Wylie Donald has successfully pursued claims under property, general liability, trucking, malpractice, E&O and D&O policies against primary, umbrella and excess carriers, captive insurers, state guarantee funds, insurers-in-rehabilitation and reinsurers. He has tried cases and argued appeals in the state courts in Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico and New Jersey; conducted private arbitrations and mediations; and argued motions in federal courts across the nation. Most recently he secured a $10 million jury verdict in an environmental insurance coverage case concerning past mining practices.
His hard-fought, multi-year litigations have yielded numerous eight-figure settlements for his clients in products liability and property damage insurance coverage cases. In an environmental case, where the carriers asserted notice was over a dozen years late, he obtained a settlement of almost 90 cents on the dollar. In other cases, a laser-like focus has yielded outstanding results. In a case against a state guarantee fund, careful procedural planning resulted in a recovery of 95% three months after the complaint was filed. In another case, a motion for partial summary judgment—without taking any discovery—was sufficient to obtain 100% recovery.
Wylie came to Insurance Recovery, Litigation & Counseling from the firm’s Environmental Group, in which he is still active. In a contentious groundwater contamination case, he obtained a multi-million dollar recovery, including 100% of future remediation costs and a substantial sum toward past costs. He has had success across the full range of environmental alphabet soup including RCRA TSDFs, PCBs, TCE and PCE, UAOs and ECRA/ISRA, among others. Wylie also counsels and litigates on intellectual property, mold and radiation issues.
Procedure is an essential part of Wylie’s practice. For example, on a theory of alternative liability he successfully opposed a motion to remand in Tampa Electric Co. v. Travelers Indemnity Co., 2017 WL 3911562 (M.D. Fla. 2017). But he secured the opposite relief when he prevailed on removal in Crackau v. Lucent Technologies, 2003 WL 21665135 (D.N.J. 2003), where he showed the existence of federal officer jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1442.
Wylie draws on his substantial environmental experience, his prior non-legal technical work, and his deep involvement in risk management to assist clients in understanding and controlling the coming regulatory and non-regulatory impacts of climate change. His article, Climate Change and the D&O Pollution Exclusion, 41 Tort, Trial & Ins. L.J. 1033 (Summer 2006), is one of the first to extrapolate climate change legal impacts outside of the regulatory area.
Wylie has published on COVID-19, cyber risk, insurance, climate change, identity theft, mold and radiation-related topics in both scholarly and trade publications. As a lecturer he has addressed climate change, e-discovery, mold experts, ethics issues, and internet liabilities. He has also moderated panels on environmental topics.
Wylie served in the U.S. Navy from 1984-1989. Qualified in submarines, he was the mid-watch OOD on board USS Augusta (SSN 710).