Pat Wielinski practices in the areas of construction, insurance coverage and risk management. He provides advice on risk management issues and programs, integrating insurance, contract documents and project relationships to manage and transfer risk for his clients. He also counsels clients as to insurance coverage and contractual risk transfer disputes, having been involved in insurance coverage claims for defective workmanship for over 30 years. At the same time, his practice involves commercial general liability, additional insured, builders risk, wrap ups and controlled insurance programs, subcontractor default coverage, design professional, contractors protective professional liability, miscellaneous errors and omissions, environmental, oil and gas, property, directors and officers and other third party and first party coverages. Pat regularly lectures to construction, insurance, and legal groups on insurance coverage and risk management issues, having authored numerous publications, many of which are relied upon in the insurance and construction industries.
Recognitions & Distinctions
- Named a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters from 2004-2015. each year, no more than 5 percent of lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor.
- Named a Leading Lawyer for Business: Texas Construction and Insurance by Chambers USA since 2007
- Named one of Texas’ Best Lawyers by Best Lawyers: The Premium Guide since 2009
- Named in Who’s Who Legal: Insurance and Reinsurance Business Lawyers since 2007
- AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, the highest rating possible.
Memberships & Affiliations
- State Bar of Texas: Past Chair, Insurance Law Section; Construction Law and Insurance Sections
- Defense Research Institute: Construction Law Section
- Dallas Bar Association: Construction and Tort and Insurance Sections
- American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel
- Associated General Contractors of America: National Surety Bonding and Construction Risk Management Committee
- TEXO (DFW Chapter), Associated General Contractors of America
- American Bar Association: Forum on the Construction Industry, Litigation Section, Tort Trial and Insurance Section
- University of Minnesota, J. D., Cum Laude, 1981
- St. John’s University, B.A., Government, Summa Cum Laude, 1977
- Supreme Court of Texas
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Courts of Appeals, Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits
- United States District Courts, Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas
Practice Areas and Casework
- Represented general contractor as to multi-faceted claims on CGL and umbrella policies issued as part of OCIP and subcontractor default policy, arising out of balcony failure on high rise hotel condominium project.
- Represented national homebuilder in a dispute with its pollution liability insurer over coverage for repair and remediation of hundreds of homes in the Southeast due to installation of Chinese drywall, obtaining a settlement after favorable ruling on venue retaining the case in Texas state court.
- Represented developer as coverage counsel in obtaining settlement on builders risk policy for delay caused by water infiltration.
- Represented construction lender as coverage counsel in mediating and settling claim against builders risk carrier arising out of demolition of high rise condominium project prior to completion due to construction defects.
- Represented contractor in a dispute with its wrap up insurer over coverage for defective showers throughout a casino/hotel project, obtaining completed operations coverage for the client. Reported at Broadmoor Anderson v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of La., 910 So.2d 400 (La. App. 2 Cir. 2005), cert. denied, 925 So.2d 1239 (La. 2006).
- Represented general contractor as to collapse of 96-foot silo loaded with direct reduced iron pellets. Pursued completed operations coverage for property damage arising out of the collapse, and obtained a favorable opinion from the appellate court as to resulting damage as an “occurrence” under Arkansas law. Reported at Lexicon, Inc. v. ACE American Insurance Co., 634 F.3d 423 (8th Cir. 2011).
- Represented owner of condominium project that suffered damage prior to completion due to construction defects, obtaining an opinion from the appellate court narrowly circumscribing the “particular part” of the property damage that was excluded and resulting in a favorable judgment for the owner against the contractor’s commercial general liability insurer. Reported at Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. JHP Development, Inc., 557 F.3d 207 (5th Cir. 2009).
- Represented insured excavation subcontractor in claim against its commercial general liability insurer for the cost of overlaying a parking lot due to the fill installed by the subcontractor. The court held that property damage resulting from unintentional acts constitutes an “occurrence” under the policy, and refused to apply the impaired property exclusion to the claim. Reported at Federated Mutual Insurance Co. v. Grapevine Excavation, Inc., 197 F.3d 720 (5th Cir. 1999).
- Represented insured contractor against its commercial general liability insurer to recover its attorneys fees arising out of a breach by the insurer of the policy. The Texas Supreme Court upheld the right of Texas insureds to recover those fees pursuant to Chapter 38 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code. Reported at Grapevine Excavation, Inc. v. Maryland Casualty Insurance Co., 35 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. 2000).
- Obtained the first appellate opinion in Texas as to the 1986 pollution exclusion in a commercial general liability policy, in which the court refused to apply the exclusion where the insured contractor had encountered an underground pipeline on the site of its operations. Reported at Kelley-Coppedge, Inc. v. Highlands Insurance Co., 980 S.W.2d 462 (Tex. 1998).
- Serves as national coverage counsel for a risk retention group made up of large general, industrial and specialty contractors throughout the United States, involving claims, including construction defect, additional insured, and indemnity matters, as well as assisting in the underwriting of liability policies, including drafting policy language, and coordinating among coverages such as wrap ups, professional, pollution and excess liability.
- Represents national, state and local chapters of construction trade organizations, including the Associated General Contractors of America, in the filing of amicus curiae briefs in jurisdictions in which significant issues relating to insurance coverage for the construction industry are on appeal. The amicus effort presents the arguments to be made on behalf of the entire construction industry as to the importance of the appeal. This corroboration has played a part in successful efforts to affirm favorable law, and to change unfavorable law, particularly as to the status of property damage arising out of defective work as an “occurrence” under the CGL policy, as well as issues involving contractual risk transfer including indemnity clauses and additional insured coverage. Representative of these efforts are United States Fire Insurance Company v. J.S.U.B., Inc., 979 So.2d 871(Fla. 2007); Lamar Homes, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., 242 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. 2007); Ewing Construction Co., Inc. v. Amerisure Ins. Co., 420 S.W.3d 30 (Tex. 2014); Architex Association, Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., 27 So.3d 1148 (Miss. 2010); American Empire Surplus Lines Insurance Co. v. Hathaway Development Co., Inc., 707 S.E.2d 369 (Ga. 2011); Gilbane Building Co. v. Admiral Insurance Co., 664 F.3d 589 (5th Cir. 2011).
- “The Construction Defect Case:Litigating the Defect or Litigating to Coverage” American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law Annual Meeting, April 2016.
- “TEXAS INSURANCE CODE CHAPTER 151:RESTRICTIONS ON INDEMNITY IN TEXAS” July 2015.
- “BUILDERS RISK INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR COURSE OF CONSTRUCTION LOSSES” Presented to The 3rd Annual Insurance in the Construction Industry Seminar in Dallas, TX, October 2014.
- “CONTROLLED INSURANCE PROGRAMS:TOOLS TO CONTROL CONSTRUCTION RISKS?” Insurance in the Construction Industry Conference, May 2013.
- “Looking To Share The Pain: A Checklist for Maximizing Coverage For Construction Defect Claims” Presented to 25th Annual Construction Law Conference in San Antonio, Texas, March 2012.
- “Insurance For Defective Construction, Third Edition,” published by International Risk Management Institute, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, November, 2012.
- Co-Editor, “Construction Insurance: A Guide for Attorneys and Other Professionals,” (Co-author on Commercial General Liability chapter), ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, 2011.
- Co-Author, “Contractual Risk Transfer: Strategies for Contract Indemnity and Insurance Provisions,” published by International Risk Management Institute, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, 1995.
- “The Effect Of Chapter 151 On Coverage For Indemnity And Additional Insured Obligations ─ Too Soon To Tell?” State Bar of Texas Construction Law Conference, 2014, San Antonio, Texas.