Wendy D. Testa Partner

     

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Wendy Testa is a co-chair of the firm’s Complex Tort & General Casualty and Design Professional practices. She focuses her legal practice on risk management services, defense and insurance coverage litigation in the areas of professional liability, including architects/engineers, brokers/agents and accountants; construction/construction defect; product liability; and contract drafting, negotiating and risk transfer disputes. 

First and foremost, Wendy is an aggressive advocate for her clients. She develops strong client relationships through trust, responsiveness, reliability and attention to detail. From inception to the successful conclusion of a case, her skills, experience and focus are all directed toward achieving a cost-effective resolution strategy in anticipation of her clients’ needs. Wendy is an efficient and effective litigator as a result of her responsiveness and attention to detail and the key issues of each case. 

Wendy handles defense and coverage matters for the U.S. and London insurance markets. Her understanding of these markets and varied underwriting practices as well as her experience in drafting and interpreting policy language contributes to her effectiveness with coverage analysis and as a litigator.

Areas of Focus

Professional Liability
Wendy defends professional clients, with an emphasis on architects, engineers, brokers and real estate professionals. Working closely with nationwide clients, she provides pre-claim added value risk management services, including contract review and drafting, seminars, webinars and continuing education programs. Her primary focus when formulating a defense is to cost-effectively resolve presuit and litigated matters or those pending before administrative agencies and licensing boards.

Architects & Engineers
Wendy is experienced in the defense of architects, engineers, construction managers, design builders and surveyors and is proud to co-chair the firm's Design Professional practice team. She regularly engages in nationwide client risk management services for design professionals including contract review, drafting and negotiating and providing seminars and continuing education programs on risk management tools, risk transfer, trending claims and hot topics in the construction industry. Wendy is barred and has extensive experience in defending architects and engineers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Agents & Brokers

As part of her professional liability practice, Wendy represents wholesale and retail insurance agents and real estate professionals, including title agents. The scope of services she provides is inclusive of those she provides for construction professionals.

Construction / Construction Defect
Wendy’s practice in this area goes hand in hand with her significant experience defending design professionals. She has defended contractors, commercial and residential construction firms, construction managers and project owners in primarily in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including disputes related to contractual defense, indemnification and insurance coverage issues as well as multi-party, high exposure bodily injury and construction defect claims. Wendy is the co-editor and contributor to the Wilson Elser Artisan/Construction Defect Law 50 State Review.

General Liability
As a co-chair for the firm’s Complex Tort and General Casualty practice team, Wendy has built a diverse civil litigation practice handling premises, auto and liquor liability matters on a national basis for several Fortune 500 companies and other large self-insured clients. Wendy provides her clients with a high level of responsiveness and personalized attention to assist in risk and crisis management at the pre-litigation phase of potential claims and when preparing a defense in litigated matters. Representative clients include construction firms, commercial and residential property owners and management companies, restaurants, and food and beverage manufacturers, suppliers and distributors. In addition, Wendy has co-authored Wilson Elser’s 50-state Liquor Liability Law Review for the past several years.

Insurance Coverage
Wendy's experience includes both coverage litigation and drafting coverage opinions for insurers related to commercial general liability as well as professional liability policies. She has obtained very favorable results through motion and appellate practice of coverage disputes for her clients.

Product Liability
A large portion of Wendy’s practice involves the defense of product liability claims against domestic and foreign manufacturers and suppliers of construction equipment, industrial machinery; and food and beverage products. She advises clients and aggressively defends their products in complex cases arising out of a product's design, manufacture or marketing. These cases often involve wrongful death and catastrophic injuries, including brain damage, amputation and paralysis, as well as substantial economic claims.

Representative Matters

Obtained Pennsylvania Superior Court reversal of lower court decision regarding the interpretation of a claims made policy and a manuscript endorsement related to when a claim is made for purposes of coverage afforded to a claim arising from personal injury sustained in a nursing home.

Obtained summary judgment in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Burlington County as a result of asserting contractual claims on behalf of a beverage equipment supplier for defense, indemnification and insurance coverage against a bankrupt manufacturer related to a significant multi-party fire loss claim. The client paid nothing in a $750,000 settlement and was reimbursed for all defense fees/costs. As a result of the successful defense strategy in the New Jersey litigation, a global settlement of a number of other nationwide fire loss claims involving the same manufacturer and its insurer was achieved with no contribution from the client.

Won motions for summary judgment based on contractual defense/indemnification issues in construction litigation matters in the Superior Courts of New Jersey, Burlington and Camden Counties and in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County.

Won motions for summary judgment (in three separate matters) based on Pennsylvania’s statutory employer defense in construction-related personal injury lawsuits in Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County.

Won appeal related to a contractual indemnification and insurance coverage dispute between contractors in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, Eastern District.

Obtained favorable settlement of a construction-related wrongful death action in Burlington County. As a result of obtaining summary judgment on behalf of owner and general contractor related to a third-party contractual indemnification claim against plaintiff’s employer/contractor, the matter resolved for $1.75 million total with plaintiff’s employer assuming all defense fees and costs of our client as well as a significant portion of the settlement.