Hope this finds you well. Thanks again for your excellent report. I am attaching the expert witness designation of our co-defendants’ for your review. Please let me know if these have any bearing on your opinions. They agree with you, so I doubt they will.
Thanks in advance,
Mississippi Law Firm
Darwin’s expert, Ty R. Sagalow, is qualified under Rule 702 by way of his experience and education. Mr. Sagalow has over 30 years’ experience as an insurance executive, and has served as both chief underwriting officer and general counsel at one of the world’s largest insurance companies. His diverse professional experience at a variety of companies in the insurance industry demonstrates a breadth of experience drafting and interpreting policies, making underwriting decisions, and claims handling….The Court concludes that Sagalow’s experience, training and education provided a sufficient foundation of reliability for his testimony. His specialized knowledge in the insurance field may be helpful to the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or determining facts in issue.
Los Angeles (March 9, 2017) — A Michigan state judge has granted summary judgment to a policyholder against an AIG Unit holding that the AIG unit cannot recover $19 million in defense and settlement it paid on behalf of its insured, AlixPartner LLP, finding that the insured properly reported the claim to the insurer.
Defendant presents the expert report of Ty Sagalow who stated that plaintiff [insurance carrier] chose not to include any “related claims” or “related wrongful acts” provisions in the relevant policies…Since the “related claims” or “related wrongful act” language is absent from the policy, Plaintiff is unable to avoid liability…the Court grants Defendant’s [Policyholder] motion for summary disposition in its entirety…” (Decision at page 6 and 10)(March 3, 2017)
Law Firm representing Insured: Anderson,Kill
Issue: Meaning of phrase “claims made”
Expert retained by Insured: Ty R.Sagalow
Just to let you know that last week, for the first time since the inception of this litigation, opposing counsel asked that I submit a demand for settlement…its timing immediately following your deposition is not lost on me!
Mississippi Mid-sized Law Firm
I wanted to let you know I retained Ty Sagalow to act as an expert on the broker malpractice case I am handling. He did a first class report and identified an issue that I had not thought of before. His opinion on that issue could be a game changer in favor of the Firm client. Thank you for recommending him.
We are pleased to to report that our firm has concluded that Ty Sagalow was our most helpful expert witness in our successful $8.7 million policyholder victory against the insurer of our client, Illinois Agricultural Association.
Our client sought insurance coverage under a management protection policy for an arbitration award entered in favor of former insurance agents. Defendant insurance company denied coverage, without considering all coverages in the policy.
On summary judgment, the court held that the arbitration award was covered by the policy. The court awarded $7 million, plus interest totaling $8,666,293. Thank-you Ty for your expert services to us and our client.
I have known Ty for over 20 years both as a colleague and a good friend. We have worked side by side on many projects both at AIG and at Zurich. Ty possesses the greatest attributes of a chief underwriting officer, chief innovation officer and general counsel all rolled into one. He is a great leader who has the unique ability to take an idea and translate into reality providing new revenue streams for any company fortunate enough to hire him. He has my highest recommendation.
Ty, Thanks again for the expert declaration. Great job! Really enjoyed this project with you. Most appreciated.
California Policyholder Law Firm
The Federal District Court was asked to rule on reasonableness of the Mr. Sagalow’s fees. In a decision taking into consideration 5 factors (the witness’s area of expertise, education and training, prevailing rates for other comparable experts, nature and complexity of the responses, fees traditional charged by the expert on related matters and cost of living in particular geographic area), the Court held in favor of Mr. Sagalow’s fees ($700/hr), reasoning as follows:
[In this case, counsel representing the party seeking Mr. Sagalow’s expert deposition has argued] that Sagalow’s fees are “unreasonable” and that “Sagalow’s unreasonable fee schedule should be reduced to an amount consistent with the hourly rates charged by other expert witnesses designated in this case… and that his preparation time be limited to ½ of his deposition time”. For a fee to be reasonable, ‘there must be some reasonable relationship between the services rendered and the remuneration to which the expert is entitled.” (Decision at pages 1,2)
Applying the  factors in this case, the court notes that Mr. Sagalow is a graduate of Georgetown University and subsequently received an L.L.M from New York University School of Law. He also practices law and held numerous positions in the insurance industry, such as chief underwriter for two large insurance companies, as well as serving as general counsel for AIG Insurance and National Union Insurance Company.’ (Decision at page 3)
Having applied the factors to this matter, the court holds that Sagalow’s hourly rate is not unreasonable and [opposing party] shall compensate Sagalow at this rate, $700/hr, for the time he actually spends attending the deposition. Furthermore, the courts holds that [opposing party] shall also be liable for Sagalow’s preparation time, if any, provided that such time is reasonable.” (Decision at page 4)
Though Sagalow’s hourly rate was found reasonable under the factors discussed, the court would point out that this is not a case where one party’s expert was billing the opposing part at an inflated rate. Rather [the party retaining Sagalow] has been paying Sagalow $700.00 hourly rate since he was first retained as an expert. Therefore, fairness dictates that [opposing party] should not be allowed to benefit from [retaining party’s] discovery at a discounted price.” (Decision at pages 4-5)
Note: Travel time was not an issue in this case.
For a copy of the full decision, click here.
David a. Sanders
United States District Court
Northern District of Mississippi
September 5, 2015
Fantastic job on your report! I reviewed it early yesterday morning when we were preparing to serve our discovery responses and had no changes or questions. I was really impressed with your thorough analysis of the issues of the case, and you raised some strong arguments that I had not considered or delved deeply into yet. I really appreciate your perspective and work on this matter.
National Carrier Law Firm