Our Services

Vedica Puri

Vedica Puri

Partner
Location:
San Francisco, California
Phone:
415-655-1549
866-460-7279
Fax:
415-433-4816
Email:

Ms. Puri, a partner with Pillsbury & Coleman, LLP (formerly known as Pillsbury & Levinson, LLP) for over a dozen years, represents companies, higher education institutions and individuals with complicated coverage issues and against insurance companies that have acted in bad faith.

Ms. Puri is an experienced trial attorney with an expertise in high-stakes builder’s risk, property and technology errors and omissions claims.  As Bay Area native, she has a greater understanding of the new and emerging risks inherent to Silicon Valley businesses and universities.  Ms. Puri has counseled many companies and risk managers on issues involving protection against technology failures, cyber liability, directors’ and officers’ liability as well as handling claims under these policies.  Her in-depth experience involves coverage disputes arising from catastrophic natural disasters, most recently the San Bruno pipeline explosion (2010) and the North Bay Wildfires (2017).

Ms. Puri believes in implementing an early and effective case strategy early with tenacity and integrity. She routinely obtains positive results for her clients, whether through trial or early negotiations.

Highlights

  • Achieved combined settlements and verdicts well in excess of $50 million for clients
  • Obtained precedent-setting trial court ruling in technology errors & omissions case
  • Serves as an appointed Judge Pro Tem for San Francisco Superior Court (since 2004)
  • Selected as a Northern California Rising Stars 2010 and a Super Lawyer from 2011-2015

Major Cases

  • In the middle of constructing a series of hospitals on a new campus, our university client discovered a catastrophic failure of the underground piping system linking the new hospitals.  The cost to replace the system was over $25M. Both the client’s builder’s risk and commercial property insurance carriers initially denied the claim. After intensive negotiations, the builder’s risk carrier paid a significant sum. The client authorized suit against the property carrier, in which we alleged breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant and good faith and fair dealing. The case settled for 100% of the amount claimed, on the courthouse steps, days before trial.
  • A software development company, our client, invented a proprietary algorithm that automatically processes injured employees’ workers compensation claims. A technical glitch with the software resulted in a series of lawsuits spanning several years against our client, including a $55M class action, claiming the software had failed and resulted in overpayments or underpayments of workers compensation claims.  Each and every insurance company that insured our client over those years ultimately denied a defense and indemnity. We were brought in to secure defense fees and indemnity costs our client expended to resolve the dangerous lawsuits against it and obtained 100% of those fees and costs.
  • We represented a point-of-sale handset manufacturer seeking coverage for its defective product (the handset exploded when it was set down on a store sales counter) under its Technology Errors & Omissions policy. We were involved from the beginning of this crisis to ensure any handset in the market was replaced and coverage for the damages arising from the explosion.
  • A technology company that manufactured integrated circuit chips for a customer to use in the customer’s circuit interrupter products, came to us for advice when the customer claimed the chips were defective, initiated a product recall and demanded $20.5 million. We were able to secure coverage and resolve the case favorably for our client while also preserving our client’s relationship with their customer.
  • We represented a software developer and hardware subcontractor, seeking insurance coverage under its Technology Errors or Omissions liability insurance policy. The subcontractor’s client sued our client for a failure to perform under its software contract.  In a fast-paced business solution meeting between the subcontractor and client, sanctioned but not attended by the insurer, the subcontractor agreed to waive millions in past due invoices to settle the case. The subcontractor’s insurance company refused to indemnify our client for this waiver, claiming a waiver did not equal compensable damages. Our client sued their insurance company.  In the Phase I bench trial to determine coverage, the insured prevailed in a precedent-setting ruling, where the Court held that waived damages, under this policy, did equal reimbursable damages. The entire case then settled shortly before Phase II, the bad faith jury trial.

 

Areas of Practice

  • Complex Insurance Coverage
  • Bad Faith

Education

  • Santa Clara University School of Law, Santa Clara, California
    • J.D. - 1994
    • Honors: Editor of the Advocate, Moot Court Champion
  • St. Xavier University, Bombay, India
    • B.A. - 1991
    • Honors: First Class Distinction
    • Major: English Literature

Classes/Seminars

  • Host of RIMS 2017 Western Regional Conference event, Ride Sharing - Disrupting Transportation or Insurance?
  • BASF Insurance Law Section: The Insurance Claims Process: Avoiding--or Recognizing--Bad Faith December, 2014
  • The E&O Claim: A Mock Case Presented to the Audience as Jury April 2010
  • Advocating the Policyholder's Position in an E&O Claim September 2008
  • CEB Lecture Series: Civil Litigation Recent Developments Program January 2006 2008
  • The Ins & Out of Presenting a Claim From a Risk Manager's Perspective January 2007

Honors and Awards

  • Selected as a Northern California Rising Stars 2010, Super Lawyer 2011, 2012 and 2013

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • San Francisco Superior Court, Judge Pro Tem, 2004 - Present
  • The Bar Association of San Francisco Foundation, Board Member
  • State Bar of California, Insurance Law Committee, Former Appointed Member
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Member
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Member

Pro Bono Activities

  • Past President and Current Board Member, Telegraph Hill Dwellers
  • Former appointed Vice-Chair, Northeast Waterfront Advisory Group to San Francisco Port Commission