When it comes to selecting a litigation and risk management partner, having one who’s been there and back can make all the difference. With Western Litigation, you’re gaining a team of seasoned attorneys, claims executives and certified risk managers with a reputation of delivering unparalleled service.
We understand the obstacles you’re up against, or could potentially be up against, which is why we offer a full complement of services to help protect you should the unexpected happen.
Houston, Texas - Corporate Headquarters
Robert B. Blasio, J.D.President/Chief Executive OfficerRobert B. Blasio, J.D. President/Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Blasio formed Western Litigation, Inc. in 1994 and has been responsible for strategically growing the company into an industry leader in the management of litigation and risk for the healthcare industry.
Prior to joining Western Litigation, Inc., Mr. Blasio was engaged in private legal practice in Chicago for eight years, where he specialized in the defense of physicians and hospitals in professional negligence matters and in the defense of insurers in insurance coverage disputes.
Mr. Blasio graduated cum laude from Lawrence University in 1981 and he received his Juris Doctorate, with Honors, from The George Washington University in 1984. Mr. Blasio is a frequent presenter and expert panalist at industry conferences.Phone Number: 713.935.2400 Email: Robert_Blasio@westernlitigation.com
Michael J. NicknishChief Financial Officer/Chief Operating OfficerMichael J. Nicknish Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer
Mike earned his Bachelor's of Business Administration in Accounting from St. Edward's University in 1980 and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas. Mike has over thirty years of financial accounting experience with twenty years concentrating in the healthcare industry.
Mike's previous experience includes serving as CFO/VP of Operations for a large third party administration organization as well as being a CFO for a hospital district in Montgomery County, TX where he was responsible for a $38mm fiscal budget that provided services to 425,000 residents. Mike joined Western Litigation, Inc. in April 2011 as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. He left to serve Catholic Charities in 2015, but returned to WLI in 2016.Phone Number: 713-935-2441 Email: Mike_Nicknish@westernlitigation.com
Sharon L. Addicks, R.N., J.D., CPHRMSenior Vice PresidentSharon L. Addicks, R.N., J.D., CPHRM Senior Vice President
Sharon has extensive nursing experience and received her Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law in 1988. She spent several years in private practice specializing in the defense of medical malpractice, toxic tort and products liability litigation. She joined Western Indemnity Insurance Company in 1993 as Loss Control Specialist and then joined the newly-formed subsidiary of Western Litigation Specialists, Inc. in 1994 as Assistant Vice President. Sharon returned to Western Indemnity where she developed an expertise in risk and claims management. She returned to Western Litigation in 2001, as Division Vice President, to manage a docket of professional and general liability claims for several risk retention groups and insurance companies. Sharon was promoted to Senior Vice President in October 2006. She passed her Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management Examination in April 2010 and recently renewed her CPHRM certification and is credentialed through 4/30/19.Phone Number: 713-935-2450 Email: Sharon_Addicks@westernlitigation.com
Diana R. Christensen, J.D., MBA,Senior Vice PresidentDiana R. Christensen, J.D., MBA, Senior Vice President
Diana graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1977, and received her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Tulsa in 1983 and had a career in the oil industry prior to law school. She received her Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Diana started her law career in private practice in 1993. Her practice emphasized insurance bad faith, breach of contract and coverage litigation. In 1997, Diana joined Western Indemnity Insurance Company where she managed an extensive docket of medical malpractice claims and lawsuits throughout the U.S. She relocated to Moscow for two years and returned to Western Litigation, Inc. in 2003 where she currently serves as the Senior Vice President.Phone Number: 713.935.2483 Email: Diana_Christensen@westernlitigation.com
Laura A. Cook, J.D.Senior Vice PresidentLaura A. Cook, J.D. Senior Vice President
Laura graduated from Southwestern University in 1990, and received her Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law in 1997. Following graduation from law school, Laura spent several years in private practice at a boutique litigation firm in Houston, where she focused her practice on commercial litigation, insurance defense and insurance coverage.
Laura joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2004 as a Claims Attorney, and was promoted most recently to Senior Vice President in 2014. She is currently the team leader of one of WLI’s largest clients.
Kathy J. FranksAssistant Vice PresidentKathy J. Franks Assistant Vice President
Kathy attended Ohio State University, majoring in Business Administration. Her work history includes 40 years of insurance industry experience, of which 16 years were spent with CNA Insurance Company. Her responsibilities included managing a department of 75 claim handlers and oversight of the large loss claims nationwide to ensure they were timely and properly investigated, reserved and managed aggressively to conclusion. Kathy also worked for Browning Ferris Industries as a Large Loss Claims Manager, responsible for all AL/GL large losses nationwide. In her role she managed claims, attended mediations and attended trials as a Corporate Representattive for "BFI". Kathy originally came to WLI in May of 2000, and in September 2002, she left to accept a position with Duke Energy managing their world-wide Self Insured Property and General Liability program. She returned to WLI in 2004 and is an Assistant Vice President.Phone Number: 713-935-2422 Email: Kathy_Franks@westernlitigation.com
Tara Green, J.D.Senior Vice President for Compliance & Client RelationsTara Green, J.D. Senior Vice President for Compliance & Client Relations
Tara graduated with honors from Louisiana State University in 1999 and received her law degree from Loyola University School of Law in 2003. In 2007, Tara left her New Orleans based law practice to join Western Litigation, Inc. as a Claims Attorney. Since arriving at WLI, Tara has managed medical malpractice claims throughout the U.S. Tara currently serves as WLI's Director of Compliance and Client Relations, where she works closely on all matters related to quality oversight and regulatory compliance.Phone Number: 713-935-2413 Email: Tara_Green@westernlitigation.com
Christine Oliver, CPHRMSenior Claims AnalystChristine Oliver, CPHRM Senior Claims Analyst
Christine graduated from Texas A&M University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Science and received her Master of Arts in Fitness and Human Performance from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 2005. Christine obtained her CPHRM designation in July 2012 from the American Hospital Administration. Prior to joining WLI, she worked for J. Fred Bayliss, P.C., focusing on corporate and real estate law. Christine joined WLI in August 2002 as a Legal Assistant and is currently a Senior Claims Analyst.Phone Number: 713-935-2442 Email: Christine_Oliver@westernlitigation.com
Kathryn A. Fenelon, J.D.Division Executive Vice PresidentKathryn A. Fenelon, J.D. Division Executive Vice President
Kathryn received her Juris Doctorate from Tulane University School of Law in 1985 after earning a Master’s degree in Social Science from Bryn Mawr College and a Bachelor’s degree in Science from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. During eight years in private practice, Kathryn specialized in defending medical negligence, general and product liability, and ERISA litigation. She joined Galtney Corporate Services in 1993 and was a founding member of Western Litigation, Inc. in 1994. She served as Division Executive Vice President where she worked for 13 years before leaving to work as a consultant for Oxford Insurance Services, Ltd. She continued her passion of managing healthcare professional liability claims during her time there. She returned to Western Litigation in 2015 and continues to manage healthcare professional liability claims on behalf of self-insured entities and solvent and insolvent insurance carriers.Phone Number: 713-935-2414 Email: Kathryn_Fenelon@westernlitigation.com
Judy OwensAssistant Vice President & Supervisor of Claims AccountingJudy Owens Assistant Vice President & Supervisor of Claims Accounting
Judy graduated from the University of N.C. at Charlotte in 1979 with a B.A. degree in psychology. After college she obtained her adjusters license and worked for Liberty Mutual in the workers compensation area. She began working in the accounting department of Healthcare Insurance Services (HIS) in December 1989. Shortly before HIS was acquired by Gallagher Healthcare, 2003, she began working in the accounting department at Western Litigation. In addition to her work at Western she sits on the board of a local non-profit which focuses on raising awareness and research funds for metabolic disorders.Phone Number: 713-935-2445 Email: Judy_Owens@westernlitigation.com
Paula PrestridgeVice President/ TPA Accounting ManagerPaula Prestridge Vice President/ TPA Accounting Manager
Paula began her healthcare career in the accounting department with Healthcare Insurances Services in May, 1989, which was acquired by Gallagher Healthcare in 2003. In 2004, she moved over to Western Litigation, Inc. to oversee the accounting department. Paula has over 25 years of healthcare accounting experience in financial accounting, general ledger, audit and bank reconciliation procedures. Prior experience was working with a CPA firm doing tax returns and general ledger projects.Phone Number: 713-935-2444 Email: Paula_Prestridge@westernlitigation.com
Stanley T. Proctor, J.D.Vice PresidentStanley T. Proctor, J.D. Vice President
Stan graduated from Texas A&M University in 1989 and was a member of the University's Honors Program. Stan received his Juris Doctorate with Honors, cum laude, from the University of Houston in 1993. While in law school, Stan was a research assistant, an editor of a law journal, and a member of The Order of the Barons. From 1993 until 2006, Stan was engaged in civil trial work in Houston, Texas. He worked at national and international law firms defending professional negligence claims, insurance bad faith matters, and representing domestic and international insurers in coverage disputes. In 2006, Stan joined Western Litigation, Inc. as a Claims Attorney.Phone Number: 713-935-2460 Email: Stan_Proctor@westernlitigation.com
Lee K. Shuchart, J.D.Executive Vice President/Director of Claims Auditing & TrainingLee K. Shuchart, J.D. Executive Vice President/Director of Claims Auditing & Training
Lee received her Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law in 1986 after earning a Bachelor's degree in History from Baylor University. During sixteen years in private practice, she was involved in trying medical malpractice, commercial general liability, and employment discrimination cases. She became a senior member in the law firm of Hirsch, Sheiness & Garcia, L.L.C., and she served as the managing member for the firm's four Texas offices. Lee has also served of counsel to the law firm of Mason, Coplen, Shuchart, Hutchins & Banks of Houston, Texas, which specializes in insurance coverage and coverage litigation. She joined Western Litigation Inc. in 2002, and in 2006 was promoted from Vice President to Senior Vice President. In 2015 Lee was promoted to Executive Vice President/Director of Claims Auditing & Training.Phone Number: 713-935-2480 Email: Lee_Shuchart@westernlitigation.com
John Marziotti, J.D.Vice PresidentJohn Marziotti, J.D. Vice President
John received his undergraduate degree from The College of Charleston in 1985 and a J.D. degree from Southern Methodist University in 1988. Upon graduation, John joined Griggs & Harrison/Straburger L.P. where he quickly became a Shareholder and managed a four-person attorney team in handling high-stakes litigation for major marine and upstream energy and petroleum companies. He then worked as the General Counsel and Secretary for a fortune 500 crude oil/natural gas exploration and production company where he advised senior management on business and legal strategy, oversaw litigation management, and served as Corporate Secretary. John brings 25 years of legal experience to Western Litigation, Inc. and currently serves as a Vice President.Phone Number: 713-935-2420 Email: John_Marziotti@westernlitigation.com
Nicole Pant, J.D.Claims AttorneyNicole Pant, J.D. Claims Attorney
Nicole received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2013 after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health Science from Tulane University. Prior to working with WLI, Nicole spent her time as an associate attorney handling cases regarding pharmaceutical drug, defective device, automobile, agriculture, and multi-district litigation. She has also worked as a volunteer attorney where she provided legal advice to veterans and low-income individuals. Nicole joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2015 as a Claims Attorney.Phone Number: 713-935-2451 Email: Nicole_Pant@westernlitigation.com
Denise GreeneClaims Operations ManagerDenise Greene Claims Operations Manager
Denise joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2004 as an Executive Legal Assistant moving to the position of Claims Supervisor in 2008 and Claim Manager in 2015. Denise came to WLI with 15 years of law firm experience. Denise graduated from the Univ. of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in Consumer Science/Merchandising. Denise currently oversees claims entry, policy entry and credentialing. Denise is also the go to person for obtaining Genesis website access and training.Phone Number: 713-935-2412 Email: Denise_Greene@westernlitigation.com
Bonnie BajonCompliance Analyst/Claims AnalystBonnie Bajon Compliance Analyst/Claims Analyst
Bonnie graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and received her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies and Paralegal Certification from the University of New Orleans in 1990. In 2011, she became a Licensed Property and Casuality Insurance Adjuster. Prior to joining Western Litigation, Inc., she worked as a paralegal for eight years at various private practice firms in Louisiana. Bonnie joined WLI in 2006 as a Claims Analyst/Compliance Analyst. She is currently responsible for reporting to client and insurance carrier representatives regarding claims, coverage, credentialing and risk management issues. In addition, she is the Account Manager and Submission Agent for all WLI clients' mandatory reporting to CMS with regard to the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA).Phone Number: 713-935-2426 Email: Bonnie_Bajon@westernlitigation.com
Todd SullivanClient Counsel LeadTodd Sullivan Client Counsel Lead
Todd is a seasoned claims professional who has spent over two decades dedicated to managing medical malpractice claims. Todd received his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from East Tennessee State University in 1990 and his ABA approved paralegal certificate from the George Washington University in 1991.
Upon graduation, he joined the National Capital Reciprocal Insurance Company to handle medmal claims then moved to AIG as a Medical Malpractice Claims Specialist. Most recently, Todd had a long career at Zurich as their Healthcare Claims Manager for the Southeast Region. There he managed a team that handled Zurich’s claims throughout the country. Currently, Todd serves as WLI's Client Counsel Lead and is located outside of Atlanta, GA.Phone Number: 713-935-2462 Email: Todd_Sullivan@westernlitigation.com
Michael Fox, J.D.Assistant Vice PresidentMichael Fox, J.D. Assistant Vice President
Michael graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1971 (B.A.) and again in 1980 (J.D.). He first served in the Air Force for 21 years inititally as a Navigator (two SEA tours) and then in JAG serving in several positions to include being in charge of all tort litigation against the Air Force. After retiring from the Air Force, he managed staff counsel offices in Texas for St. Paul, Safeco and Nationwide. He has 206 federal bench and state jury trials. Prior to joining WLI's team in 2015, Michael worked as a TPA for a surgery center company with over 300 facilities.Phone Number: 630-634-4087 Email: Michael_Fox@westernlitigation.com
Amy Evans, J.D.Executive Vice PresidentAmy Evans, J.D. Executive Vice President
Amy obtained a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Political Science, from the University of North Texas. She graduated from the University of Houston Law Center in 1996 and began private practice focusing on first party bad faith and insurance coverage issues. She joined Western Indemnity Insurance Company/Frontier HealthCare as a claims attorney in August 1999 where she managed medical malpractice claims and lawsuits throughout the United States. She began working for Western Litigation, Inc. in May 2000 as a Claims Attorney. In 2005, Amy became one of the WLI's service team leaders, and in 2006 she was promoted to Executive Vice President and continues as one of WLI's five service team leaders.Phone Number: 425-586-1045 Email: Amy_Evans@westernlitigation.com
Renée O’Neill Kelly, J.D.Senior Client CounselRenée O’Neill Kelly, J.D. Senior Client Counsel
Renee received her undergraduate degree from Fairfield University in 1992 and a J.D. degree from DePaul University College of Law in 1995. Upon graduation, she worked as the Assistant State's Attorney for Cook County State's Attorney Office where she prosecuted hundreds of felony trials and motions. Renee then joined Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP as a partner. During her 13 years in private practice, she litigated numerous professional liability matters, medical negligence, contractual defense, insurance coverage, and fidelity bond litigation. Renee joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2015 as Senior Client Counsel. She manages medical malpractice claims and lawsuits, evaluates and resolves claims, negotiates settlements, participates in mediations, retains and consults experts, analyzes and responds to insurance coverage matters, selects and manages outside counsel and oversees trials.Phone Number: 713.935.2421 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam TerzichExecutive Vice President and Director of SalesSam Terzich Executive Vice President and Director of Sales
Sam joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2016 as an Executive Vice President and Director of Sales. Sam has over 25 years of experience in the professional liability industry. His experience includes excess and surplus lines, reinsurance, and third party administration on a nationwide basis. Prior to joining WLI, Sam was the President of ESIS ProClaim, managing healthcare professional liability and product liability business. Previously, he was Executive Vice President of Cambridge Integrated Services and managed product liability, healthcare professional liability, reinsurance, structured settlements and recovery business units. Sam graduated from Loyola University in Chicago with a degree in mathematics.Phone Number: 630.694.5470 Email: email@example.com
Rex RamosPresident, Dallas DivisionRex Ramos President, Dallas Division
Rex is the President of the Dallas Division of Western Ligation, Inc. and has over 25 years of experience in insurance coverage and insurance litigation management. Rex has handled, directed and supervised various types of claims, including miscellaneous professional liability, law enforcement, public officials, construction defect, labor and employment, and professional health care liability. Rex has focused his entire professional career on insurance and insurance litigation with a specialty on coverage. Rex has an active role in program development and has drafted manuscript Policy wording on numerous general and professional liability programs and commercial property programs in both admitted and surplus markets. Rex previously served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Wellington Insurance Company, Vice President of Professional Claims Managers (where he supervised the Healthcare, LPL, and Criminal Justice Groups), Assistant General Counsel of US Risk Insurance Group, and Assistant Vice President for RenRe North America (where he served as Chairman of the Coverage Committee). Rex also spent 13 years in private practice, focusing on insurance coverage under first- and third-party policies and defense of professional liability and civil rights claims. Rex currently manages, directs and oversees the Dallas operating divisions including its professional staff.Phone Number: 214.265.4921 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Troy Scott, J.D.Senior Vice PresidentTroy Scott, J.D. Senior Vice President
Troy is a Senior Vice President for Western Litigation’s office in Dallas, Texas and the manager of WLI`s Private Correction/Criminal Justice Service Operations/Governmental Entity Group, which handles claims arising out of correctional facilities, treatment and counseling centers, halfway houses, transitional living facilities, community reentry facilities, electronic monitoring providers and other criminal justice operation entities throughout the United States. Troy has been with Professional Claims Managers n/k/a Western Litigation, Inc., for 12 years and has managed claims under professional liability, employment practices liability, and general liability policies for various public and private entities including operators of private correctional facilities, law enforcement agencies, public officials, school boards and law firms. Troy obtained his B.A. in Psychology from Southern Methodist University and his J.D., with distinction, from the University of Nebraska College of Law.Phone Number: 214-265-4931 Email: Troy_Scott@westernlitigation.com
Kevin Blair, J.D.Vice PresidentKevin Blair, J.D. Vice President
Kevin is a Vice President with Western Litigation in the Dallas, Texas office and supervises a program in WLI’s Private Correction/Criminal Justice Service Operations/Governmental Entity Group. Kevin has been with Professional Claims Managers n/k/a Western Litigation, Inc., for 9 years. Kevin manages all aspects of criminal justice services general liability and employment law claims and litigation from inception to resolution, including coverage analysis, management of outside counsel, and negotiating resolutions. Kevin has extensive experience in administration of insurance claims, prosecution of a variety of criminal offenses, both jury and bench and conducting complex fact-finding investigations. He also has an extensive background in advising senior management on a variety of legal issues ranging from claims involving multi-million dollar policies, to hundreds of disciplinary matters to complex civil issues with extensive potential liability. Kevin attended Capital University, obtaining his BA Summa Cum Laude and Capital University Law School, obtaining his JD Magna Cum Laude. Kevin`s practice areas include: Third Party Administration, Prison Litigation, Civil Rights Litigation, Employment Law, Insurance Law / Regulation and Litigation.
Alice Shuman, J.D.Vice PresidentAlice Shuman, J.D. Vice President
Alice is a Vice President with Western Litigation’s office in Dallas, Texas and supervises the Dallas division's Healthcare Group. Alice has been with Professional Claims Managers n/k/a Western Litigation, Inc. for 12 years. Alice has extensive experience handling and directing litigation in numerous claims areas. She has handled and supervised claims in many categories of professional liability, including errors and omissions by operators of correctional facilities, transitional living facilities, community reentry facilities, real estate agents, home inspectors, insurance agents, insurance adjusters, lawyers, and other professionals. She currently handles and supervises claims arising from assisted living, nursing facilities, home healthcare, and other healthcare related operators. Alice obtained her B.A. from Cameron University and her J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.Phone Number: 214-265-2434 Email: Alice_Shuman@westernlitigation.com
Lois McChristian, M.S.N, J.D., CPHRMVice PresidentLois McChristian, M.S.N, J.D., CPHRM Vice President
Lois graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor's in Nursing followed by a Masters in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science at San Antonio. After working as a nurse in critical care, invasive cardiology, research, as well as being a case manager for cardiac patients in non-profit hospital systems and a civilian nurse at Veterans Administration medical centers and Brooke Army Medical Center, Lois obtained her Juris Doctorate from the University Houston Law Center in 2001. She worked as a legal nurse consultant during law school for Johnson, Spalding, Doyle, West & Trent and as an associate thereafter graduation, doing medical malpractice and product liability defense. Lois was an associate for Kroger, Myers, Frisby & Hirsch doing medical malpractice, premise liability, maritime, and general commercial defense before joining Western Litigation, Inc. in 2006 as a Claims Attorney.Phone Number: 214.647.5008 Email: Lois_Mcchristian@westernlitigation.com
Erica Bachmann, J.D.Senior Claims CounselErica Bachmann, J.D. Senior Claims Counsel
Erica is a Senior Claims Counsel with Western Litigation’s office in Dallas, Texas and works as part of WLI’s Private Correction/Criminal Justice Service Operations/Governmental Entity Group. Her primary duties include management of professional liability claims, including claims resulting from professional and general liability in privately run prisons, schools, and mental health facilities. These duties include managing litigation from inception to resolution, which consists of coverage analysis, management of outside counsel, and negotiating resolutions. Prior to joining Professional Claims Managers n/k/a Western Litigation, Inc., Erica had 11 years experience working for law firms focusing on insurance litigation, securities litigation defense and general business litigation. Erica obtained her J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law, her B.A. from American University and studied at American University of Rome, Rome, Italy.Phone Number: 214-265-2470 Email: Erica_Bachmann@westernlitigation.com
Dean Foster, J.D.Senior Claims CounselDean Foster, J.D. Senior Claims Counsel
Dean has been with Western Litigation, Inc. (WLI) since October of 2012, serving in the Dallas, Texas office. Dean handles a variety of claims, including claims arising out of correctional facilities, treatment and counseling centers, halfway houses, transitional living facilities, community reentry facilities, electronic monitoring providers and other criminal justice operation entities throughout the United States as part of WLI’s Private Correction/Criminal Justice Service Operations/Governmental Entity Group. Dean also handles E&O claims against insurance agents/brokers and staffing company claims. Before assuming his current duties with WLI, Dean was employed with a local insurance defense firm for 10 years, litigating primarily personal injury and construction defect cases. Dean obtained his B.A. from University of Texas at Austin and his J.D. from South Texas College of Law. Dean’s practice areas include: Long Term Care/Nursing home liability, Errors & Omissions Claims, and Constitutional Law.Phone Number: 214-647-5011 Email: Dean_Foster@westernlitigation.com
Dennis Koustoubardis, MBASenior Claims ManagerDennis Koustoubardis, MBA Senior Claims Manager
Dennis is a Senior Claims Manager with Western Litigation’s office in Dallas, Texas and works as part of WLI’s Private Correction/Criminal Justice Service Operations/Governmental Entity Group. Dennis has been with Professional Claims Manager n/k/a Western Litigation, Inc., for 21 years. His primary duties include management of all aspects of claims for a property program, private detention centers, Louisiana Sheriff`s Self Insurance fund and law enforcement and public officials liability coverage. This includes coverage analysis, management of outside counsel and adjusters, and negotiating resolutions. Dennis has been involved in the claims business for 30 years. Dennis obtained his BBA from Southern Methodist University and his MBA from Amber University. Dennis’ practice areas include: Private Detention Liability, Law Enforcement Liability, Public Official Liability, General Liability, Boiler and Machinery, Auto Liability, Property and Asset Protection and Fidelity Bond.Phone Number: 214-265-2424 Email: Dennis_Koustoubardis@westernlitigation.com
Bob Rodriguez, J.D.Senior Claims CounselBob Rodriguez, J.D. Senior Claims Counsel
Bob is a Senior Claims Counsel with Western Litigation’s office in Dallas, Texas. Bob has been with Professional Claims Managers n/k/a Western Litigation, Inc. 15 years. Bob`s primary area of specialty is the handling of general and professional healthcare liability claims and litigation, from inception to resolution, including coverage analysis, management of outside counsel, and negotiating resolutions. Bob has over 27 years experience handling complex nursing home liability and litigation. Bob obtained his B.A. from Berea College, B.A. (Dual Majors in Psychology & History) and his J.D. from South Texas College of Law, J.D.Phone Number: 214-265-2411 Email: Bob_Rodriguez@westernlitigation.com
Heather Salmonsen-Klotz, J.D.Senior Claims CounselHeather Salmonsen-Klotz, J.D. Senior Claims Counsel
Heather serves as Senior Claims Counsel with Western Litigation’s office in Dallas, Texas. Heather received her B.A., cum laude, from Southern Methodist University in 1993 and received her J.D., cum laude, from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1996. Heather joined Professional Claims Managers, n/k/a Western Litigation, Inc. in 1998 and her duties include management of all aspects of public entity, employment practices, and miscellaneous professional liability (insurance agents, title agents, real estate agents, home inspectors, etc.) claims and litigation from inception to resolution, including coverage analysis, management of outside counsel, and negotiating resolutions. Heather’s practice areas include Miscellaneous Professional Liability, Employment Practices Liability, Civil Rights, Governmental Tort Liability, and Insurance Law. Prior to joining Professional Claims Managers, Heather worked for CIGNA Group Insurance handling disability claims.Phone Number: 214-265-4918 Email: Heather_Klotz@westernlitigation.com
Adam Williams, J.D.Senior Claims CounselAdam Williams, J.D. Senior Claims Counsel
Adam Williams has been licensed to practice law since 1999. He started his career in commercial litigation with a focus on HMO liability law and related ERISA issues on the plaintiffs’ side of the bar. In 2003, Adam joined a commercial litigation practice with a focus on insurance defense, medical malpractice defense, and product liability defense. In November 2012 he joined Western Litigation, Inc. and serves as Senior Claims Counsel in the health care division.Phone Number: 469-249-6926 Email: Adam_Williams@westernlitigation.com
Del Mecham, J.D.Senior Claims CounselDel Mecham, J.D. Senior Claims Counsel
Del graduated from Brigham Young University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, and he received his Juris Doctorate from BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School in 2002. Del has been with Western Litigation, Inc. since December of 2014, serving the Dallas, TX office. Prior to joining the WLI team, he was an associate attorney for Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP where he specialized in performing insurance coverage analysis under multiple types of property and liability insurance policies. Del has also served as Claim Counsel for Travelers where he handled claims under employment practices liability, directors and officers liability, fiduciary liability, and crime policies.Phone Number: 214-265-2420 Email: Del_Mecham@westernlitigation.com
Elizabeth Huntington, J.D.Senior Claims CounselElizabeth Huntington, J.D. Senior Claims Counsel
Elizabeth joined Western Litigation’s Dallas office in 2015 as a Senior Claims Counsel. She currently evaluates claims, analyzes coverage issues, manages defense counsel, negotiates settlements, and participates in mediations and trials. She brings 28 years of experience in risk management to WLI. Prior to joining WLI, she provided risk management consultation to eight acute sites and over 600 employed physicians in three states in her role as the Interim System Director Clinical Risk Management at SCL Health. In addition, she developed, implemented and directed the system-wide claims management, insurance, risk financing, risk management, off-shore captive, workers’ compensation and employee occupational non-subscription ERISA benefit plan during her time as the Vice President of Risk Management with Baylor Health Care System. Elizabeth obtained her Juris Doctorate from University of Iowa College of Law and her Bachelors and Masters of Science in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University.Phone Number: 214-265-4933 Email: Elizabeth_Huntington@westernlitigation.com
Christine Jensen, J.D.Senior Claims CounselChristine Jensen, J.D. Senior Claims Counsel
Christine serves as Senior Claims Counsel with Western Litigation's office in Dallas, Texas, and has over 25 years of experience in the property and casualty insurance industry, including 15 years managing professional liability and directors and officers claims. Christine received her B.A. from Austin College in 1989, and received her J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1994. Christine joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2015 and her duties include management of all aspects of public entity, employment practices, and miscellaneous professional liability (insurance agents, title agents, real estate agents, home inspectors, etc.) claims and litigation from inception to resoultion, including coverage analysis, management of outside counsel, and negotiating resolutions. Her practice areas include: Home Inspector Errors and Omissions, Insurance Law and Coverage and Insurance Agents Errors and Ommisions. She started her insurance career as a claims trainee with Employers Insurance of Texas, and her work history includes 17 years with CNA Insurance Company, with a focus on Professional Liability and Directors and Officers claims.Phone Number: 214-647-5057 Email: Christine_Jensen@westernlitigation.com
Jessica Jackson, J.D.Senior Claims CounselJessica Jackson, J.D. Senior Claims Counsel
Jessica serves as Senior Claims Counsel with Western Litigation. Her primary duties include management of a variety of claims such as, civil rights claims, professional liability, including claims resulting from professional and general liability in privately run prisons, transitional residential centers, schools, and mental health facilities. These duties include managing litigation from inception to resolution, which consists of coverage analysis, management of outside counsel, and negotiating resolutions.
Prior to her employment with Western Litigation, Jessica served as claims counsel for an international insurer of hospitals, surgery centers, physicians, healthcare employees and diagnostic imaging centers. Before serving as claims counsel, Jessica was engaged in private practice as an experienced litigator and trial attorney. She represented and successfully resolved a wide variety of legal issues faced by her clients. Additionally, Jessica began her career as a prosecutor in Johnson County and represented the interests and the people of the State of Texas.Phone Number: 214-647-5016 Email: Jessica_S.Jackson@westernlitigation.com
Wade Hallisey, J.D.Claims CounselWade Hallisey, J.D. Claims Counsel
Wade works as Claims Counsel with Western Litigation’s office in Dallas, Texas. Working in WLI’s Private Correction/Criminal Justice Service Operations/ Governmental Entity Group, Wade manages all aspects of litigation from inception to resolution, including coverage analysis, litigation strategy development, management of outside counsel, and negotiating resolutions.
Before joining WLI, Wade was a civil litigator for sixteen years, trying cases to verdict in east and north central Texas. Wade practiced in litigation at a full-service regional firm in east Texas, defending governmental entities, health care providers, insurers, and local and national businesses in state and federal courts. After relocating to Dallas, Wade practiced with an insurance defense firm, where he represented group homes and non-profit entities in personal injury, premises liability, and internal governance claims, and subsequently operated his own general practice law firm.Phone Number: 214-265-4927 Email: Wade_Hallisey@westernlitigation.com
Eugene Isotti, J.D.Senior Vice PresidentEugene Isotti, J.D. Senior Vice President
Eugene joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2016 as a Senior Vice President. Eugene has 29 years of insurance and reinsurance claims experience in the fields of automobile, general, professional and healthcare liability claims management. Overall his experience includes claim and account management of a wide variety of national accounts in the healthcare insurance industry, including large physician groups; hospitals; long term care; and various other miscellaneous healthcare related practices written on a primary, excess/umbrella, and reinsurance basis. Prior to joining WLI, Eugene worked for AIG for more than 24 years, where he served as the Regional Assistant Vice President for the Healthcare Malpractice Claims Division for AIG Property and Casualty Insurance in the Southwest Region in Dallas. Previously, Eugene was with Arkwright Mutual Insurance Company (Massachusetts) as a Reinsurance Claims Supervisor and he supervised the management and resolution of reinsurance claims, disputes, arbitration and commutations on both facultative and treaty reinsurance. Eugene graduated from Merrimack College Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science in 1980 and from Suffolk University Law School with a J.D in 1983.Phone Number: 713.209.2802 Email: email@example.com
Pamela Popp, M.A., J.D., DFASHRMExecutive Vice President/ Chief Risk OfficerPamela Popp, M.A., J.D., DFASHRM Executive Vice President/ Chief Risk Officer
Pamela has managed, and internalized, some of the largest healthcare liability claims programs nationally, including Stanford University Medical Center, Tenet Healthcare, Spectrum Healthcare Serves, and SSM Health Care. She has served as in risk and claims management consulting roles on the brokerage sides as well as in-house with several large malpractice carriers. In her current role as Executive Vice President of Western Litigation, Inc., Pamela manages the WLI Risk Consulting Practice, working with self-insured clients to identify, mitigate and prevent risks, enhance the patient experience and educate providers on the strengths of disclosure and apology programs.
Throughout her career, Pamela has been very involved in risk management organizations at the local, state and national level. She served as the President of ASHRM in 2005 as well as a two term President of the American Hospital Associations’ Certification Center (which develops and administers the CPHRM). She remains a faculty member for ASHRM for the Risk Financing Boot Camp and other topics, and chairs the Content Committee, which has created the Physician Office Playbook.
Pamela served as President of the Board of Directors for the International Center for Captive Insurance Education (ICCIE), continues to serve as a faculty member, and is involved with various other organizations including the Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA) and Physician Hospitals of America (PHA).
Pamela is an international speaker and author on various risk and claims topics. She remains licensed to practice law in both Missouri and Illinois.
Pamela received her juris doctorate from St. Louis University and her dual Masters in Health System Management/Legal Studies from Webster University in St. Louis. She has earned the Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CHPHRM) certification, the Associate in Management (AIM) and is a Distinguished Fellow with the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM). In 2007, Pamela was awarded the Distinguished Service Award, only the 13th recipient in ASHRM’s 30 year history.Phone Number: 303-889-2575 Email: Pamela_Popp@westernlitigation.com
Jennifer L. Disner, J.D., CPHRMAssistant Vice PresidentJennifer L. Disner, J.D., CPHRM Assistant Vice President
Jennifer graduated from the University of Colorado, magna cum laude, attended Boston College Law School and received her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Colorado School of Law. During her twelve years in private practice, Jennifer represented health care entities and companies in the defense of professional liability, employment, and product liability claims. She defended hospitals, physicians, and nurses, and was successful with defense verdicts and summary judgment rulings. Jennifer also specialized in defending employment actions both during EEOC investigations and in court proceedings.
She has a specific interest in working with her clients to proactively develop risk mitigation strategies, based on both the clients’ case history and emerging trends and laws. She has consulted on health care risk management strategies and employment agreements and practices, updating employment manuals and policies to reflect changes in the law, and delivering education presentations. Jennifer is licensed to practice in the State of Colorado, the United Stated District Court for the District of Colorado and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.Phone Number: 303-889-2510 Email: Jennifer_Disner@westernlitigation.com
Kara Knowles, J.D., CPHRMSenior Vice PresidentKara Knowles, J.D., CPHRM Senior Vice President
Kara Knowles graduated from Emory University and received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Kara is licensed to practice law in Colorado. During her years in private practice, Kara specialized in the representation of hospitals and physicians in professional liability actions. Kara joined WLI in August 2009. While at WLI, Kara has focused on claims management for self-insured programs. She is currently the claims manager for a 20 member hospital reciprocal. Kara also provides frequent education to hospitals and physician groups on claims management and the integration of risk management.Phone Number: 303-889-2578 Email: Kara_Knowles@westernlitigation.com
Dina Larsen, CPHRMSenior Risk AnalystDina Larsen, CPHRM Senior Risk Analyst
Dina received her Associate Degree from the University of Montana’s College of Technology, and worked as a paralegal with the law firm of Garlington, Lohn & Robinson, PLLP in Missoula, Montana for 18 years. She was a former Paralegal member of the State Bar of Montana, and served on the Commission of Continuing Legal Education Committee. She joined WLI in 2006.
Dina has worked with WLI's clients in both risk and claims areas, performing risk assessments and assissting clients with completion of action plans. She has also provided education to hospital risk management and nursing staff on various topics, and enjoys sharing "a good claims story".Phone Number: 303-889-2536 Email: Dina_Larsen@westernlitigation.com
Shawna Willcox, CPHRM, M.B.AAssistant Vice President-Clinical Risk ManagementShawna Willcox, CPHRM, M.B.A Assistant Vice President-Clinical Risk Management
Shawna graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice. She later received her CPHRM in 2009 and her M.B.A in 2012 from Walden University. She previously worked for Wyoming Medical Center in HR and then in Risk Management. Prior to joining Western Litigation, Inc. in 2016, Shawna worked for Kaiser Permanente Colorado as a Patient Safety Manager. She was responsible for the development of fully functional patient safety committees at 35 medical offices and areas of operation across the Colorado region. She brings nine years of experience in risk management to WLI and currently serves as the Assistant Vice President of Risk Managment.Phone Number: Shawna_Willcox@westernlitigation.com Email: 307-259-3652
Durham, North Carolina
David LongClient Counsel SeniorDavid Long Client Counsel Senior
Dave joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2014 as a Client Counsel Senior in the North Carolina office. He brings over 40 years of experience to WLI in insurance and risk management. Prior to joining WLI's team, Dave worked for Phoenix Physicians, LLC where he was responsible for risk financing for the medical professional liability exposure through Bermuda cell captive and other risk transfer programs, development and mangament of risk control programs to minimize malpractice risk, and management of risk control programs to minimize malpractice risk, and managment of all medical malpractice litigation against Phoenix Physicians, LLC and its affilitated companies and physicians. At the same time, he was serving as the President of Alliance Risk Management Services, a related company by common ownership. Dave received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Geneva College in 1975 and an Associate of Risk Management from the Insurance Institute of America.Phone Number: 713-935-2406 Email: Dave_Long@westernlitigation.com
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
Matilde RosaAssistant Vice PresidentMatilde Rosa Assistant Vice President
Matilde is well known in the local insurance and medical malpractice field. She previously headed the Claims Investigation Division of the Puerto Rico Department of Health, which was self insured, for eight years. In addition, Matilde was the first Claims Manager for SIMED Insurance Company, a local malpractice company, created by the Puerto Rico Insurance Commissioner's office and funded by the various insurance companies that do business on the island. Matilde was also Vice President of the claims department for Triple S Insurance Company and was in charge of all claims for the University of Health System Self Insurance Program until the sale of their hospitals, and to date, still is assigned as consultant for their remaining claims. Matilde is certified as an All Risk Adjuster and has served on the governing board of the Claims Managers Association, among others. Currently, she is Assistant Vice President of the Western Litigation office in Puerto Rico.Phone Number: 787-999-5882 Email: Matilde_Rosa@westernlitigation.com
Norma Diaz DiazClient CounselNorma Diaz Diaz Client Counsel
Norma graduated from Inter American University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis on Management. She graduated from the University of Phoenix with an MBA in Healthcare Management in 2000. With 27 years of healthcare administration and risk management experience, she brings extensive knowledge to Western Litigation, Inc. Her most recent work experience as a Corporate Risk and Claims Management Director involved inititating a reporting system for the hospital's risk management team. She also developed written procedures for claims management, as well as manuals and staff competencies. Prior to that, Norma worked for Altura Health Managment Group and played a substantiual role both in the sale and acquisition of various healthcare facilities through active participation in due dilligence.Phone Number: 787-648-3462 Email: Norma_DiazDiaz@westernlitigation.com
Las Vegas, Nevada
Keith Radkowski, MBAAssistant Vice PresidentKeith Radkowski, MBA Assistant Vice President
Keith graduated from The University of Akron in 1994 with a Bachelor's degree in Finance and continued his education there to receive a Master's degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining Western Litigation, Inc. in 2014 as an Assistant Vice President, he worked as a Claims Consultant for the Mississippi Hospital Association, where he successfully attended and negotiated state mandated mediations on behalf of the insured's and carrier. Before that, he opened the first Nationwide agency in Nevada as a member of their agency executive program. He brings 17 years of experience in insurance to WLI's Nevada office.Phone Number: 713.935.2417 Email: Keith_Radkowski@westernlitigation.com
Brett CocoAssistant Vice PresidentBrett Coco Assistant Vice President
Brett graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis on Organizational Behavior and Administration. He has 26 years of experience in the healthcare and insurance industries, bringing extensive knowledge in claims and risk management to WLI. His most recent position involved the managment of high exposure liability claims for a national hospital corporation. Other responsiblities included purchasing insurance for various product lines, due dilligence prior to the corporate purchase of new hospitals, the oversight of property claims across a 21 state territory, and interacting with brokers, claims administrators and preferred contractors on a weekly basis. Brett joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2016 as an Assistant Vice President.Phone Number: 713-935-2415 Email: Brett_Coco@westernlitigation.com
Newport Beach, California
Melissa Nunnelee, J.D.Vice President/Claims AttorneyMelissa Nunnelee, J.D. Vice President/Claims Attorney
Melissa obtained her undergraduate degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Texas at Austin and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver. She has worked extensively in all facets of healthcare and medical malpractice insurance, including brokerage; underwriting; operations; and specialty program design, development and administration. She worked for Marsh & McLennan before co-founding Healthcare Insurance Services in 1985. HIS was acquired by Arthur J. Gallagher in 2003. Melissa also has experience in insurance regulation and served as an Associate Commissioner with The Texas Department of Insurance in 1993 and 1994. She joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2010 as a claims attorney and works in Western’s Newport Beach office.Phone Number: 949-542-3440 Email: Melissa_Nunnelee@westernlitigation.com
Monica Wells, J.D.Claims AttorneyMonica Wells, J.D. Claims Attorney
Monica received her undergraduate degree from Seattle University in 2000 and a J.D. degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2003. Upon graduation, Monica joined Keating Jones Hughes P.C. as an associate attorney where she represented medical professionals and hospitals. Monica then joined Bullivant Houser Bailey, P.C. where she was responsible for managing cases pending in Oregon and Washington. Prior to joining Western Litigation, Inc., Monica worked at American Family Insurance as a Trial Senior Staff Attorney where she defended clients on a variety of pending cases, such as personal injury claims, first party claims, and construction defect claims. In addition, Monica worked directly with the Claims Department. Monica joined Western Litigation in 2015 as a Claims Attorney in Portland, OR. She is admitted to practice in the U.S. District of Oregon, the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.Phone Number: 713-935-2405 Email: Monica_Wells@westernlitigation.com
Providence, Rhode Island
Laurel Byerly, J.D.Senior Vice PresidentLaurel Byerly, J.D. Senior Vice President
Laurel Byerly is a seasoned claims manager with over 25 years of experience in the field of professional liability.
Prior to joining Western Litigation, Inc. in 2007, she spent nearly two decades with the largest professional liability carrier in the Northeast, ProMutual, where she managed cases throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.
A seasoned speaker, Laurel is regularly asked to present to physician groups, risk managers and insurance professionals on medical malpractice claims. Additionally, she is actively involved in both local and regional risk management organizations and currently serves on the corporate sponsorship committee for NESHRM, a network for human resource professionals and business leaders. She is also is a past member of the Amicus Committee of the Professional Liability Foundation.
Laurel holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Mount Holyoke College and a juris doctorate, cum laude, from Suffolk University School of Law.Phone Number: 401-369-8253 Email: Laurel_Byerly@westernlitigation.com
Gary LeonardVice PresidentGary Leonard Vice President
Gary has over 15 years of experience in the property and casualty insurance industry and over 8 years experience in healthcare professional liability; he holds a BA from Roger Williams University and a MA from Saint Mary’s University. Gary also holds the Associate in Claims and Master Certified Special Arbitrator Designation’s, is a member of the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Massachusetts Society for Healthcare Risk Managers, serves on the CLM Professional Liability Committee, Ethics Committee at Middlesex Hospital in CT and the Underwriting Committee at Reliant Medical Group in MA.
He has held management positions with The Hanover, One Beacon & NLC Insurance Companies. His diverse background includes supervising and managing claims professionals in Medical Malpractice & Professional Liability Litigation, General Liability Litigation, D & O, Auto, Workman’s Comp., Environmental and Toxic Claims. His experience in insurance education includes teaching Associate in Claims courses to insurance adjustors, executives, underwriters and agents. He has presented at various national conferences on issues relating to medical malpractice. Gary has been with WLI since May 2011; he is licensed to manage claim in multiple jurisdictions.Phone Number: 401-369-8252 Email: Gary_Leonard@westerlitigation.com
Donna J. CaciciaAssistant Vice PresidentDonna J. Cacicia Assistant Vice President
With more than 30 years in the Rhode Island medical malpractice industry, Donna joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2007 after 17 years at Marsh, Inc. where she was a Claims Examiner and Assistant Vice President handling professional and general liability claims for the Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association of Rhode Island. She has been the MMJUA's Claim Manager since 2010. Before joining Marsh, Donna was Assistant Risk Manager at St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island for over eight years, handling their general liability, professional liability, property and the facility's self-insured workers' compensation claims. Additionally, she was involved in all aspects of in-house safety and Risk Management. Donna graduated from Katharine Gibbs in Providence and holds several Commercial Adjuster licenses in New England.Phone Number: 401-369-8251 Email: Donna_Cacicia@westernlitigation.com
Jarod Proto, J.D.Claims AttorneyJarod Proto, J.D. Claims Attorney
Jarod is a graduate of North Carolina State University and the Quinnipiac University School of Law. He brings ten years of legal experience to WLI, especially in his last position as a claims analyst for Allied World Assurance Company, where he specialized in preparing coverage opinions and investigating professional liability claims against individual and institutional healthcare providers under primary, umbrella, and excess insurance policies. Prior to that, he was a member of his own law firm, where he engaged in the general practice of law concentrating in the areas of personal injury, estate planning and commercial matters. He is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut , the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Connecticut state courts. Jarod joined Western Litigation in 2015 as a Claims Attorney.Phone Number: 713-935-2443 Email: Jarod_Proto@westernlitigation.com
Michael KubikSenior Vice President/Director of MarketingMichael Kubik Senior Vice President/Director of Marketing
Michael Kubik joined Western Litigation, Inc. in June of 2016 as the Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing.
Michael previously served as the SVP of Marketing at leading professional liability insurer Coverys, where he managed all marketing efforts in addition to the company's agent and broker distribution force. In his 17 years with Coverys, he spearheaded its expansion into all 50 states, taking the company from an entry position in many of those states to a leading market share company. Previously, he served in other professional liability insurance carrier positions with MMI Companies and PHICO.Phone Number: 713.935.2432 Email: Michael_Kubik@westernlitigation.com
Whippany, New Jersey
Susan ClemsonVice PresidentSusan Clemson Vice President
Susan Clemson has over 25 years of experience in the property and casualty insurance industry, with over 16 years in a managerial or senior management role. As Vice President of Western Litigation, Inc. she is responsible for the management of Medical Malpractice claims nationwide for various healthcare related entities and insurers. Susan has also held positions with Everest National, Atlantic Mutual, AIG and Travelers. Her diverse background includes supervising and managing General Liability, Construction Defect, Medical Malpractice, Errors and Omissions, Directors and Officers, Nursing Home Liability, Environmental and Toxic Tort claims. Throughout her career she has been responsible for implementation of litigation management best practices, including the development of litigation management guidelines, establishing panel attorney programs and creating litigation metrics. Susan is a graduate of Lehigh University with a B.A. degree in Economics.Phone Number: 973-939-3648 Email: Susan_Clemson@westernlitigation.com
Nicholas GumpelArea Senior Vice PresidentNicholas Gumpel Area Senior Vice President
Nick is Area Senior Vice President and the manager of Western Litigation’s office in Bridgewater, New Jersey. He has more than 20 years experience in the insurance industry almost exclusively in the area of non-medical professional liability. Nick currently oversees programs including Lawyers, Title Insurance and Escrow Agents, and Insurance Agents and Brokers for various carriers. Prior to joining Western, he managed the claim department for The Plus Companies, a managing general agent specializing in non-medical professional liability insurance. Nick previously held management positions with Liberty International Underwriters and Fireman’s Fund/Interstate. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1990 and received his law degree magna cum laude from Hamline University School of Law in 1995 where he served as the Managing Editor of the Law Review. Following graduation, Nick worked in private practice specializing in environmental, directors and officer’s liability, and fidelity bond coverage and defense.Phone Number: 908.947.1837 Email: Nicholas_Gumpel@westernlitigation.com
Barbara SerafiniAssistant Vice PresidentBarbara Serafini Assistant Vice President
Barbara Serafini is an Assistant Vice President of Claims at Western Litigation, where she manages a complex caseload of professional liability claims against lawyers, insurance agents and brokers and title agents on behalf of several different carriers. Barbara’s claims include several matters with considerable exposure and significant coverage issues. Barbara enjoys analyzing coverage and formulating resolution strategies for her claims and cares deeply about getting the best possible result for each claim as quickly as possible and in the most cost-effective manner. Toward that end, Barbara negotiates settlements with claimants and their counsel and manages defense counsel for policyholders. Barbara participates in numerous mediations and settlement conferences and monitors trials, providing detailed reports to management concerning witness testimony, potential for exposure, coverage issues and any settlement opportunities.
Prior to joining Western Litigation, Barbara was the Assistant Vice President of RPS Plus Companies, formerly known as the Plus Companies, Inc., handling multiple professional liability claims for various product lines. Previously, Barbara was a Senior Claims Specialist at Liberty International Underwriters where she also handled professional liability claims against attorneys and insurance agents and brokers.Phone Number: 908.947.1838 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eileen CarltonSenior Claims CounselEileen Carlton Senior Claims Counsel
Eileen serves as Senior Claims Counsel with Western Litigation’s office in New Jersey. Her primary duties include management of all aspects of health care and mortgage field inspectors malpractice and general liability claims and litigation from inception to resolution, including coverage analysis, management of outside counsel, and negotiating resolutions. Prior to joining Western Litigation, Inc., Eileen worked for RPS Plus Companies. Her duties there were to provide independent claims handling of Lawyers, Title Agents and Insurance Agents professional liability files from inception through closing, involving establishment of reserves, analysis of policy coverage, personal assistance to insureds through resolution of matters, and retention and oversight of outside counsel nationwide.Phone Number: 908.685.7650 Email: email@example.com
White Plains, New York
Douglas R. Shaw, J.D.Claims AttorneyDouglas R. Shaw, J.D. Claims Attorney
Douglas R. Shaw is a seasoned attorney who has spent the last decade dedicated to growing his legal career. He received his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University in 2001 and a J.D. degree from New York Law School in 2005.
Upon graduation, Doug joined the Nassau County District Attorney's Office. During the course of his prosecutorial career, he handled all levels of criminal cases from inception through trial. Doug was assigned to the Street Narcotics and Gang Bureau working on wiretap investigations and trials involving violent gangs. He then joined Aaronson Rappaport Feinstein and Deutsch, LLP. His practice was concentrated on the defense of hospitals and physicians in complex medical malpractice litigation. Doug next served as Senior Associate with Littleton Joyce Ughetta Park and Kelly, LLP representing manufacturers, distributors and retailers regarding a variety of products in state and federal courts nationwide and regionally.
Doug joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2014 as a Claims Attorney in White Plains, NY. He is admitted to practice in the State Courts of New York and Connecticut as well as the Eastern and Southern District Courts of New York.Phone Number: 914.697.6075 Email: Douglas_Shaw@westernlitigation.com
Neel Desai, J.D.Claims AttorneyNeel Desai, J.D. Claims Attorney
Neel received his Juris Doctorate from Tulane University Law School in 2009 after earning a Bachelor of Art's degree in International Affairs from the University of Georgia in 2006. During six years in private practice at a Manhattan defense firm, he made appearances in New York State Courts for purposes of legal arguments/motion practice and conferences relative to matters concerning Medical Malpractice defense, Product Liability defense, and Labor/Employment defense. In addition, he was responsible for all pre-trial management of his caseload. Prior to that, he worked as a law clerk for various firms where he conducted extensive law research and wrote memoranda on defense litigation issues. Neel joined Western Litigation, Inc. in 2016 as a Claims Attorney.Phone Number: 678-301-1819 Email: Neel_Desai@westernlitigation.com
Michelle Nicholson, J.D.Claims AttorneyMichelle Nicholson, J.D. Claims Attorney
Michelle received her Bachelor of Science, Honors, degree in biology from Queen's University in Canada. After briefly working as a newspaper medical reporter and editor, she returned to school to study law at Case Western Reserve University. Her subsequent work while in law focused on the medical case evaluation of personal injury and mass tort cases. This background provided her with a unique combination of analytical skills and knowledge, in both law and medicine. Prior to joining Western Litigation, Inc., she worked in AIG, Inc.'s medical malpractice department, managing claims for a range of healthcare practioners and entities (e.g., hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, physicians, nurses, laboratories, dialysis centers, chiropractors), primarily in New York but also across the U.S. These included both primary and excess policies. Along with two licenses, Michelle has earned her adjuster's license in each of the 28 states currently requiring one.Phone Number: 914-697-6126 Email: Michelle_Nicholson@westernlitigation.com
Joseph Bastien, IVSenior ProducerJoseph Bastien, IV Senior Producer
Joseph is a Senior Management Insurance Professional with 25+ years of broad-based experience in sales & sales management, account management & retention, business & product development, underwriting, reinsurance, claims, risk management, engineering, loss control and strategic planning with privately held and Fortune 1000 companies.
He is a results oriented leader who consistently surpassed objectives by building top-performing teams: sales/operations/account management. Joe is an adept strategist with a keen market sense and proven ability to resolve complex and technical issues. He is a skilled negotiator with a solid track record of forging corporate-level strategic partnerships to drive long term growth.Phone Number: 713.935.2437 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org