J. Tyler Butts represents the insurance industry in complex first-party property insurance coverage litigation throughout the country, with a focus on litigation concerning allegations of bad faith and other extra-contractual claims. He is part of the firm’s Litigation Section and a member of the firm’s Insurance + Reinsurance Group.
Property Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation
Mr. Butts has extensive experience litigating and advising clients on complex property insurance coverage issues and allegations of bad faith and unfair claims settlement practices arising out of large property losses. He has been involved in property coverage disputes in a number of states, including Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Mr. Butts routinely litigates high-exposure claims arising from a wide variety of insurance lines, including commercial property, business interruption and extra expense, builder’s risk, boiler and machinery, liability, and high net-worth homeowners. Mr. Butts is adept at working with expert witnesses in connection with property coverage disputes, including structural engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, cost estimators, appraisers, and forensic accountants.
Mr. Butts has significant experience handling lawsuits asserting claims for extra-contractual damages, such as those available in Massachusetts under Chapter 93A and in Connecticut under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) and Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act (CUIPA). He has successfully represented clients in arbitrations, appraisals, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Butts has significant trial experience at both the state and federal level, having tried a number of cases to successful verdict, including recently recovering over $300,000 for his client after a jury trial determined that the insured homeowner had committed fraud when submitting her claim.
Write-Your-Own Insurance Carriers - National Flood Insurance Program
Mr. Butts has considerable experience representing Write-Your-Own insurance carriers in litigation brought under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program. He has litigated matters on behalf of WYO-carriers in a number of states, including New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and California. Mr. Butts has successfully moved to dismiss WYO cases seeking bad faith or punitive damages, as well as suits that failed to comply with the Standard Flood Insurance Policy’s preconditions for initiating suit. He has also successfully resolved a number of litigated matters prior to incurring significant fees in discovery and motion practice.
Mr. Butts is committed to pro bono work. He participates in the firm’s Domestic Violence Restraining Order Program, and provides free legal services to family violence victims, including helping them obtain restraining orders and navigate the family court system. Mr. Butts also provides pro bono services to incarcerated individuals asserting violations of their civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Because of his efforts, he was Robinson+Cole’s Pro Bono Service Award Recipient in 2013.
Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, Mr. Butts worked with a national law firm on securities and probate litigation as well as on complex class action matters. Mr. Butts is a frequent author and contributor to Robinson+Cole’s Property Insurance Coverage Insights blog.
Mr. Butts was selected as a Rising Star in the Connecticut Super Lawyers list from 2013 to 2017.