Photo of Erica Villanueva

Erica has extensive experience handling claims under a variety of insurance policies, including general liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, aviation, employment practices liability, property and business interruption policies. She works with policyholders to ensure that their claims are properly presented to insurers, in order to obtain the maximum possible insurance recovery. Erica advocates on behalf of her clients to resolve any coverage disputes that may arise during the course of a claim, taking a practical and proactive approach to negotiation with insurers. In cases where a negotiated resolution is not possible, Erica litigates insurance coverage disputes. She has substantial coverage litigation experience, both at the trial and appellate levels.

In Clarendon America Insurance Company v. North American Capacity Insurance Company, E048176, 4th Dist. Ct. App. (Super. Ct. No. CIVRS701868), a new California Court of Appeal decision, the Fourth Appellate District has rejected an insurer’s attempt to apply multiple self-insured retentions to a single lawsuit.

Clarendon America Insurance Company (“Clarendon”) and North American Capacity

Farella’s Insurance Practice Group is pleased to announce that associate Erica Villanueva is serving as co-Chair of the BASF Barristers Club Insurance Practice Section for 2010-11.

The Insurance Practice section helps to keep members representing both policyholder and insurer perspectives up-to-date on developments in insurance coverage and practice arising out of a range of losses

Employment Practices Liability (“EPL”) insurers have been aggressive in denying coverage for “wage and hour” class actions filed in California and elsewhere.  Indeed, insureds now frequently assume that their policies afford no coverage for such claims.  Depending on the particular statutory violations alleged, however, such class actions often fall within the scope of EPL coverage. 

Adequate preparation is essential for any mediation, and mediations involving insurance coverage issues are no exception.  Whether the focus of the mediation is the insurance coverage dispute itself, or whether the insurer is attending a mediation of the underlying action (with an expectation that it will fund any settlement), the insured can and should take

When a liability insurer wishes to avoid all coverage obligations with respect to a claim against its insured, it may seek an adjudication that it has no duty to defend or indemnify the policyholder.  If the insurer files for such declaratory relief while the underlying litigation is still pending, California insureds will frequently move to

A recent California Supreme Court decision, 21st Century Insurance Co. v. Superior Court (Quintana), S154790 (Aug. 24, 2009), clarifies the rules governing an insurer’s right to reimbursement for payments to its insured, after the insured obtains a recovery from the responsible third party.  The Court held that while the insured has right to be

On Monday, March 9, 2009, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in State of California v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s London et al., S149988.  The Court ruled on numerous issues, all of which were decided favorably for insureds.  This particular blog post focuses on the Court’s reaffirmation of the concurrent proximate cause rule in

This week, the California Court of Appeal issued a new decision regarding the “stacking” of policy limits: State of California v. Continental Insurance Company, No. E041425 (Super. Ct. No. 239784).  As the Continental court explained, “stacking” generally refers to “treating multiple policies that apply to a single loss as cumulative – as a ‘stack’