Natalie Furniss is a partner in Bricker & Eckler’s Litigation group and serves as co-chair of the firm’s Insurance Industry Litigation group and as chair of the firm’s recruiting committee. Her national litigation practice includes insurance and financial product litigation for several large national insurance and financial product companies. In addition, Natalie handles a variety of other litigation matters and has recently defended clients in lawsuits involving Federal Qui Tam actions, a number of business tort claims, product liability claims, disputes relating to partnership agreements, asset purchase agreements, real estate development disputes and health care litigation matters.
Natalie has tried cases in state and federal courts throughout the country and before Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and American Arbitration Association (AAA) panels. She has been effective in helping many of her clients obtain successful and efficient pretrial outcomes by working with her clients to develop and implement sound case strategy that may incorporate the use of pretrial motions, effective use of discovery tools, and mediation to help facilitate a resolution to the dispute.
Insurance industry and financial product litigation experience includes representation of:
- Several insurance carriers in disputes with their agent force on a range of matters including theft of company information, challenges to new agent programs, loan defaults, challenges to deferred compensation programs, and violations of agent contracts
- National brokerage firms and securities industry professionals in enforcement/disciplinary actions as well as litigation disputes brought before the FINRA
- National insurance carriers in other types of financial product litigation relating to the sale of non-registered products, such as challenges to market value adjustment charges in group annuity products, claims relating to the sale of insurance on the secondary market, and various claims relating to equity indexed annuities and indexed universal life products
Natalie has represented clients in disputes across the United States, including: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Representative experience includes:
Hospital system arbitration - Represented a hospital system in multiple arbitration proceedings in a dispute with national payor relative to the implementation of sequestration cuts imposed following passage of the budget deficit reduction act.
Medical necessity claims denials -Represented a health care provider in a dispute with a national payor relative to medical necessity claims denials.
False Claims Act defense - Successfully defended, through an appeal to the Sixth Circuit, a qui tam action brought under the False Claims Act on behalf of a hospital system who was alleged to have violated the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act by improperly certifying its compliance with the HITECH Act in exchange for receiving meaningful use payments.
Agent lawsuits in 25 states - Represented a national insurance carrier in response to agent lawsuits in 25 states.
School district defense related to sexual abuse -Successfully defended a school district in charges by a former student relating to sexual abuse by a former teacher.
Arbitration actions brought by FINRA -Successfully represented several national broker-dealers and their associated persons in over 60 arbitration actions brought before the Financial Institution Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as well as in securities fraud claims brought in federal court in over 15 states.