Butzel Long Secures Major Victory Against GuideOne Insurance

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Joseph Cosby - Butzel Long Litigator

Earlier this month, Butzel Long’s DC office litigator Joe Cosby won a hard fought victory for  Beulah Baptist Church, its community development affiliate, and officers of both entities in their long running insurance coverage litigation against GuideOne Insurance in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

In a ruling from the bench granting partial summary judgment and denying GuideOne’s cross-motion for summary judgment, Judge Peter J. Messitte ruled that GuideOne has a duty under its insurance policy to defend Beulah, its affiliate, and their officers against claims of breach of fiduciary duty, among others, that have spawned three separate lawsuits (one of which has already gone once to the U.S. Supreme Court) since 2014.  Butzel Long’s victory was so convincing that Judge Messitte told opposing counsel, on the record, that he was the most recalcitrant insurance coverage counsel the Judge had ever seen.

Now responsible for payment of up to $669,239 for past fees for services provided by the Butzel Long law firm, GuideOne must also pay additional costs and fees from their January invoice forward.  This case is now headed toward hearing on the fee petition, which is due February 12.

GuideOne is no stranger to bad faith actions actions.   In 2019, a federal judge in Pennsylvania decided to skip the jury and ruled based on the facts presented in briefings that GuideOne Insurance acted in bad faith by sitting on a church’s property damage claim for six months.

Luckily in this case Beulah Baptist Church was able to procure top notch legal representation and secure a victory.    Butzel Long is regarded as one of the top civil litigation firms in the country with offices in Michigan, New York, and Washington, DC.