Susannah Carr is a Partner in the firm’s Seattle office and member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Susannah’s practice focuses on insurance recovery, representing policyholders in disputes against their insurance companies. She represents a wide variety of policyholders, including Fortune 500 companies, local businesses, municipal governments, and individuals. She is experienced with a full range of policies, such as commercial general liability, management liability/D&O, employment practices liability, professional liability, business property, and homeowners. Susannah has successfully obtained numerous six- and seven-figure recoveries for her clients.
Susannah is among the most experienced policyholder lawyers in the Northwest for complex “long tail” claims—securing coverage for environmental property damage and asbestos bodily injury liabilities resulting from business operations occurring decades ago. She has assisted her clients in securing tens of millions of dollars in insurance proceeds for such losses, often after leading an “insurance archaeology” effort resulting in the discovery and reconstruction of previously missing policies.
Before entering private practice, Susannah served as clerk to the Hon. Anne L. Ellington of the Washington State Court of Appeals. She is licensed to practice in Washington and California.
- Covid-19 business interruption claims. Representation of Quinault Beach Resort & Casino and PCI Gaming Authority seeking recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars in losses due to Covid-19 business closures.
- Pacific Northwest School Districts. Susannah represents numerous Seattle-area school districts facing significant potential liability in securing insurance coverage. Her clients’ insurance recoveries range from several hundred thousand dollars to $40 million.
- Ride the Ducks of Seattle, LLC. Susannah represented Ride the Ducks of Seattle, LLC in its insurance claim arising out of the tragic accident in 2015 on the Aurora Bridge. She worked closely with counsel for the duck boat manufacturer, and together they secured more than $170 million in funds to compensate victims.
- National Union Fire Insurance Company v. Expedia, Inc. Susannah successfully defended Expedia, Inc. in a lawsuit filed by its insurer, who claimed it did not have to cover Expedia for a class-action lawsuit. Susannah and her team defeated the insurer’s motion for summary judgment, and Expedia secured insurance coverage for the underlying litigation.
- Lost insurance policy litigation. Susannah represented a long-time Pacific Northwest business in a lawsuit against its insurance company, who refused to acknowledge it had issued a valuable insurance policy to the business. The insurer eventually agreed a policy had been issued, and the business will be able to claim under the policy going forward.
- Precedent-setting environmental insurance recovery case – Gull Industries, a longtime Seattle-based gasoline distributor, faced environmental clean-up obligations for 220 gas stations. When Gull sought to recover the cost of these clean-ups, which it undertook voluntarily, from various insurers under its CGL policies, the insurers denied the claims. Frank Cordell and Susannah Carr (along with co-counsel at Marten Law) engaged in a multi-phase case to recover the insurance proceeds and secured a jury verdict in favor of Gull.
- Long-tail coverage counsel to Weyerhaeuser Company – Frank Cordell and Susannah Carr represented the company in litigation against the London Market, AIG, and other insurers over coverage for liability arising out of the Kalamazoo River Superfund Site, one of the largest and most costly Superfund sites in history.
Professional & Civic Involvement
- Legal Employers Advancing Diversity in Washington (LEAD-WA), Board of Directors, 2019 – present
- Sound Experience, Board of Directors, 2008 – 2013
- Legal Voice, Assisted Reproductive Technologies Work Group, 2008 – 2011
- Thistle Class Sailing Association, Member
Publications & Presentations
- Author, Washington Chapter, “Reasonable Expectations: Interpreting Insurance Policies in Common Law Jurisdictions,” American Bar Association, 2016
- Co-Author, “Insurance Broker and Agent Liability – Law and Strategy Considerations From the Insured’s Perspective,” Washington State Association for Justice – 35th Annual Insurance Law Conference
- Co-Author, Washington State Bar Association Real Property Deskbook, Chap. 134, “Insurance Issues for the Insured,” 2013 and 2017
- Author, Washington State Bar Association Civil Procedure Deskbook, Rule 27, “Perpetuation of Testimony,” 3d ed. 2014
- Author, “Goodbye Economic Loss, Hello Independent Duty,” 29.9 King County Bar Bulletin, May 2011
- Author, “Title IX: An Opportunity to Level the Olympic Playing Field,” 19.1 Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law 149, 2009
- Author, “Invisible Actors: Genetic Testing and Genetic Discrimination in the Workplace,” 30 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 1, 2007
- Speaker and Co-Author, Blast From the Past: Lost Policies and Long-Tail Environmental/Asbestos Claims, 2020 ABA Insurance Coverage Committee Conference, Tucson, AZ
- Speaker, #MeToo But Not You: Insurance Coverage for #MeToo Claims, 2019 DRI Retail and Hospitality Conference, Orlando, FL
- Speaker, #MeToo But Not You: Coordinating #MeToo Internal Investigations and Civil Lawsuits with Insurance Coverage, 2018 Lightfoot White Collar Institute, Birmingham, AL
- Speaker, Number of Occurrences, 2017 Insurance in the Construction Industry, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, The A to Z Guide to the London Market: Navigating the Underwriting and Claims Processes, 2016 ABA Insurance Coverage Mid-Year Program, Phoenix, AZ
- Speaker, Litigating the Insurance Claim and Bad Faith Case, 2015 and 2016 Comprehensive Insurance Law Conferences, Seattle, WA
Outside the office, Susannah is happiest spending time with her family and racing her 18-foot sailboat on Lake Washington.