Sandra Weishart focuses her practice in business litigation, with particular emphasis in life, health and disability insurance matters, including: bad faith lawsuits; ERISA claims; cases arising under California’s Unfair Competition Law; class actions; and regulatory matters. In addition to representing insurers, Ms. Weishart represents life and health insurance trade associations, as well as insurance agents and brokers. Ms. Weishart also serves as lead counsel in complex professional liability and lender liability cases and investigations, particularly those involving directors and officers, and insurance agents and brokers. She handles all aspects of civil litigation, through trial and appeal stages.
Ms. Weishart became a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in October 2014 as a result of the merger of Hinshaw and the Los Angeles-based firm of Barger & Wolen LLP, where she had practiced since 1979.
- Stafford Publications, Insurance Law Advisory Board, Member
- The State Bar of California, Member
- Defense Research Institute, Member
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member
A selection of Ms. Weishart's representative matters includes:
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of health insurer in action alleging wrongful failure to add newborn to coverage
- Represented health plan and health insurer in disputes involving medical necessity, experimental treatment and other coverage issues
- Represented health plan and health insurer against claims of vicarious liability for provider’s malpractice and negligent inclusion of provider in network
- Defended health plan in action alleging discrimination against subscriber in failing to pay for treatment with nonparticipating provider
- Represented health plan in disputes arising out of plan’s third-party administrator services and other services provided under administrative services only agreement, including defense of allegations of administrator’s overpayment of claims
- Counseled health plan and health insurer in matters involving rescission of guaranteed issue coverage based on lack of eligibility and fraud in employer’s application
- Defended life insurer "vanishing premium" class action alleging fraud and unfair business practices, defeating class certification at the trial court and handling the successful appeal
- Obtained judgment on behalf of life insurer on ERISA-governed waiver of premium claim
- Represented insurance industry association in challenge to regulations promulgated by the California Department of Insurance in both the trial court and on appeal
- Represented health insurer in class action concerning attachment of health insurance applications to policies
- Defended numerous life, health and disability insurers in bad faith, ERISA, rescission and coverage matters, succeeding in defeating many actions on summary judgment
- Defeated class certification in action against property insurer arising from Northridge, California earthquake
- Defended life insurer in separate class action alleging unlawful "gap premium" charges allegedly violating California Business and Professions Code section 17200
- Defended life insurers in private attorney general proceedings challenging alleged underwriting restrictions on and rates charged to individuals who travel to countries on the U.S. State Department’s list of unsafe countries
- Represented numerous insurers in multiple actions involving hundreds of workers' compensation claims brought by air ambulance companies, resulting in dismissal of claims before a federal court and two state courts
- Represented health insurance industry associations in various amici curiae briefs filed in California courts of appeal, the California Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Apeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court
Ms. Weishart speaks at professional conferences regarding insurance topics.
Ms. Weishart's publications include:
- "Directors' and Officers' Liability Insurance," Chapter 43 (Revised), "California Insurance Law and Practice," LexisNexis Matthew Bender, April 2013
- "Availability of Immediate Newborn Coverage in Group Health Policies," 9 California Broker 38 (June 1987)
- "Professional Responsibilities of Broker and Agents," 48 The Broker (May/June 1985)
Ms. Weishart also is a member of the Strafford Publications Insurance Law Advisory Board.
Ms. Weishart’s interests include yoga, skiing and crossword puzzles.
J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1979
- Member, UCLA Law Review (1977-1979)
B.A., summa cum laude, University of California at Los Angeles, 1976
- Phi Beta Kappa
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California