Philip D. Nizialek
(Current Managing Member)
Philip D. Nizialek is a partner in the Firm, practicing in litigation of complex oil and gas and maritime insurance coverage issues. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his Juris Doctor, summa cum laude, from South Texas College of Law in 1991. Mr. Nizialek is an Associate Member of the Maritime Law Association, and a Founding Member of the South Texas Insurance Forum.
Mr. Nizialek primarily represents policy holders in complex insurance coverage disputes. He has extensive experience both opining on coverage questions and litigating those questions in the state and federal courts of Louisiana and Texas. Mr. Nizialek’s experience as a risk manager and insurance professional in the oil and gas and maritime industries prior to receiving his law degree allows him to bring a practical, business oriented approach to insurance coverage problems. Moreover, Mr. Nizialek has extensive experience in interpreting oil and gas “package” policies, including all forms of well control insurance. He has also assisted policy holders in resolving complicated environmental liability claims with their insurers and has litigated coverage questions with regard to both offshore and onshore damage to oil and gas facilities as a result of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike.
Mr. Nizialek also represents policy holders in insurer receivership actions; particularly involving “net worth” issues, and has extensive knowledge of reinsurance issues, including negotiation of reinsurance commutations.
Year Admitted to Practice
State University of New York at Stony Brook, B.A. 1974; South Texas College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude 1991
Mr. Nizialek is a Member of the Maritime Law Association, Houston Bar Association and the South Texas Insurance Forum.
Areas of Practice
- Commercial Litigation
- Insurance Coverage
- Maritime & Admiralty
- Renewable Energy & Clean Technology
All Louisiana and Texas State and Federal Courts; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Oilfield Anti Indemnity Statutes (co-authorized with Lyle Rathwell) 2007; Contractual Risk Transfer, Portfolio of the International Risk Management Institute; Insurance Matters in the Oil & Gas Industry: Coverage for Louisiana and Texas E & P Exposures; Oil & Gas Seminar of the Professional Landsman’s Association of New Orleans (2008).
Represented American CGL insurers in coverage claims arising out of lawsuits in Texas and Louisiana alleging long tail pollution liability on the part of insureds. These matters involved interpretation of “sudden and accidental” and both “total” and “absolute” pollution exclusions, related pollution buy back endorsements, and the interplay between pollution coverage, underground resources, and saline substance coverage.
Represented an insurer in a declaratory judgment action involving the scope of a leased employee exclusion, which resulted in the finding of a then exception to the traditional Texas Eight Corners Rule.
Represented various insureds in obtaining liability insurance coverage for property damage and bodily injury losses arising out of blowouts of oil and gas wells in Louisiana and Texas.
Represented marine insureds in disputes involving a variety of coverage questions under hull and machinery, marine builders risk, and protection and indemnity insurance policies.
Represented a maritime CGL underwriter in a dispute with an insured over coverage for an indemnity claim made by a shipyard against the insured as vessel owner following a fatality. This case resulted in a finding of no coverage by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Brownsville Division. That finding was affirmed on appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Tried an insurance coverage dispute on behalf of London insurers arising out an underlying patent infringement and unfair competition claim. The case explored every aspect of advertising injury liability coverage in the commercial general liability policy context, with a special emphasis on the application of the fortuity doctrine, including both loss in progress and known loss concepts.
Represented several offshore oil company policy holders with respect to property damage losses, loss of production and business interruption claims arising out of hurricane damage to offshore and onshore oil facilities.
Represented both insurers and policy holders in coverage issues arising out of construction defect claims in both Louisiana and Texas, including analysis of the legal meaning of “occurrence” and “property damage” as defined in various ISO forms CGL policies.
Served as an arbitrator under IICPR Rules in a matter involving issues between primary and excess liability carriers arising out a mass tort involving an explosion and fire at an oil refinery in Louisiana.
Represented a Texas insured and its captive insurance company in negotiation of a commutation of a reinsurance Loss Portfolio Transfer.
Represented a policy holder/creditor in the receivership proceedings of a major oilfield worker’s compensation carrier.
Represented a policy holder and its Bermuda based captive insurance company in negotiations leading to a “cut-through” of the captive’s policies directly to London reinsurers.