Jenny H. Wang
Jenny H. Wang is a partner in the Newport Beach office of Barger & Wolen. She represents national corporations doing business in California. Her expertise is in commercial litigation, having litigated cases involving alleged unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets and suitability of financial investments.
Ms. Wang has successfully represented life, health and disability insurers against first-party claims of breach of contract, bad faith, negligence and fraud. She has obtained judgments in favor of her clients in cases involving interpretation of what constitutes “sickness” versus “accidental bodily injury” within the meaning of insurance policies that provide different levels of benefits for claims due to either sickness or injury. She has obtained rulings in her client’s favor in cases involving the interpretation of “appropriate care” as set forth in disability policies that condition benefits on the receipt of appropriate care. She has briefed and argued dispositive motions that have served to eliminate claims against her clients for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and punitive damages. She has tried cases to verdict in both state and federal courts and has obtained a money judgment in favor of her client insurer following a jury trial on its insurance fraud claim and the insured’s counterclaims for breach of contract and bad faith.
Ms. Wang’s practice includes ERISA-governed benefits litigation; for example, cases involving employee claims for long-term disability benefits under employer-sponsored benefit plans, including claims of alleged abuse of discretion afforded to ERISA plan fiduciaries. Ms. Wang has successfully pursued ERISA-preemption of state law claims asserted against insurers, resulting in the elimination of claims for extra-contractual damages. Ms. Wang has blocked attempts by claimants to litigate ERISA-governed claims without having exhausted their administrative remedies. Ms. Wang has obtained orders precluding attempts by ERISA claimants to conduct discovery outside of the administrative record.
Ms. Wang’s practice includes representation of workers’ compensation insurance carriers in premium disputes with insureds.
Ms. Wang has represented institutions at the state, federal and appellate court levels, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She has obtained favorable results for her clients in every phase of litigation, including at the pleading stage, by way of motions for summary judgment, early mediation, trial and post-trial.
Ms. Wang is an editor and regular contributor of her firm’s Life, Health and Disability Insurance Law blog.
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1997
- University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., magna cum laude, 1994
Articles & Publications
- ERISA Long Term Disability Claim Barred By Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies
Recent victory on summary judgment by partners Martin Rosen and Jenny Wang. (DRI's The Voice, May 22, 2014)
- Employee’s Umbrella Policy Must Be Exhausted Before Seeking Contribution From Employers’ Plan
" ... the employee’s primary and umbrella policies must first be exhausted before the employer’s policies are implicated." (Barger & Wolen's Insurance Litigation & Regulatory Law Blog, March 04, 2014)
- SCOTUS Rules: Right or wrong, arbitrator’s interpretation stands
"The question ... is not whether the arbitrator construed the parties' contract correctly, but whether he construed it all." (Barger & Wolen's Insurance Litigation & Regulatory Law Blog, June 12, 2013)
Notable Decisions and Reported Opinions
- Carey v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29155 (C.D. Cal. 2014) (granting motion for summary judgment on ERISA-governed claim for long term disability benefits based upon a finding that the claimant failed to exhaust his administrative remedies),
- National Life Ins. Co., et al. v. Saks, USDC, Central Calif., Case No. LACV 07 3061, May 2013 (following a jury trial, obtained fraud verdict in favor of plaintiff insurers)
- Bilezikjian v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of America, 692 F. Supp. 2d 1203 (C. D. Cal. 2010), aff’d at 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 14664 (9th Cir. July 14, 2011) (granting summary judgment in favor of insurer on plaintiff’s breach of contract claim arising out of the assertion that disability was due to accidental bodily injury).
- Mastaler v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of America, 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 21725 (S. D. Cal. Feb. 22, 2012) (granting motion for ERISA preemption of insured’s state law claims for breach of contract and bad faith and entering judgment in favor of insurer).
- Williams v. Prudential Ins. Co. of America, 2007 WL 3407425 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 13, 2007) (sustaining motion to dismiss plaintiff’s fraud claim).
- Kirsh v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of America, 2002 WL 1293016 (Cal. 2nd App. Dist. June 12, 2002) (affirming trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of insurer regarding policy rescission based upon the insured’s misrepresentation of health in the policy application).
- The State Bar of California
- Defense Research Institute
- Orange County Bar Association