Alleged Legal Negligence in a Construction Site Injury Insurance Claim

This case study explores a construction site injury incident where the injured worker's law firm allegedly failed to notify them about the exhaustion of their general liability insurance policy, costing them the value of their excess policy.

ByZach Barreto


Published on February 6, 2024

Injured construction worker

Case Overview

This case study delves into an incident involving a construction worker who sustained injuries on-site. The employer had procured two insurance policies to cover such eventualities - a primary General Liability Insurance policy with coverage up to $1 million, and a secondary Excess policy valued at $5 million.

The General Liability policy stipulated that notification must be given within a reasonable timeframe once the insured party was aware of any impending legal action. Conversely, the Excess policy required notice when it became evident that the primary policy would be exhausted. However, the law firm representing the injured worker allegedly failed to inform them about the exhaustion of their general liability policy. This oversight resulted in the inability to trigger the excess policy.

It is claimed that this negligence by the law firm cost the injured party the value of the excess policy. An expert in forensic economics has been sought to review this case and provide an opinion on damages before mid-April 2023.

Questions to the Forensic Economics expert and their responses


Could you describe your professional background in forensic economics, particularly as it pertains to evaluating insurance policy losses?

I am a former tenured Professor of Finance at a prestigious institute in New York and previously served as a Professor of Economics and Finance at another university in New Haven. I hold a Ph.D. in Economics from Georgetown University. Since 1988, I've been working on assignments for attorneys involving damage computations.


Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If yes, could you elaborate?

Yes, I have handled similar cases where allegations were made that a law firm's actions resulted in a party being unable to recover economic damages. In one such case, I prepared an analysis of economic loss, specifically earnings loss, that the plaintiff could have potentially recovered. In another instance, I computed investment returns on a delayed award due to a lawyer's actions.

About the expert

This expert boasts over three decades of experience in forensic economics, with a strong academic background including a BA in Economics and Mathematics from a prestigious university, as well as an MA and PhD in Economics from Georgetown University. They have held significant roles such as a research analyst for the U.S. Department of Justice, manager of regulatory economics at a major telephone company, department chair of economics and finance at a university, and professor and director of risk management at an institute of technology. Currently, they serve as the principal of a forensic economics consultancy firm and are active members of several professional organizations, underscoring their relevance to this case study.

Expert headshot



About the author

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto is a distinguished professional in the legal industry, currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Research at the Expert Institute. With a deep understanding of a broad range of legal practice areas, Zach's expertise encompasses personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, defective products, and many other sectors. His skills are particularly evident in handling complex litigation matters, including high-profile cases like the Opioids litigation, NFL Concussion Litigation, California Wildfires, 3M earplugs, Elmiron, Transvaginal Mesh, NFL Concussion Litigation, Roundup, Camp Lejeune, Hernia Mesh, IVC filters, Paraquat, Paragard, Talcum Powder, Zantac, and many others.

Under his leadership, the Expert Institute’s research team has expanded impressively from a single member to a robust team of 100 professionals over the last decade. This growth reflects his ability to navigate the intricate and demanding landscape of legal research and expert recruitment effectively. Zach has been instrumental in working on nationally significant litigation matters, including cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toxic chemical exposure, and wrongful death, among others.

At the Expert Institute, Zach is responsible for managing all aspects of the research department and developing strategic institutional relationships. He plays a key role in equipping attorneys for success through expert consulting, case management, strategic research, and expert due diligence provided by the Institute’s cloud-based legal services platform, Expert iQ.

Educationally, Zach holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and European History from Vanderbilt University.

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