From Mathlete, to National Chemistry Olympiad, to Coverage Lawyer, April Gassler has spent her life solving complex problems. In her early career, April represented insurance and financial services companies in complex commercial disputes and nationwide class action litigation, at both the trial and appellate levels. For over a decade now, April’s practice has centered on counseling insurance industry clients on complex coverage issues arising from commercial general liability, directors’ & officers’ liability, and other types of professional liability insurance policies, as well as on representing those clients in insurance coverage and “bad faith” litigation. She also assists commercial real estate developers in the Washington, D.C. area in connection with a variety of insurance and litigation issues. In addition, April is a trained mediator with a growing Alternative Dispute Resolution practice.
April enjoys working with her insurance and real estate industry clients because no two matters are the same. While familiar issues may arise in multiple cases, the unique facts and circumstances of each — as well as the differences in applicable law — ensure that there is never a dull moment. In addition, as an avid crossword puzzler, April has a strong appreciation for the fact that while there may be many viable solutions to a single problem, it is important to consider which solution is the best fit under the circumstances. April’s clients appreciate her ability to quickly identify and analyze the core issues in a new matter and her collaborative approach to developing a resolution strategy. She responds to communications promptly and can be relied upon to provide expeditious and reliable advice and/or work product when an urgent issue arises.
April pursues a wide-range of interests outside of her legal career. She is involved in a variety of volunteer activities with the Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C., of which she is a Past President. Some of her favorite projects include the Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C.’s annual Student Leader Awards Scholarship Program, the Club’s work with Bright Beginnings, Inc. (a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that provides pre-school education to homeless families), and mentoring student leaders in the CKI Club at American University (a local chapter of the world’s largest collegiate service organization). April is also a prize-winning amateur baker, owner of three rescued beagles, and an LSU Tigers fanatic.
Insurance Industry Clients
- April has monitored, and in many cases helped settle, numerous CGL, D&O, and E&O claims at both the primary and excess levels.
- April has also litigated coverage and/or provided coverage counseling in a variety of matters involving Public Officials and Educators Legal Liability policies. These claims have arisen from diverse underlying circumstances, including allegations of police brutality, police negligence, abuse by teachers, and many others.
- As lead counsel for a D&O insurer, April negotiated a favorable settlement with an insured mortgage servicing company that was facing multiple lawsuits, including class actions and a state attorney general action, alleging fraud and misconduct in its foreclosure-related operations.
- April obtained judgements in favor of a D&O insurer in two separate suits brought against it by an insured bank, seeking coverage for claims made against the bank by its custodial accountholders who lost funds in the Madoff Ponzi scheme.
- In a case involving a multi-year, claims-made policy, April represented a D&O insurer who obtained a declaratory judgment that late notice precluded coverage for a claim against an insured bank even though notice was tendered before the policy expired.
- April was part of the team that obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, in favor of a primary CGL insurer facing a bad faith failure to settle claim by an excess insurer after a $46 million judgment was entered in an underlying wrongful death action arising out of a multi-vehicle highway accident.
Real Estate Industry Clients
- April assisted a large commercial real estate developer in the creation of its portfolio environmental liability coverage program.
- April has worked with commercial real estate developers to prepare successful claim submissions under environmental insurance liability policies.
- April has assisted the firm’s real estate clients in successfully pursuing title insurance claims arising from previously unknown encroachments discovered during construction that required design modifications and/or created the potential for construction delays that could materially alter financial aspects of the development projects.
Additional Reported Decisions
- Warren Hospital v. American Casualty Company of Reading, Pa., 398 F. App’x 800 (3d Cir. 2010) (affirming summary judgment ruling that, by operation of other insurance clause in a nurse’s professional liability policy, the nurse’s personal coverage applied only in excess of the self-insured retention payable under her employer’s insurance program).
- Sheinbaum v. American Casualty Company of Reading, Pa., Case No. 09-CV-273, 2010 WL 3909209 (D.D.C. Oct. 1, 2010) (granting summary judgment in favor of a professional liability insurer, holding that the insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify a foreign-trained nurse under a policy for registered nurses in response to claim arising out of her provision of home health services when she did not hold a valid nursing license).
- Alvarez v. Insurance Company of North America, Case No. 06-CV-4326, 2006 WL 3702641 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 12, 2006), aff’d, 313 F. App’x 465 (3d Cir. 2008) (dismissing putative class action asserting claims for fraud and violation of the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act in connection with sales of long-term care insurance policies).