Cozen O’Connor: Clemenson, Christopher S.

Christopher S. Clemenson

Member

Denver

(720) 479-3894

(720) 479-3890

Christopher S. Clemenson advises his insurance company clients on first-party and third-party coverage matters, including claims of insurance bad faith.  He has a wide range of experience with claims under general liability policies, professional liability policies, commercial property policies, builders’ risk policies and excess and surplus lines insurance.  He advises clients on a variety of coverage issues, including those involving: construction defects; professional liability; “Coverage B” claims, including claims for patent, trademark and trade name infringement; clergy misconduct; business interruption claims; and environmental contamination.  Chris also counsels excess insurers regarding their unique rights and obligations in situations involving numerous insureds and claimants. 

Chris also has significant experience in complex litigation, including general commercial litigation, construction defect litigation, personal injury defense (including product and premises liability), and defense of governmental and religious institutions.  Working closely with his clients, he emphasizes early factual investigation and assessment of claims in order to assess risks and develop innovative strategies to minimize those risks and achieve positive case results. While experienced in mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, Chris vigorously defends his clients and has achieved positive jury verdicts and summary judgments dismissals in both state and federal courts. 

Chris has been named to The Best Lawyers in America in the category of Insurance Law and has been awarded the AV Preeminent® Peer Review rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

Chris received his undergraduate degree from the University of Denver in 1993, and his law degree from the University of Washington in 1997.

Away from work, he enjoys golfing and coaching sports for his two sons.

Experience

Publications

Colorado Supreme Court: Appraisers May Not Advocate for Party Retaining Them [Alert]

July 08, 2019

Christopher S. Clemenson and John Daly discuss the instructions from the Colorado Supreme Court and how it may create a number of new disputes between insurers and their insureds during, and after, the appraisal process.

Colorado Supreme Court Limits Use of Extrinsic Evidence and Reasonable Expectations Doctrine [Global Insurance Alert]

June 23, 2016

Chris Clemenson and John Daly discuss a Colorado Supreme Court decision holding that extrinsic evidence can only be used to interpret ambiguous policy language, not unambiguous policy language.

Are Consent Judgments in Colorado Dead? Colorado Strictly Enforces “No Voluntary Payments” Clause [Global Insurance Alert]

April 26, 2016

Christopher S. Clemenson and John Daly discuss Monday's decision by the Colorado Supreme Court in Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. v. Stresscon Co. holding that an insurer does not need to show prejudice to enforce a “no-voluntary-payments” provision.

Colorado: No Prejudice Required to Enforce Date-Certain Notice Requirements in Claims-Made Policies [Global Insurance Alert]

February 19, 2015

In Colorado, under the notice-prejudice rule, an insured who gives late notice of a claim to his or her liability insurer does not lose coverage benefits unless the insurer proves that the late notice prejudiced its interests. Friedland v. Travelers Indem. Co., 105 P.3d 639, 643 (Colo. 2005). On February 17, 2015, in response to certified question of law from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court held that the notice-prejudice rule does not apply to date-certain notice requirements in claims-made policies. Craft v. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co., Case No. 14SA43. Rather, date-certain notice requirements will be enforced as written.

Courts Continue to Split on Whether Defense Obligation Is a First Party Benefit Under Colorado Law, but Agree Duty to Defend Is a Joint and Several Obligation [Global Insurance Alert]

March 19, 2013

In D.R. Horton, Inc.—Denver v. Mountain States Mutual Casualty Co., No. 12-cv-01080 (February 25, 2013), another U.S. District Court judge for the District of Colorado determined a liability insured seeking defense costs from its insurer may qualify as a “first-party claimant” for purposes of Colorado’s Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act, potentially entitling the insured to recover unpaid defense costs, attorneys’ fees in prosecuting the recovery action and two times the unpaid defense costs as a penalty.

Colorado Statute Concerning Insurance for Construction Defects Does Not Apply Retroactively, but Property Damage Caused by Poor Workmanship is an Occurrence [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

November 07, 2011

Colorado Statute Concerning Insurance for Construction Defects Does Not Apply Retroactively, but Property Damage Caused by Poor Workmanship is an Occurrence - Insurance Coverage Alert! - 10th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a Colorado statute regarding insurance for construction defects does not apply retroactively, but that any property damage caused by poor workmanship may nevertheless qualify as an “occurrence” so long as the resulting damage is to nondefective property. Greystone Const., Inc. v. National Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Case No. 09-1412 (10th Cir. Nov. 1, 2011).

Colorado Enacts Statute Retroactively Changing Duties of Insurers with Respect to Construction Defect Claims [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

June 01, 2010

Colorado Enacts Statute Retroactively Changing Duties of Insurers with Respect to Construction Defect Claims - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On May 21, 2010, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed into law HB 10-1394, a bill which retroactively changes the manner in which insurers must handle and assess construction defect claims against construction professionals. It may also change how policies issued to Colorado construction professionals are underwritten. The bill was enacted with a Safety Clause, making it immediately effective.

Colorado Legislature Poised to Alter Landscape of Insurance Coverage for Construction Defects [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

May 03, 2010

Colorado Legislature Poised to Alter Landscape of Insurance Coverage for Construction Defects - Insurance Coverage Alert! - Later this week the Colorado State Legislature is expected to pass HB 1394, a bill that will dramatically change the insurance coverage available for construction professionals arising out of faulty construction. The stated purpose of HB 1394 is to reverse General Security Indem. Co. of America v. Mountain States Mut. Cas. Co., 205 P.3d 529 (Colo. App. 2009), which held that claims for damages arising from poor workmanship, standing alone, do not allege an accident that constitutes a

Winter 2010 [Insurance Coverage Observer]

February 21, 2010

Winter 2010 - Insurance Coverage Observer -

First-Party Insurance: Colorado Supreme Court to Address Anti-Concurrent Causation Provision [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

June 02, 2009

First-Party Insurance: Colorado Supreme Court to Address Anti-Concurrent Causation Provision - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On May 26, 2009, the Colorado Supreme Court agreed
to hear arguments as to whether an anti-concurrent
causation provision applied to exclude recovery under a first-party insurance policy where a jury found that the loss was caused 90% by a covered peril and 10% by an excluded peril. See, Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency v. Northfield Ins. Co. (Colorado Supreme Court Case No. 08SC907,
May 26, 2009) (“CIRSA”).

Construction Defects - Colorado Court of Appeals Rules Faulty Workmanship is Not an Occurrence [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

March 17, 2009

Construction Defects - Colorado Court of Appeals Rules Faulty Workmanship is Not an Occurrence - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On February 19, 2009, the Colorado Court of Appeals
held that a claim for damages arising from poor
workmanship, standing alone, does not allege an
accident that constitutes an occurrence, regardless of the
underlying legal theory pled. General Security Indemnity
Company of AZ v. Mountain States Mutual Cas. Co. (Case Nos.
CA07CA2291 & 07CA2292, February 19, 2009).

Winter 2009 [Insurance Coverage Observer]

January 29, 2009

In this issue, we identify key coverage developments from the year 2008. We summarize recent court decisions dealing with coverage for toxic torts, environmental losses, construction defect and property losses. We also address new decisions in the areas of insolvency and reinsurance.

U.S District Court: Nevada Recognizes Right of Insurer to Seek Reimbursement For Settling Uncovered Claims [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

June 02, 2008

U.S District Court: Nevada Recognizes Right of Insurer to Seek Reimbursement For Settling Uncovered Claims - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On April 24, 2008, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada recognized
the right of an insurance company who settled all claims against its insured to seek
reimbursement of those sums attributable to uncovered claims. See Great American Ins.
Co. of New York v. Vegas Const. Co., Inc., (D. Nev., Case No. 2:06-cv-00911-BES-PAL,
2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37495).

Colorado Legislature Passes 'Insurance Accountability Act' [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

May 28, 2008

Colorado Legislature Passes 'Insurance Accountability Act' - Insurance Coverage Alert! - Earlier this month, the Colorado Senate passed House Bill 1047, also known as the “Insurance Accountability Act” (the “Act”), which “prohibits an insurer from unreasonably
delaying or denying a claim for payment of benefits,” and increases penalties for insurance
carriers that fail to pay valid claims. The Governor is expected to sign the Act into law by
the end of the month, and the Act will become effective August 6, 2008, unless a peoples’
referendum petition is filed.

Colorado Supreme Court Leaves Door Open for Enforcement of Pretrial Stipulated Judgments against Liability Insurers; Court also Reaffirms that Prejudgment Interest Awarded for Personal Injury Claims Reduces Limits, and is not a Supplementary Payment [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

April 07, 2008

Colorado Supreme Court Leaves Door Open for Enforcement of Pretrial Stipulated Judgments against Liability Insurers; Court also Reaffirms that Prejudgment Interest Awarded for Personal Injury Claims Reduces Limits, and is not a Supplementary Payment - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On March 24, 2008, the Colorado Supreme Court left the door open for plaintiffs and insured-defendants to enter into pretrial stipulated judgments, and then to enforce those stipulated judgments against the insured-defendant’s liability insurer. Historically, Colorado
Courts of Appeals have refused to enforce pretrial stipulated judgments against insurers
because of concerns that such judgments may not

Insurance Coverage Observer [Winter 2008]

February 26, 2008

In this issue, we consider a number of emerging issues and also identify key developments in coverage in 2007. We summarize new court decisions dealing with toxic torts, environmental coverage, insolvency and regulatory issues, and construction defect. We feature a key construction defect coverage case in Illinois with important implications. We address global warming in the context of directors with officers liability coverage. Finally, we discuss the emerging areas of fax blast and food contamination, and the impact of the reauthorization of TRIA.

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 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 -

Colorado Court of Appeals Holds [Insurance Coverage Alert - 8/15/2007]

August 15, 2007

Colorado Court of Appeals Holds - Insurance Coverage Alert - 8/15/2007 - On August 9, 2007, the Colorado Court of Appeals held that a CG 20 10 (10/93)endorsement does not provide coverage to a general contractor for claims arising out of its subcontractor’s completed work or operations. Weitz Company, LLC v. Mid-Century Insurance Company, Colo. Ct. App., Case No. 06CA0163 (August 9, 2007).
In Weitz, a general contractor (Weitz) subcontracted with a mechanical subcontractor
for work on an office building it was constructing.

The Tenth Circuit Holds That Faulty Workmanship is not a Covered Event and Does Not Constitute Property Damage Under Colorado Law [Insurance Coverage Alert - 03/04/07]

March 04, 2007

The Tenth Circuit Holds That Faulty Workmanship is not a Covered Event and Does Not Constitute Property Damage Under Colorado Law - Insurance Coverage Alert - 03/04/07 - On February 26, 2007, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the United States District Court for the District of Colorado’s grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurer on the ground that poor workmanship by subcontractors,
standing alone, was not a covered event that constituted property damage under the contractor’s CGL policy. Adair Group, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co., 2007 WL 575983 (10th Cir. February 26, 2007).

Colorado Supreme Court Restricts Browder and Reverses Judgment in Favor of Insured [Insurance Coverage Alert - 01/12/07]

January 13, 2007

Colorado Supreme Court Restricts Browder and Reverses Judgment in Favor of Insured - Insurance Coverage Alert - 01/12/07 - On January 8, 2007, the Colorado Supreme Court reversed a division of the Court of Appeals
and held that third-party purchasers need not own their homes during an applicable policy period in order to
recover.

Colorado Court of Appeals Refuses to Follow Browder [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

July 27, 2006

Colorado Court of Appeals Refuses to Follow Browder - Insurance Coverage Alert! -

Events & Seminars

Past Events

CPCU Society 2009 Annual Meeting

September 01, 2009 - Denver, CO

Colorado Coverage & Current Trends

October 17, 2008 - Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Insurance Coverage Law Update

September 26, 2007 - Cherry Hill, NJ

Case Law Updates: Property Claims

March 15, 2006 - Colorado Springs, CO

Industry Sectors

Education

  • University of Washington, J.D., 1997
  • University of Denver, B.S.B.A., 1993
  • Colorado
  • Washington
  • Colorado Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Colorado
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court -- Western District of Washington
  • Washington Supreme Court
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Washington State Bar Association