulating a Records Retention Policy - For The Defense - The cost of defending a lawsuit often increases due to the existence of old records--that is, records that need not exist if they had been properly destroyed under a formal records retention policy.
November 14, 2007
The Santa Ana Wind-Driven 2007 Southern California Wildfires: A First-Party Factual and Legal Analysis of the Santa Ana Wind-Driven Wildfires - Cozen & O'Connor Whitepaper -
November 09, 2007
Washington State Voters Approve New “Bad Faith” Act - Insurance Coverage Alert - On November 6, 2007, the voters of Washington State approved a new statutory basis for a wide range of so-called “insurer bad faith” claims. Under the “insurance fair conduct act” (“Act”), “penalties” may be imposed against insurers that are found to have “acted unreasonably” or that are found to have violated any one of at least 37 existing Washington Administrative Code rules adopted by
October 23, 2007
2007 Insurance Coverage Seminar - New York City - Seminar Presentation - Program Book - Speaker profiles, Practical Issues in Enforcement of Claims-Made Policies, Basics of D&O Insurance, Analyzing a Claim with Results Oriented to Your Best Interest in Spite of an Extra-Contractual Twist, "Food Fight!" Who Pays When Good Food Goes Bad?, Maritime Insurance: Recurring Coverage Issues, Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges
October 09, 2007
Oregon Federal Judge Rules that Cost of Preventing Future Contamination not a Covered Indemnity Cost - Insurance Coverage Alert! - An Oregon Federal Judge has adopted the Findings and Recommendations of an
Oregon Magistrate Judge and granted partial summary judgment ordering that an
insured is precluded from recovering as indemnity costs, $6.8 million in claimed costs
for an effluent pretreatment system to prevent future contamination from its operations
of a municipal sewer system.
May 01, 2007
Food Contamination Claims - For The Defense -
January 25, 2007
2007 E-Discovery Seminar - Philadelphia (Rittenhouse Hotel) - E-Discovery Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Are You Prepared to Comply with the New Rules - Accompanying seminar program book from the E-Discovery Seminar of 1/25/2007 at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia presented to The Insurance Society of Philadelphia CLE Seminar.
November 14, 2006
2006 E-Discovery Seminar - New York (Marriott Financial Center) - E-Discovery Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Are You Prepared? - Accompanying seminar program book from the E-Discovery Seminar of 1/25/2007 at the New York Marriott Financial Center, Manhattan.
March 01, 2006
What is a Pollutant in the Context of the Application of the Absolute and Total Pollution Exclusion? - Cozen & O'Connor Whitepaper - The scope of this paper is to address those situations where the court’s analysis of these
exclusions turned on the issue of whether the substance at issue is a “pollutant” or otherwise
qualified as pollution within the operative exclusion. Particular attention will be paid to the heavily litigated areas of carbon monoxide, lead paint, asbestos, biological contaminates,
chemical fumes, and welding rod fumes.