Property, Fire and Casualty

As residential and commercial properties continue to increase in value, owners and property insurers face escalating losses from fire, flood, or other catastrophes. No matter who your claim is against, Secrest Wardle has the personnel and resources needed to effectively defend the claim. For decades, we have successfully litigated property damage claims, including such high-profile catastrophes as the deflation of the Pontiac Silverdome Stadium roof, the alleged bolt failure at the Midland Nuclear Plant containment vessel, and damage to the Detroit People Mover from the explosive demolition of the Hudson's Department Store.


Our skilled lawyers handle any and all claims pursuant to damage or loss to property, including, but not limited to, loss from fire, flood, explosion, and mold. We work with nationally-renowned laboratories, engineers, and cause and origin experts who often have contacts with local government fire investigators to investigate claims long before litigation is filed. Our lawyers go to the scene, whenever possible, to work with the experts, protect the evidence, and develop our defenses from the earliest opportunity.


Secrest Wardle's other practice groups contribute to our success in defending property claims and litigation. Because we are one of Michigan's largest municipal law firms, our Municipal Practice Group has contacts with police, building and fire officials in many communities. Our Construction, Product Liability and Premises Practice Groups provide knowledge and resources for property claims involving those fields. Our Insurance and Professional Liability Practice Groups can assist on claims involving policy interpretation, declaratory judgments or the increasingly common subrogation actions, which include a claim against the agent for under-insuring the property. Our Appellate Practice Group maintains an enviable record for shaping the law and defending on appeal our victories in the trial courts.

Group Chair
  Emrich, Henry S.
Executive Partner

Group Members
Edmonds, Nathan J.
Senior Partner

Scott, Margaret A.
Executive Partner

Antisdale, Terri L.

Cole, Justin L.

Fopma, Amanda B.

Givskud, David M.

Holt, Jr., Robert B.

Rojas, Diego J.

Schlinker, John C

Shkreli, Paul

Weston, John L.

Nikolovski-Amady, Loren

Paasch, Jonathan J.

Recent Publications
Not So Fee Simple: COA Rules Land Contract Sufficient for Replacement Cost Under Policy Provision
Safeguards 01/03/2018

Four Secrest Wardle Attorneys Named to dbusiness “2018 Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit
In The News 11/14/2017

Recent Legislation May Aid Landlords In Preventing Loss Caused By Medical Marihuana Growing Operations
Safeguards 06/19/2015

Supreme Court underscores that snow and ice are open and obvious when there are "indicia of a potentially hazardous condition."
Boundaries 10/24/2014

Complimentary Webinar: Don't Get Washed Away With Flood Claims
Press Release 08/13/2014

Litigation Successes
Property, Fire & Casualty
Kimberly Harris v Auto Club Insurance Association
Result Date: 12/21/2012

Property, Fire and Casualty
Ingrid Connell v MemberSelect, et al
Result Date: 08/17/2011

Property, Fire and Casualty
Mash Gym v Auto-Owners
Result Date: 07/29/2011

Property, Fire and Casualty
Bussey v AAA
Result Date: 06/13/2011

Property Damage-Negligence, Nuisance, Trespass
Thomas M. Cooley Law School & Indiana Insurance Co. as subrogee of Thomas M. Cooley Law School v. Intec Company, Inc. d/b/a Johnson Electric Co.
Result Date: 10/04/2010

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2015


Alternative Dispute Resolution


Commercial and Business Law


Drug and Medical Device


Environmental and Toxic Tort

Family Law

General Negligence

Governmental Litigation

Insurance Coverage

Intellectual Property / Advertising Injury

Malpractice / Professional Liability

Motor Vehicle Litigation


Premises Liability

Product Liability

Property, Fire and Casualty

Real Estate

Trucking/Commercial Vehicle Litigation