Earl was formerly a divisional senior vice president of claims with a national property & casualty insurance company, Great American Insurance Group, where he founded and managed for almost 10 years the Legacy and Outsourced Claims Division, which initially handled run-off of the group’s asbestos and environmental liabilities; but, over time expanded to handle a wide range of liability and specialty claims arising principally from discontinued underwriting lines within the group. He also served during that period as vice president and assistant general counsel of American Premier Underwriters, the successor corporation to the Penn Central Transportation Company, where he administered the historical environmental and occupational liabilities of and claims against the railroad, its related companies and subsidiaries, and the successor corporation.
Before going in-house, Earl provided counsel to foreign and domestic insurers and policyholders for more than 23 years while in private law practice in Los Angeles and San Francisco. During his career as a practicing lawyer, he encountered and observed defense and coverage issues often, usually from the perspectives of the marine and energy market and the insurance it wrote or led, long-tail environmental and toxic tort, premises liability, workplace and occupational injury, catastrophic bodily injury and property damage claims.
Earl has been involved in both his corporate and private practice capacities in disputes involving claims handling issues, challenges to coverage determinations, and allegations of bad faith. As a result of his experience handling direct and ceded claims as a senior insurance company executive and as a practicing lawyer providing counsel to insurers, Earl has acquired a thorough familiarity with the business practices of the insurance and reinsurance industry relative to the handling and resolution of claims, the manner and importance of proper claim handling and payments, and the standards of professionalism and conduct that exist within the industry.
Since his retirement from Great American, Earl has accepted retentions as a testifying consultant and expert witness from law firms, insurers and reinsurers; and, has been designated and appeared in several dozen cases on both US coasts and throughout the Midwest. He has also served as a party-appointed arbitrator in several insurance and reinsurance disputes. Earl also remains active as an independent corporate liaison managing environmental remediation projects and coordinating the activities of counsel, remediation experts and regulators.