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Kenneth C. Newa

Partner

  • Licensed Since: 1990
  • Joined Firm: 1994
  • Partner Since: 1998
38505 Woodward Ave.
Suite 100
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
TEL: (248) 594-6968
FAX: (248) 901-4040
Areas of Practice
Honors & Awards
  • Best Lawyers in America® for Insurance Law (Copyright 2018 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.), 2018 - 2019
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Rated for High Professional Achievement-Distinguished
  • Michigan Super Lawyer in Insurance Coverage, Michigan Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters publication, 2010 - 2011, 2013 - 2017
  • Top Lawyer in Insurance Law, dbusiness Magazine, 2014 - 2016, 2018
  • University of Detroit General Scholarship Award
  • American Jurisprudence Award—Remedies
  • American Jurisprudence Award—Real Estate Transactions
  • Dean’s List, Michigan State University
Education
  • University of Detroit School of Law, cum laude, J.D., 1989
  • Michigan State University, Eli Broad School of Business, B.A., Materials & Logistics Management, 1986
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Michigan, 1990
  • Ohio, 2011
  • Indiana, 2012
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1993
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2011
  • Currently or previously admitted to practice pro hac vice in state and federal courts in Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Missouri, West Virginia and Kentucky

Kenneth C. Newa is a partner in Plunkett Cooney’s Bloomfield Hills office and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Mr. Newa is licensed in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio and is currently in the process of applying for his Illinois license.

Mr. Newa focuses his practice primarily on representing insurance companies in a wide variety of insurance coverage disputes, including complex, high-exposure coverage litigation relating to environmental, asbestos, toxic tort, and construction defect claims. Many of these claims involve coverage issues arising from class action lawsuits against policyholders, including claims presented in federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL). These claims have involved class action lawsuits against manufacturers, distributers, and installers of Chinese drywall, as well as national window manufacturers. These claims typically involve multiple coverage issues, including trigger of coverage, allocation, application of “business risk” exclusions, coverage for “rip and tear,” impaired property exclusions, and sistership exclusions, among other issues.

Mr. Newa also dedicates a significant part of his practice to counseling insurers and litigating claims regarding alleged bad faith, breaches of covenants of good faith and fair dealing, and unfair claims settlement practices in states throughout the Midwest.

In addition, Mr. Newa regularly counsels clients on such diverse issues as coverage for intellectual property claims, “Coverage B” advertising injury and personal injury claims, “sick building” claims, including claims for indoor air exposure and mold remediation, and directors and officer’s claims. Mr. Newa regularly prepares coverage opinions and proposed coverage position letters on behalf of insurers, and he conducts first-party property coverage analyses, examinations under oath and property appraisals.

Much of Mr. Newa’s representation of insurance carriers has been on a regional basis, including cases pending in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Florida.

Mr. Newa has also represented product manufacturers and construction companies in construction and product liability cases.

Representative Client Work

  • Represented national carrier in Chinese drywall claims
  • Successfully tried $1,500,000 coverage claim arising from a warehouse fire, obtaining a jury verdict of “no cause for action” (Flint Distributing v Citizens Insurance)
  • Obtained summary judgment for insurer in Indiana regarding the recovery of “pre-tender” costs in seminal Indiana Supreme Court case (Dreaded v Travelers)
  • Lead carrier counsel in 400-site environmental property damage coverage litigation (Aetna v Dow Chemical)
  • Defended primary and excess carriers in large-scale environmental and asbestos coverage litigation (Aeroquip-Vickers, Pilkington and Mallinckrodt litigations)
  • Filed declaratory judgment action and obtained summary judgment ruling that policyholder must participate in defense and indemnification costs on a pro rata basis, and must reimburse the insurer for defense costs advanced on its behalf (Indiana Insurance v Maul Investments)
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of excess and umbrella insurer of employer in $1,100,000 claim involving catastrophic injuries to employee in the workplace (Plastipak v US Fire)

Noteworthy Cases

  • Duke Energy manufactured gas plant litigation
  • Magnetek/Monsanto PCB litigation
  • Tecumseh Products property damage litigation
  • Geocel property damage and bad faith litigation
  • Flexsteel property damage and bad faith litigation
  • City of Michigan City property damage litigation
  • Ericsson property damage and bad faith litigation
  • Mallinckrodt property damage litigation
  • Pilkington property damage litigation
  • Aeroquip-Vickers asbestos litigation
  • Dow Chemical property damage and bad faith litigation
  • Indiana Gas, PSI, Citizens Gas, and Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company manufactured gas plant environmental property damage litigations
  • Cinergy/Duke Power air emission litigation
  • Eli Lilly property damage litigation
  • Hi-Mill property damage litigation
  • Upjohn property damage litigation
  • Maul Investments lead paint chip litigation
  • Dreaded property damage litigation
  • Plastipak employer intentional injury litigation

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • State Bar of Ohio
  • State Bar of Indiana
  • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar (Insurance Law Committee; Bad Faith and CGL subcommittees)
  • ALFA International
  • American Bar Association (Tort and Insurance Practice Section)

Publications and Lectures

  • “When Is It An Occurrence? Trends In Construction Defect Case Law,” Panelist, ALFA International 2017 Insurance Law Roundtable, New York, NY, June 14-16, 2017
  • “Current Developments in Bad Faith and Punitive Damages,” ALFA EPLI Seminar, Author and Panelist, New York, NY, June 7, 2016
  • “Out with the Old – In with the New: Coverage for Corporate Successors,” American Bar Association’s Midyear Program, titled: “Finding Balance in the Shifting Sands of Insurance Coverage,” Presenter, Phoenix, Arizona, Feb. 26, 2011
  • "Out of Thin Air: An Examination of Vapor Intrusion and the Availability of Insurance Coverage for Vapor Intrusion Claims and Lawsuits," New Appleman on Insurance, Current Critical Issues in Insurance law, Author, Fall 2009
  • “Ohio Court of Appeals Applies ‘Absolute’ Pollution Exclusion to Inhalation of Carbon Monoxide Fumes,” Author, August 2000
  • “Michigan Supreme Court Affirms ARCO Allocation Decision,” Author, August 2000
  • “Illinois High Court: ‘Other Insurance’ Clause Does Not Entitle Insurer to Contribution,” Author, August 2000
  • “Sixth Circuit Adopts Trigger and Allocation Rulings Under Ohio Law, ” Author, August 2000
  • “Environmental Coverage Issues In Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois” seminar, Presenter, May 2000
  • “Coverage For Construction Defect Claims” seminar, Presenter, March 2001
  • “Keeping the Lid on the Liability Case in Construction Disputes,” Presenter, Michigan Concrete Association, January 1995
  • “Coverage For Construction Defect Claims; Claims of Additional Insureds” seminar, Presenter, December 2006

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