Cozen O’Connor: Cousineau, Maria Louise

Maria Louise Cousineau

Member

Los Angeles

(213) 892-7943

(213) 892-7999

Maria Louise (Ria) Cousineau concentrates her practice in complex insurance coverage matters and bad faith litigation, addressing issues in property and liability policies in both commercial and personal lines. She is admitted to the California and Nevada bars, as well as the federal courts in both states. Ria has defended insurer clients, through trial and appeal, in bad faith and coverage litigation in California, Nevada, and Oklahoma, and regularly counsels insurer clients on complex coverage questions. She has represented property insurers in numerous class actions in California. She is often asked to assist attorneys in other regions in preparing institutional cases and witnesses for deposition and trial.

Ria is a member of the ABA, the California and Nevada Bar Associations, the LA County Bar Association, DRI, the Loss Executives Association, and the National Association of Insurance Women. She volunteers as a mediator/arbitrator for numerous courts in Los Angeles County and regularly provides pro bono legal services to people of limited means.

Ria earned her J.D., cum laude, from Southwestern University. While in law school, she was an extern to the Honorable Arthur Alarcon, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. After graduating, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Charles Springer, Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court. She received a B.A. in Social Ecology from the University of California at Irvine.

Experience

Published Opinions

In re Ins. Installment Fee Cases, 211 Cal. App. 4th 1395, 150 Cal. Rptr. 3d 618 (CA Ct. App. 2012) [Class Action - service charges for monthly premium payments]

MRI Healthcare Center of Glendale, Inc. v. State Farm General Ins. Co., 187 Cal. App. 4th 766, 115 Cal. Rptr. 3d 27 (CA Ct. App. 2010) [Bad Faith case regarding dispute over physical Loss to property]

Koszdin v. State Comp. Ins. Fund, 186 Cal. App. 4th 480, 112 Cal. Rptr. 3d 494 (CA Ct. App. 2010) [Class action regarding claims for interest payments on workers’ compensation awards]

Benavides v. State Farm General Ins. Co., 136 Cal. App. 4th 1241 (CA Ct. App. 2006) [Challenge to a jury finding of negligence in absence of bad faith]

Mediterranean Constr. Co. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 66 Cal. App. 4th 257, 77 Cal. Rptr. 2d 781 (CA Ct. App. 1998) [Right to oral argument on summary judgment motion]

Orr v. Byers, 198 Cal. App. 3d 666, 224 Cal. Rptr. 13 (CA Ct. App. 1998) [Applying the doctrine of idem sonans in title insurance claim]

Hackethal v. Nat’l Casualty Co., 189 Cal. App. 3d 1102 (CA Ct. App. 1987) [Bad faith action on income reimbursement policy]

In re Couch, 80 B.R. 512, 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13046 (USDC SDCA 1987) [Discovery of reserves]

Unpublished Opinions

Sigelman v State Farm Gen Ins Co., 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7843, 2013 WL 5827707 (CA Ct. App. 2013) [Demolition of insured’s own property is not an accidental direct physical loss]

Century Surety Co. v. 350 W.A. LLC, 539 Fed. Appx. 749, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 17596 (9th Cir. 2013) [Policy rescission]

Imperial Tile & Stone v State Farm Gen. Ins. Co., 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1557, 2012 WL 676233 (CA Ct. App. 2012) [Bad faith claim arising out of employment practices exclusion in CGL)

Henriks v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 2010 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6574, 2010 WL 3245766 (CA Ct. App. 2010) (Anti-SLAPP statute]

House v State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.,  17 Fed. Appx. 684, 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 19894 (9th Cir. 2001) [Fraudulent submission in a business interruption claim]

News

Los Angeles and Santa Monica Attorneys Participates in Adoption Day

November 19, 2018

Los Angeles and Santa Monica offices finalized pro bono adoptions for six families.

Cozen O’Connor Adds to Depth of Los Angeles Office with Hiring of Alderfer and Cousineau

July 01, 2014

Cozen O’Connor continues to grow its presence in Los Angeles with the addition of Amy B. Alderfer and Maria Louise (Ria) Cousineau, who join as partners. Alderfer joins the Commercial Litigation Department and Cousineau joins the Global Insurance Department.

Publications and Appellate Decisions

A New Twist in the California Debate Over Allegedly Inadequate Replacement Cost Limits in Homeowners’ Policies [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

April 15, 2015

The April 8, 2015 decision of the California Court of Appeals in Ass’n. of Cal. Insurance Companies v. Jones, 2015 WL 1569669, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 298 (Cal.Ct.App., Apr. 8, 2015) held that the state’s Insurance Commissioner overstepped his authority in attempting to regulate the content and format...

Ninth Circuit Water Loss Case Provides Guidance On Bad Faith Standard for “Genuine Dispute” [Global Insurance Alert]

August 07, 2014

In a recent decision in the case of Pyramid Technologies, Inc. v. Hartford Casualty Ins. Co., 752 F.3d 807 (9th Cir., May 19, 2014), the 9th Circuit, relying on California law, upheld a grant of summary judgment dismissing the insured’s business interruption claim as speculative. In addition, by a split decision, it reversed in part and remanded in part the trial court’s exclusion of the testimony from the insured’s expert witnesses under Daubert standards. Finally, and most importantly, the Court of Appeals reversed a grant of summary judgment concerning the insurer’s “genuine dispute” defense, holding that bad faith was an issue for the jury under the facts of the case.

Industry Sectors

Education

  • Southwestern University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1984
  • University of California at Irvine, B.A., 1981
  • California
  • Nevada

Honorable Charles Springer, Supreme Court of Nevada

  • California Bar Association
  • Nevada Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • DRI
  • Loss Executives Association
  • National Association of Insurance Women