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Eric Lawton represents businesses and individuals in the resolution of complex civil litigation, with an emphasis on the representation of policyholders in insurance disputes. A seasoned advocate with over 35 years of experience, he has obtained litigation victories and successful settlements in a broad range of matters, including insurance coverage issues of bad faith, unfair business practices, duties to defend, indemnify and/or pay benefits, in matters involving a wide variety of coverage types, claims, and industries. These include policy types such as commercial general liability (CGL), directors and officers liability, professional liability, insurance broker liability, property and casualty, business interruption losses and workers compensation insurance. He provides advice and strategies that identify coverage opportunities, protect against unnecessary losses, and secure revenue from insurance policies through litigation and alternative means. He also represents clients in matters ranging from policy audits to risk assessments to litigation for coverage recoveries to complex resolution options that include strategic settlements and other options, as well as business litigation including contract disputes and business torts (fraud, unfair business practices and unfair competition).
Mr. Lawton’s focus is in providing the best result in the most cost-efficient manner to achieve his clients’ goals, often resolving disputes with insurers through negotiation, administrative actions, mediation and arbitration, as well as litigating matters in State and Federal Courts. He is experienced in bringing matters before the California Department of Insurance, often resulting in a quicker and less expensive resolution on behalf of the client.
Mr. Lawton’s practice has a particular emphasis on the representation of employers in disputes with workers compensation insurers involving classification codes, independent contractors, payroll audits, large deductible policies and violations of law in the manner of assessing premiums. He also litigates issues regarding deficient claims handling and improper reserving under a policy of workers' compensation insurance which have a substantial impact on an employer's premiums and insurability. Mr. Lawton advocates the employers’ right to be treated fairly and equitably by their insurer, and to sue their workers’ compensation insurance carrier for bad faith conduct which results in unjustifiable premium increases. He has helped California employers involved in such disputes save millions of dollars in workers' compensation insurance premiums and recover millions of dollars in damages.