Dale L. Kingman, a partner with Gordon Tilden Thomas & Cordell LLP, is a trial lawyer who focuses his practice on the resolution of complex insurance coverage disputes on behalf of policyholders. Known for his experience and familiarity with property insurance throughout the United States, Dale has been retained by large real estate owners and developers, construction companies, multi-national and multi-state hospitality companies, transportation enterprises, and agricultural interests, among other clients. In addition, he handles select commercial disputes, especially within the construction industry.
Dale has been a litigator for 40 years. He has tried to bench or jury, or arbitrated, more than 45 matters in Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Florida, and the District of Columbia. Because of his nationally recognized knowledge of property insurance, including "All Risk," Builder's Risk, Commercial Crime and Cyber Risk, and Product Recall/Contamination, Dale has been retained for matters in 35 states, plus the District of Columbia.
Dale is a Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel, was named the 2016 Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America, and has been recognized by Super Lawyer Magazine since 2003 and Top 100 since 2010. He is a frequent speaker at local and national insurance seminars and has written and presented dozens of articles and papers pertaining to insurance recovery issues.
Dale also is an accomplished and sought-after mediator and has served as mediator in more than 1,500 cases over the past 25 years. His experience includes resolution of disputes relating to insurance coverage, intellectual property, product liability, real property, commercial interests, and construction defect and contract claims. He is a panel member of the American Arbitration Association.
Tunnel boring machine breaks down, insurers refusing to pay
The $3.1 billion Seattle tunnel was designed to replace the downtown Alaskan Way Viaduct after it was damaged in a 2001 earthquake. The “Bertha” tunnel-boring machine sustained physical damage far beneath the surface, and a recovery shaft was drilled so that it could be repaired. A consortium of insurance companies denied coverage to Seattle Tunnel Partners’ (STP) claims under a Builder’s Risk Policy. STP, the contractor building the SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project in Seattle, is seeking coverage from its property insurers for damage to the project and the tunnel-boring machine.
In 2015, STP filed a lawsuit seeking recovery of policy proceeds. Along with co-counsel, GTTC lawyers Dale Kingman, Matthew Pierce, and Greg Pendleton represent STP in this ongoing massive insurance recovery case. Dale represented STP in a vigorous court battle over where the insurance dispute was to be decided. Over months of litigation, he helped STP’s litigation team defeat the insurers’ numerous attempts – at both the Superior Court and appellate levels – to move the dispute to New York. Following three years of litigation, the case is now on appeal.
D.C. Court rules for building owner in construction defect dispute
A large, multi-employer pension fund with significant real estate holders was involved in a multi-million dollar construction defect suit involving extensive water damage in a building it owned in Washington, D.C. Dale Kingman and Haley Krug represented the pension fund in complex, multi-party litigation that ended in a three-month trial. The court awarded significant damages to repair leaks and resulting water damage throughout the building. Dale and Haley also obtained substantial recoveries for the owners through pre-trial settlements, as well as a significant portion of the client's attorney fees.
Defending an investment advisor in “bet the company” bad faith case
An investment advisor was sued for misrepresentation and violation of the securities act. When the investment advisor turned to its insurer to cover the cost of defending against these claims, the insurer denied coverage. Without coverage, the cost of defending against these claims would put this company out of business.
During the trial of the underlying case, Dale Kingman successfully secured defense costs – allowing the company to defend itself. After the client prevailed in defense of the underlying claims, and following a three-week arbitration hearing, he secured a significant recovery against the insurer for bad faith and the client’s attorney fees. In addition, he secured recovery of all costs and attorney fees incurred in the bad faith action.
Insurance recovery helps businesses survive after hurricane damage
Following severe hurricane damage in the Southeast in 2004 and 2005, Dale Kingman assisted hotel companies, commercial property owners and condominium associations in the recovery of more than $150 million in property insurance from their respective insurers.
After four months of litigation, insurer accepts coverage for business interruption claim
Following severe storm damage to one of its processing facilities, a large family-owned food company sought business interruption coverage under a commercial property policy. The company’s insurer claimed that, when the property was added to the policy as an insured location, no extra premium had been paid. In fact, the business interruption coverage was part of a blanket “sublimit” which was not changed with the addition of the new location.
With the assistance of Dale Kingman and Matthew Pierce, the company asserted claims against its insurer for breach of contract, declaratory relief, WAC violations, CPA violations and attorney fees. After four months of litigation in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the insurer accepted coverage and agreed to adjust the loss. A favorable settlement was later reached by the parties.
After initial denial, property insurer pays condo association in full
Sandpiper Condominiums is a 19-floor beachfront property located on Marco Island, Florida. The condominium suffered significant damage as a result of Hurricane Wilma. When the condominium association's insurer failed to pay for the damage under a commercial property policy, Dale Kingman and Matthew Pierce carefully reviewed the policy on the association's behalf and identified an avenue to coverage. After a week-long appraisal hearing with the insurance company, they recovered 100 percent of damages for the condominium association.
Alternative dispute resolution
Served as mediator in over 1,300 disputes, as arbitrator in over 25 disputes, and has participated as counsel for a party in additional arbitrations or mediations. The matters have involved insurance coverage, intellectual property, contract, property and commercial disputes, product liability, real property, and construction defect and contract claims.
Washington Produce Supplier Turns to GTTC
Dale Kingman and Greg Pendleton were recently tapped to represent a 105-year-old Washington company in connection with its effort to recover insurance dollars stemming from a recall of frozen vegetables. The litigation concerns contaminated products insurance and is pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Coverage Counsel for Bank in Condo Defect Case
In 2016, Prime Pacific Bank and PPB Sunset 100 Properties LLC were sued by their insurers in a declaratory judgment action. The insurers contended there was no coverage stemming for an underlying construction defect case involving waterfront condominiums in Everett, Washington. GTTC lawyers Dale Kingman and Greg Pendleton successfully defended the coverage action on behalf of their banking clients.