Christopher B. Hess is a partner in the Pittsburgh office of RWH Myers, specializing in the preparation and settlement of large and complex property and business interruption insurance claims for companies in the chemical, mining, manufacturing, communications, financial services, health care, hospitality and retail industries. He has led project teams on three continents in the resolution of more than $1 billion in claimed losses. Hess also performs business interruption exposure studies, forensic accounting and white-collar crime investigations, and provides litigation support services to attorneys, including expert witness testimony.
He blogs at RWH Myers Insights.
Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical – Hess was the on-site project leader following the destruction of Kaiser’s (now Century’s) alumina refinery in Gramercy, LA. As part of this assignment, he devised an interim claim filing strategy that facilitated monthly advance payments over the two-year rebuilding project, including property and business interruption losses. He also worked with Kaiser’s Jamaican bauxite subsidiary to identify and quantify BI interdependency losses. Following the settlement of insurance claims, Hess provided litigation support services and damages analysis in subrogation actions involving various third parties. Kaiser recovered in excess of $325 million on this matter.
Air Products – Hess led a team of professionals in the preparation and resolution of property and business interruption losses arising from damage to Air Product’s Michaud, LA, plant because of Hurricane Katrina. Hess was instrumental in deploying an interim claim filing strategy that facilitated and expedited review of claimed losses by adjusters and accounting and engineering experts, resulting in final settlement of all claims approximately one year after the date of loss. The final settlement approached $100 million.
Mississippi Phosphates – Hess and his team of professionals prepared and helped resolve inventory, property damage and business interruption losses arising from catastrophic damage to the Pascagoula, MS, fertilizer plant. The work product that Hess produced allowed for regular interim payments that were critical for this fledgling company. Hess facilitated communication with all levels of management and the adjusters, accounting and engineering experts throughout the 18-month process that led to a successful settlement of claims in excess of $60 million.
Flo-Sun/Central Romana/Casa de Campo Resort – Hess supervised the project team responsible for the preparation and settlement of property and business interruption claims arising from hurricane damage to the facilities and properties of the largest privately held sugar plantation and refinery in the world, which also includes a four-star resort. He organized procedures to ensure an effective system for data collection and management and was personally responsible for the timely submission of all property damage repair cost information and inventory losses. He also participated in the preparation of interim property and business interruption claims, which facilitated a final settlement in excess of $100 million, within 18 months of the date of loss.
Allegheny Energy – Hess prepared all property repair cost claims arising from a turbine generator failure at the company’s station in Hatfield, PA. Hess spearheaded the responses to adjuster inquiries throughout the two-year project. Hess, as a trusted member of the claims team, facilitated final negotiations and settlement between Allegheny and five carriers. Total recovery exceeded $60 million.
American Eagle Outfitters – Hess was brought in to prepare multiple claims related to losses incurred at clothing retail locations across the southeastern U.S. as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Hess worked closely with the insurer’s auditors to agree on a mutually acceptable approach to this group of losses. Subsequently, Hess was asked to help finalize the numbers on an existing fire loss to the flagship retail location in the SOHO area of lower Manhattan. Total settlement for these matters exceeded $5 million.
Hertz Investment Group – Hess calculated and documented losses arising from damage to Gateway Center office buildings and parking garages caused by a City of Pittsburgh water main break. The work product Hess produced helped secure advance payments while various disputed items were resolved. Final settlement of property damage and time element losses exceeded $10 million.
MONY Group – Hess prepared and resolved business interruption and property damage claims incurred by this financial services company arising from the terrorist events of Sept. 11th in lower Manhattan. His efforts resulted in a recovery of $5 million.
Hess is a 1994 graduate of the University of Richmond and holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting. He is a certified public accountant licensed in Georgia and Pennsylvania, a certified fraud examiner and a member of the AICPA.
February 2008 – Present
July 1994 – February 2008