Ward’s practice involves a broad spectrum of litigation, appellate representation and insurance services, including administrative proceedings.
Ward represents defendants in class action suits, insurers in insurance bad faith actions, and businesses in a variety of matters, primarily involving contractual disputes.
In class action and multi-district (MDL) matters, Ward primarily represents insurers in the defense of lawsuits arising out of claims handling and business practices. He has successfully defended to judgment matters including auto body labor rates, computer-based claims evaluation tools, total loss valuation, policy interpretation, and claims and business processes.
Ward has defended bad faith lawsuits since the day he passed the bar exam 30 years ago. He has successfully defended lawsuits involving property and casualty, commercial, and life insurance. He also defends agents and brokers in suits involving broker negligence, fraud and misrepresentation.
Ward’s appellate practice primarily involves the defense of insurers in actions arising out of business practices and claims handling. Ward has been retained on a number of occasions to prepare amicus briefing on issues affecting the insurance industry. He also represents businesses and individuals in various courts of appeal. His recent published decisions include:
Dameron Hospital Association v. AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Ins. Exchange, 74 Cal.App.5th 796 (2022)
- Decision affirming that hospital’s claims to allegedly assigned first party auto insurance benefits for emergency room services are limited to instances where the assignment was executed by a person with authority to assign benefits, the patient has no health insurance and the assignment involves solely medical payments coverage. UIM/UM benefits are not assignable as such assignment is contrary to public policy.
Janney v. CSAA Insurance Exchange, 70 Cal. App. 5th 374 (2021)
- Decision affirming that the insurer did not breach the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in providing replacement-cost estimate or with the delayed payment of a certain loss, and that the insurer paid the full (if not maximum) amount of benefits due to the insured under the homeowner policy
CSAA Insurance Exchange v. Hodroj, 72 Cal. App. 5th 272 (2021)
- Decision affirming formation of a binding and enforceable settlement, despite a proposed writing that contained terms different than those agreed upon
Mills v. AAA NCNU, 3 Cal. App. 5th 528 (2016)
- Decision affirming and defining proper scope of cancellation notice
Baldwin v. AAA NCNU, 1 Cal. App. 5th 545 (2016)
- Decision affirming diminution in value and total loss valuation controlled solely by terms of policy provisions
Dameron Hospital Association v. AAA NCNU, 229 Cal. App. 4th 549 (2014)
- Decision affirming that hospitals cannot “balance bill” insurers or insureds for treatment absent written agreement with health insurer
Prior to joining CHD, Ward represented state agencies, drafting statutes and regulations, responding to information requests, and representing them in litigated matters. Using this experience, Ward represents and advises insurers in administrative proceedings and litigation in California and throughout the country. This also includes drafting responses to inquiries from Insurance Commissioners and their agencies and preventing and challenging adverse findings.
In addition to representing insurers in administrative proceedings and litigation, Ward advises regarding pending legislation and regulations, including drafting submissions and revisions to them. Ward drafts and reviews claims and business practice guidelines in order to ensure regulatory compliance. He also navigates insurers into and through new economy issues such as user based insurance (UBI), transportation network companies (TNC), the sharing economy for vehicles and homes, and drones (UAV).