John Hagan, chair of the firm's Insurance Recovery group, offers a broad-based commercial and business litigation practice that is focused on handling insurance coverage and recovery matters for policyholders in the transportation, construction and energy industries. In addition, he has also defended clients in wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits.
A proven litigator and trial advocate, John has first-chair experience in complex, multiparty litigation in state and federal courts. In addition to trying cases, he has briefed and argued before the Texas courts of appeal and the Texas Supreme Court.
John represents policyholders in resolving insurance coverage disputes both through tactical negotiation and litigation. He also advises clients regarding their commercial liability and risk-transfer issues during the negotiation and drafting of indemnity and insurance provisions.
In addition, John has extensive experience in representing plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of commercial litigation matters. This includes lawsuits involving breach of contract, fraud, deceptive trade practices, defamation, trade disparagement, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secret, infringement, employment, and oil and gas well blowouts.
On many occasions, John’s clients prefer to avoid trial. As a result, John is known for his diplomatic and persuasive negotiation and advocacy skills outside of the courtroom and often behind the scenes. No matter the challenge, John has proven time and again that he can communicate clearly, specifically and, if needed—aggressively—in order to achieve his client’s specific objective.
John is valued by his clients and colleagues alike for acute and veteran writing and research skills, as well as for his ability to analyze complex insurance and commercial law issues in the context of minimizing risk and maximizing ROI. Clients appreciate John’s aptitude for identifying the drivers of risk, and bringing pressure to bear in the right places in order to get the dispute resolved.
Curious-minded, John is dedicated to finding the right answer and achieving optimal results for his clients. On many occasions, John has been able successfully defend his client’s position while deescalating even the most serious controversy in order to resolve the problem at hand.
Insurance Counseling and Recovery
Representing a Florida-based transportation company in negotiating replacement cost, business interruption and extra expense coverage for a commercial property loss arising out of an explosion and fire that destroyed the insured’s tank-wash facility in Newark, New Jersey.
Representing a Kansas construction company in obtaining coverage for a secondary take-home asbestos exposure claim.
Representing an energy company in obtaining pollution-liability coverage for the defense of an oil field legacy contamination case in Louisiana.
Representing a Kansas construction company in obtaining general liability and employer’s liability coverage under a Contractor’s Controlled Insurance Program for a bodily injury judgment arising out of an industrial accident in Houston, Texas.
Representing a Texas navigation district in obtaining pollution-liability coverage for industrial contamination of property leased by the district to an industrial user.
Representing a plant services and maintenance company in obtaining coverage under general liability and pollution-liability policies for alleged exposures to mercury at an Alabama manufacturing facility.
Represented an Arkansas-based construction company in obtaining the eight-figure settlement authority from primary and excess insurers under an Owner’s Controlled Insurance Program, and under additional insured policies, to settle a wrongful death case in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Represented a Class 1 railroad in a filing before the Surface Transportation Board to obtain a ruling regarding the reasonableness of indemnity provisions in a common carrier tariff for the transportation of hazardous materials.
Represented a Class 1 railroad in negotiating agreements with state and local governments, with an emphasis on indemnity and insurance provisions, federal contracting requirements and sovereign immunity issues.
Represented a manufacturer of well-service packing used for oil and gas hydraulic fracturing operations in obtaining an insurance settlement of a business-interruption loss arising out of a fire at the client’s plant.
Represented a transportation company in developing a specialized liability insurance program for the client’s customers involving the manuscripting of policy terms.
Obtained a $1.7 million additional insured jury verdict in a Houston, Texas federal court for an energy client that had settled several personal injury claims arising out of a contractor’s accident at the client’s Texas refinery.
Obtained a summary judgment dismissal and a recovery of attorney fees for a railroad on an insurance subrogation claim brought by a property insurer arising out of a crossing accident. See RLI Ins. Co. v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.
, 463 F.Supp.2d 646 (S.D. Tex. 2006).
Represented a policyholder in a federal court suit involving an OCIP and a liability policy that resulted in a multimillion-dollar settlement recovery from a primary and excess insurer. See McGinnis v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.
, 612 F.Supp.2d 776 (S.D. Tex. 2009).
Analyzed and provided strategic advice on an energy company’s multilayer insurance program involving additional insured coverage after a catastrophic loss.
Obtained defense costs and policy-limits coverage for an oil and gas operator to fund a settlement of a Louisiana legacy oil field pollution case.
Defended a chemical manufacturer in federal court against an insurer’s business interruption subrogation claim and negotiated a settlement after filing summary judgment and Daubert motions.
Prosecuted a pollution legal-liability coverage claim for an oil field equipment manufacturer in Houston federal district court arising out of a claim for stigma damages by residential homeowners based on groundwater pollution.
Represented an engineering and construction company against a California insurance agency for failure to obtain additional insured coverage.
Obtained contractual indemnity and reimbursement of attorney fees for a client’s potential liability arising out of a fatal employee accident.
Negotiated a settlement of premium and coverage issues with London insurers involving a political risk policy for an energy company that allowed the client to return reserved funds to its bottom line.
Represented an international engineering and construction firm on a commercial arbitration matter involving whether a non-signatory can be compelled to arbitrate. The Texas Supreme Court reversed in favor of the client and issued an opinion clarifying Texas law. See In re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc.
, 166 S.W.3d 732 (Tex. 2005).
Represented a major oil company before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in an evidentiary proceeding to determine the methodology used to value the different streams of crude transported through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.
Represented a major oil company in a commercial arbitration involving an exchange agreement to transport natural gas through pipelines in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.
Represented a refinery owner in a jury trial seeking property damage for the destruction of its bulk-loading gasoline terminal.
Represented a manufacturer of blowout preventers and subsea gate valves in a Fatal Accident Inquiry in Aberdeen, Scotland, arising out of the 1988 Ocean Odyssey blowout in the North Sea.
Defended the manufacturer of a blowout preventer against a royalty owner’s claim for damages arising out of the blowout of a well in Wyoming.
Obtained a federal court TRO and permanent injunction against several media defendants to enjoin the distribution and broadcast of a music video in violation of the Lanham Act.
Obtained a jury verdict for a paper manufacturer defending against defamation and age discrimination claims by a terminated sales manager.
Wrongful Death, Personal Injury and Tort Litigation
Defended a diesel engine manufacturer in a wrongful death and personal injury suit arising out of the disposal of oil field tank residue containing hydrocarbons.
Defended a chemical manufacturer in a wrongful death suit arising out of a railroad tank car accident.
Defended an energy company in a personal injury suit filed in Grimes County, Texas state court arising out of the explosion of a discarded oil field perforating gun.
Represented a concrete company in defending personal injury and property damage claims arising out of truck accidents.
Defended a surveyor in a jury trial in Fort Bend County District Court in a deceptive trade practices and fraud lawsuit arising out of an elevation survey.
Prosecuted to a jury verdict in Fort Bend County District Court a homeowner’s claim that his neighbor defamed and wrongfully prosecuted him.
Currently representing an individual who was certified for trial as an adult at age 16 and sentenced to 30 years for murder. The transfer process for juveniles was challenged on appeal because it had degenerated over time into a rubber-stamp process using fill-in-the-blank form orders. The Houston First Court of Appeals reversed the conviction and held that the juvenile court abused its discretion and should not have waived its jurisdiction over the boy to an adult court. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals then affirmed the reversal of the conviction, issuing a landmark decision that fundamentally changed the way juveniles are certified to stand trial as adults in the State of Texas. See Moon v. State, 451 S.W.3d 28 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014); http://www.jlc.org/legal-docket/moon-v-state-texas. The decision also prompted the Texas Legislature to reform Texas law to allow a juvenile to take an immediate, expedited appeal of a certification order. For obtaining the first reversal of a juvenile certification ruling in more than two decades, the pro bono team received the 2015 Texas Law Fellowships’ “Excellence in Public Interest Award.”