Gail Cohen

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Gail Cohen is a litigation partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office, and has been in practice since 1979. During her career, Ms. Cohen has specialized in representing the insurance and financial services industry in a wide range of litigation, from trial through appeal.
Ms. Cohen has had extensive experience handling punitive damages, high-exposure actions and class action cases, and has personally acted as lead counsel in numerous state and federal court trials, FINRA (formerly called NASD) arbitrations and reinsurance arbitrations. For example, she served as one of the lead trial counsel in In re Executive Life Insurance Company, the largest life insurance company insolvency in history.
Ms. Cohen’s work has also included financial institution litigation, coverage litigation, agent/broker litigation, ERISA litigation, employment litigation, and the representation of insurers with regard to market conduct issues before the Department of Insurance.
Ms. Cohen has briefed and argued numerous appellate matters before the state courts of appeals, the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit. In addition, she has lectured extensively on litigation and insurance topics at ABA and various industry conferences.


Articles By This Author

Court of Appeal Complicates the Analysis of Mental and Nervous Disability Claims

In Bosetti v. The United States Life Ins. Co., 175 Cal.App. 4th 1208 (2009), the California Court of Appeal addressed whether a standard, two-year benefits limitation on disabilities due to “mental, nervous or emotional disorder[s]” could serve to limit benefits payable to an insured disabled from depression and anxiety who also complained of interrelated physical impairments. The Bosetti court held that the limitation was ambiguous and was not applicable if the claimant’s physical problems contributed to her disabling depression or were a cause or symptom of that depression. The Bosetti court further concluded that the insurer’s denial of benefits based upon that two-year limitation was not in bad faith under the genuine issue doctrine.

Bosetti worked as an assistant director of adult education for a school district and first sought treatment after learning that her position would be terminated. Based upon the report of her treating physician and her complaints of depression and anxiety, she was put on temporary disability under her group policy. She thereafter applied for permanent disability benefits complaining of depression and fibromyalgia pain in her muscles, though her treating physician reported that her disabling impairment was solely mental or nervous in nature. After paying Bosetti’s benefits for two years, United States Life determined that she did not qualify for any additional benefits and could work in “any occupation”, which was the governing disability standard after two years. That determination was based primarily upon the two-year benefits limitation for mental or nervous disorders, the results of a functional capacity examination, and an independent physician consultation.

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