Patrick J. Wielinski

Principal

Dallas/Fort Worth

817-635-3620

pwielinski@cokinoslaw.com

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Practice Areas

Biography

Pat Wielinski practices in the areas of construction, insurance coverage and risk management.  He provides advice on risk management issues and programs, integrating insurance, contract documents and project relationships to manage and transfer risk for his clients. He also counsels clients as to insurance coverage and contractual risk transfer disputes, having been involved in insurance coverage claims for defective workmanship for over 35 years. At the same time, his practice involves commercial general liability, additional insured, builders risk, wrap ups and controlled insurance programs, subcontractor default coverage, design professional, contractors protective professional liability, miscellaneous errors and omissions, environmental, oil and gas, property, directors and officers and other third party and first party coverages. Pat regularly lectures to construction, insurance, and legal groups on insurance coverage and risk management issues, having authored numerous publications, many of which are relied upon in the insurance and construction industries.

Pat represents national, state and local chapters of construction trade organizations, including the Associated General Contractors of America, in the filing of amicus curiae briefs in jurisdictions in which significant issues relating to insurance coverage for the construction industry are on appeal.  The amicus curiae effort presents the arguments to be made on behalf of the entire construction industry as to the importance of the appeal.

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Lawyer of the Year, 2021, Dallas/Fort Worth, Insurance Law, Best Lawyers
  • Lawyer of the Year, 2019, Dallas/Fort Worth, Construction Litigation, Best Lawyers
  • Texas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, since 2004.
  • Leading Lawyer for Business: Texas Construction and Insurance, Chambers USA, since 2007
  • Texas’ Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers: The Premium Guide, since 2009
  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings

Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas: Past Chair, Insurance Law Section; Construction Law and Insurance Sections
  • Defense Research Institute: Construction Law Section
  • Dallas Bar Association:  Construction and Tort and Insurance Sections
  • American College of Coverage Counsel
  • Associated General Contractors of America: National Surety Bonding and Construction Risk Management Committee
  • TEXO (DFW Chapter), Associated General Contractors of America
  • American Bar Association: Forum on the Construction Industry, Litigation Section, Tort Trial and Insurance Section

Education

  • University of Minnesota, J. D., Cum Laude, 1981
  • St. John’s University, B.A., Government, Summa Cum Laude, 1977

Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Texas
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Courts of Appeals, Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits
  • United States District Courts, Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas

Representative Matters

  • Represents general contractors in drafting and submitting claims on Subcontractor default insurance policies.
  • Represented insured bank in prosecuting claims against its financial institution’s insurers as to claim involving fictitious collateral.
  • Represented captive insurer of highway and bridge contractor as to substantial construction defect claim as to retaining walls on tollway project, reaching a favorable settlement involving numerous parties.
  • Represented general contractor in obtaining a settlement as to builders risk coverage for a multi-story tower and above-ground parking facility, the excavation of which was inundated with groundwater during construction.
  • Represented insured utility contractor in prosecuting and settle in builders risk claim involving tunnel collapse under flooded riverbed.
  • Represented international airport as to CGL and professional liability coverage and settlement for alleged defects in automated people-mover.
  • Represented manufacturer of two million-gallon concrete water tanks as to coverage and favorable settlement for defective concrete installed by subcontractor.
  • Represented radiographic inspection company as to insurance claims against its CGL and professional liability insurers for settlement of claim brought by large utility for alleged non-compliant inspections of welds in natural gas pipeline.
  • Represented surety in subrogation action against principal’s CGL insurer as to coverage and settlement of defective water pipeline claim.
  • Represented general contractor as to multi-faceted claims on CGL and umbrella policies issued as part of OCIP and subcontractor default policy, arising out of balcony failure on high rise hotel condominium project.
  • Represented national homebuilder in a dispute with its pollution liability insurer over coverage for repair and remediation of hundreds of homes in the Southeast due to installation of Chinese drywall, obtaining a settlement after favorable ruling on venue retaining the case in Texas state court.
  • Represented developer as coverage counsel in obtaining settlement on builders risk policy for delay caused by water infiltration.
  • Represented construction lender as coverage counsel in mediating and settling claim against builders risk carrier arising out of demolition of high rise condominium project prior to completion due to construction defects.
  • Represented contractor in a dispute with its wrap up insurer over coverage for defective showers throughout a casino/hotel project, obtaining completed operations coverage for the client
  • Represented general contractor as to collapse of 96-foot silo loaded with direct reduced iron pellets.  Pursued completed operations coverage for property damage arising out of the collapse, and obtained a favorable opinion from the appellate court as to resulting damage as an “occurrence” under Arkansas law.
  • Represented owner of condominium project that suffered damage prior to completion due to construction defects, obtaining an opinion from the appellate court narrowly circumscribing the “particular part” of the property damage that was excluded and resulting in a favorable judgment for the owner against the contractor’s commercial general liability insurer.
  • Represented insured excavation subcontractor in claim against its commercial general liability insurer for the cost of overlaying a parking lot due to the fill installed by the subcontractor.  The court held that property damage resulting from unintentional acts constitutes an “occurrence” under the policy, and refused to apply the impaired property exclusion to the claim.
  • Represented insured contractor against its commercial general liability insurer to recover its attorneys fees arising out of a breach by the insurer of the policy.  The Texas Supreme Court upheld the right of Texas insureds to recover those fees pursuant to Chapter 38 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code.
  • Obtained the first appellate opinion in Texas as to the 1986 pollution exclusion in a commercial general liability policy, in which the court refused to apply the exclusion where the insured contractor had encountered an underground pipeline on the site of its operations.

Reported Cases

  • Satterfield and Pontikes Construction, Inc. v. U.S. Fire Ins. Co. 898 F.3d 574 (5th Cir. 2018) (allocation of indemnity settlement with subcontractors between CGL and excess insurers)
  • Chartis Specialty Ins. Co. v. American Contractors Ins. Co. Risk Retention Group, 2014 WL 3943722, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110968 (D. Or. August 12, 2014) (upholding single occurrence as to developer of condominium project)
  • American Contractors Ins. Co. Risk Retention Group v. Zurich American Ins. Co., 2011 WL 6065400, (S.D. Fla. November 22, 2011) (upholding coverage for general contractor as additional insured on subcontractor’s policy in dispute involving the work performed by the subcontractor)
  • Lexicon, Inc. v. ACE American Ins. Co., 634 So.2d 423 (8th Cir. 2011)(upholding covered occurrence for resulting damage arising out of defective work of insured’s subcontractor)
  • Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. JHP Development, Inc., 557 F.3d 207 (5th Cir. 2009) (upholding coverage for owner as judgment creditor of general contractor for defective workmanship performed on condominium project)
  • Broadmoor Anderson v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Louisiana, 912 So.2d 400 (La.App. 2 Cir. 2005) (upholding completed operations coverage for general contractor as to defective workmanship performed by subcontractor on casino project)
  • Wanzek Construction Co. v. Employers Ins. Co. of Wausau, 679 N.W.2d 322 (Minn. 2004) (completed operations coverage upheld for general contractor as to supplier under subcontractor exception in CGL policy)
  • Venture Encoding, Inc. v. Atlantic Mutual Ins. Co., 107 S.W.3d 729 (Tex.App. – Fort Worth 2002, pet. denied) (expenses incurred in curing breach of contract covered as “legal obligation” under liability policy insuring agreement)
  • Harken Exploration Company v. Sphere Drake Insurance PLC, 261 F.3d 466 (5th Cir. 2001) (saline contamination arising out of ordinary operations is a covered occurrence under insured drilling company’s CGL policies)
  • Grapevine Excavation, Inc. v. Maryland Lloyds, 35 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. 2000) (answering certified question in favor of insured contractor that policyholders are entitled to recover attorneys fees when insurer has breached the policy contract)
  • Continental Casualty Co. v. Major Constructors Co., 2000 WL 991601 (Tex.App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 2000) (contractual obligation gives rise to a legal obligation for purposes of contractor’s CGL coverage)
  • Kelley-Coppedge, Inc. v. Highlands Ins. Co., 980 S.W.2d 462 (Tex. 1998) (first Texas case interpreting 1986 pollution exclusion, upholding CGL coverage for contractor that struck an underground pipeline)
  • Federated Mutual Ins. Co. v. Grapevine Excavation, Inc., 197 F.3d 720 (5th Cir. 1999) (breach of construction contract as occurrence under CGL policy)
  • Data Specialties, Inc. v. Transcontinental Ins. Co., 125 F.3d 909 (5th Cir. 1997) (CGL coverage for breach of construction contract)

Reported Cases – Amicus Curiae Participation

  • Skanska USA Building Inc. v. M.A.P. Mechanical Contractors, Inc., __ N.W.2d __, 2020 WL 3527909 (Mich. June 29, 2020)
  • Ewing Construction Co., Inc. v. Amerisure Ins. Co., 420 S.W.3d 30 (Tex. 2014)
  • Crownover v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., 772 F.3d 197 (5th Cir. 2014)
  • Cypress Point Condominium Assoc., Inc. v. Adria Towers, LLC, 143 A.3d 273 (N.J. 2016)
  • Lennar Corp. v. Markel American Ins. Co., 413 S.W.3d 750 (Tex. 2013)
  • Pennsylvania Mutual Casualty Ins. Co. v. St. Catherine of Sienna Parish, 790 F.3d 1173 (11th Cir. 2015)
  • Lamar Homes, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Company, 242 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. 2007
  • Excess Underwriters at Lloyd’s, v. Frank’s Casing Crew & Rental Tools, Inc., 93 S.W.3d 178 (Tex. 2002)
  • Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Pozzi Window Company, 984 So.2d 1241 (Fla.  2008)
  • United States Fire Insurance Company v. J.S.U.B., Inc., 979 So.2d 871 (Fla. 2007)
  • American Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co, v. Hathaway Development Co., Inc., 288 Ga. 749, 707 S.E.2d 369 (2011)
  • Architex Association, Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Company, 27 So.3d 1148 (Miss. 2010)
  • Gilbane Building Company v. Admiral Insurance Company, 664 F.3d 589 (5th Cir. 2011)
  • Gilbert Texas Construction, L.P. v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, 327 S.W.2d 589 (Tex. 2011)
  • HCBeck, Ltd. v. Charles Rice, 284 S.W.3d 349 (Tex. 2009)
  • McDonald Constr. Co., Inc. v. Bituminous Cas. Corp., 279 S.E.2d 787, 632 S.E.2d 420 (Ga. App. 2006).  
  • Precise Construction, Inc. v. Amerisure Ins. Co., 417 Fed. Appx. 871, 2011 WL 855821 (11th Cir. 2011)
  • Transportation Insurance Company v. Piedmont Construction Group, 301 Ga.App. 17, 686 S.E.2d 824 (2009)
  • Mid-United Contractors, Inc. v. Providence Lloyds Ins. Co., 754 S.W.2d 824 (Tex.App. – Fort Worth 1988, writ denied)

Major Publications

  • Author, Insurance For Defective Construction, Fifth Edition, published by International Risk Management Institute, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, September, 2018
  • Author, Third Party Over Actions: Problems And Solutions, published by The Third Party and Additional Insured Liability Task Force of the Associated General Contractors of America, 1997
  • Co-Author, Contractual Risk Transfer: Strategies For Contract Indemnity And Insurance Provisions, published by International Risk Management Institute, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, August, 1995
  • Co-Author with Jack P. Gibson, Broad Form Property Damage Coverage, published by International Risk Management Institute, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, October, 1992

Selected Recent Presentations & Other Publications

  • Author, “Beware the Stunted CGL: Breach of Contract Endorsements,” published by International Risk Management Institute, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, at www.irmi.com, July 2020
  • Co-Presenter, “Oddities of the Texas Anti-Indemnity Statute,” Construction Law Foundation of Texas, 33rd Annual Construction Law Conference, San Antonio, Texas, March 2020
  • Presenter, “2018 Insurance Law Update,” Construction Law Foundation of Texas, 31st Annual Construction Law Conference, San Antonio, Texas, March 2018
  • Presenter, “Dichotomizing CGL Coverage for Construction Defects,” AGC of America-Surety Bonding and Risk Management Conference, Naples, Florida, January, 2018
  • Presenter, “Lessons Learned: When CGL and Professional Coverages Collide,” 37th IRMI Construction Risk Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana, November, 2017
  • Presenter, “Contractual Risk Transfer-Lower-Tier Entity Insurance Management,” CFMA 2017 National Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, June, 2017
  • Presenter, “Covering All the Bases: How to Construct Your Builders Risk Policies and Prepare Your Claims to Maximize Your Coverage for General Conditions and Other Soft Costs,” AGC Surety Bonding and Construction Risk Management Conference, Naples, Florida, January, 2017
  • Presenter, “The Construction Defect Case: Litigating the Defect or Litigating to Coverage” American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law Annual Meeting, April 2016.