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Policyholder
Powerhouse™

A Pioneer and Continuous Innovator in Insurance Coverage Litigation

Anderson Kill's insurance recovery attorneys have recovered billions of dollars in judgments and settlements from insurance companies over the course of five decades. Having pioneered insurance coverage litigation in the early 1980s, the firm remains at the cutting edge of policyholder advocacy, representing policyholders in high-stakes new asbestos recovery matters (including those stemming from J&J talc liability), as well as in suits and negotiations seeking coverage for long-ago alleged sexual abuse, cyber losses and liabilities, COVID-19 losses, biometric liabilities, transaction liability, and D&O liability.

For five decades, Anderson Kill has continuously made insurance law in multiple states. Representations in consequential decisions in recent years include:

For amicus curiae United Policyholders in support of Huntington Ingalls

A September 2022 Vermont Supreme Court decision finding that the shipbuilder and its captive insurer may seek coverage from reinsurers for “direct physical loss or damage” and resulting business interruption caused by the presence of the coronavirus.

For the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

A decision, upheld twice on appeal, providing not only defense coverage for long-tail asbestos claims stemming from the construction of the original World Trade Center even after exhaustion of limits, but also attorneys' fees for the defense coverage dispute (AIG dropped its last appeal in July 2021).

For Siltronic Corporation

A July 2018 federal court decision in Oregon that held, in an issue of first impression, that the exclusion for "expected or intended" pollution does not apply to a policyholder that bought the property not knowing it was contaminated.

For Retail Ventures

A 2012 decision in the 6th circuit finding coverage for a data breach under a crime policy, rejecting the “direct loss” defense that insurance companies have often attempted to deploy to deny cyber claims.

For the State of California

The California Supreme Court's landmark 2012 Stringfellow decision establishing "all sums" and "stacking" principles for policyholders, resulting in recoveries exceeding $170 million for the state.

Anderson Kill represents policyholders only in insurance coverage disputes, maintaining no ties to insurance companies and thus avoiding conflicts of interest. The practice's zealous and single-minded advocacy on behalf of policyholders bears the imprint of founder Eugene R. Anderson, who pioneered insurance coverage litigation as a distinct practice area and a life's mission.

It was at Mr. Anderson's initiative that Anderson Kill began a decades-long partnership with the nonprofit advocacy group United Policyholders (UP), founded by Amy Bach. Working in concert with UP, Anderson Kill has filed more than 300 amicus briefs in consequential insurance cases that have been cited by numerous courts, including the United States Supreme Court in Humana Inc. v. Forsyth (1999). Most recently, Anderson Kill filed an amicus on behalf of United Policyholders in support of military shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls’ (HI) pursuit of coverage for losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2022, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that the presence of COVID-19 at HI’s facilities may have caused "direct physical damage" that would trigger coverage for its business interruption losses.

On the occasion of Anderson Kill's 50th anniversary in 2019, Ms. Bach (UP) said in tribute: "No firm has done more than Anderson Kill to defend and extend the ability of insurance policyholders to obtain the coverage they've paid for in courts of law throughout the United States In addition to their coverage wins for clients, they have advanced and protected the rights of all U.S. insurance buyers through the friend of the court briefs they have been submitting in partnership with us in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court, for nearly three decades."

Reflecting its first mover advantage as a pioneer of coverage litigation, Anderson Kill's insurance recovery practice is supported by a unique library of tens of thousands of insurance company regulatory filings, manuals, briefs, advertisements, and other discovery materials.

In a corporate legal environment in which insurance companies carry tremendous weight, both as clients and as sources of defense work, Anderson Kill's policyholder-only commitment serves as a competitive advantage. Often, policyholder’s defense counsel finds it difficult and/or impossible to conduct the defense of the liability claim and resolve the coverage issue with the insurance company. Anderson Kill is often called on to provide ‘conflicts counsel’ to obtain insurance recovery without distracting or compromising the defense counsel.

The Firm that Taught Policyholders How to Fight Back Against Wrongful Coverage Denials

Anderson Kill can fairly be said to have created insurance recovery as a distinct practice area.

 

Founded by Eugene R. Anderson in 1969, Anderson Kill pioneered insurance coverage litigation as a practice area in the early 1980s, as U.S. companies faced massive liabilities emerging from asbestos litigation and environmental cleanup mandated by Superfund legislation. In multi-year court battles, Mr. Anderson won landmark decisions for policyholders including Keene Corporation and the Central Illinois Public Service Company that established core principles for policyholders. These included the continuous trigger of coverage for claims that develop and manifest themselves over extended periods; joint and several liability to full policy limits for multiple insurance companies on the risk; and a finding that the sudden and accidental pollution exclusion in broad effect from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s was ambiguous.

 

Those early decisions finding insurance coverage for environmental cleanup opened a floodgate of litigation against insurance companies, as policyholders began asserting their rights for coverage on a host of liabilities. Anderson Kill (then Anderson Russell) was a primary beneficiary. Companies ranging from Olin Corp, McKesson Corp, and Consolidated Edison all came to the firm for representation in major coverage litigation. By 2007, 137 state and federal court decisions had cited Keene Corp. v. Insurance Co. of North America, as well as 178 law review and journal articles.

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Beginning with the landmark cases of the 1980s and continuing through the present, Anderson Kill developed a unique database of historical information about the drafting history of core insurance policy provisions and insurance companies’ claims handling practices en route to becoming a national giant in insurance law, as Best’s Review called the firm in 1998.

 

In the early 1990s Bob Horkovich and Bill Passannante, representing Weyerhaeuser, pushed the envelope on the Keene decision in the context of environmental liability. Before the Supreme Court of Washington, the attorneys successfully argued that coverage existed for Weyerhaeuser, even though the company voluntarily offered to clean contaminated groundwater at 18 of 42 sites subject to environmental pollution and possible CERCLA liability. Thanks to these efforts, Washington is seen as one of the most policyholder-friendly venues to this day.

 

Flashing forward to the early aughts, in Wausau v. Tektronix (Clackamas County, Oregon, 2002), Anderson Kill attorneys won a jury verdict and declaratory judgment in favor of coverage at six environmental sites, establishing that late notice only precludes coverage when the insurance company can show that it was prejudiced by the delay — even when notice was 15 years late, as in this case.

 

To pick up the thread of consequential Anderson Kill victories for policyholders in more recent years, please see the Matters tab.

Representative Matters

Current Cases

Official Talc Claimants Committee in LTL Management LLC (J&J bankruptcy). Anderson Kill has been approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey to serve as special insurance counsel to the Official Talc Claimants Committee in May 2022 in LTL Management LLC. LTL is the spinoff Johnson & Johnson created to resolve talc claims relating to its talc products. The LTL (J&J) bankruptcy involves over $2 billion in insurance assets. The U.S. 3rd Circuit rejected LTL’s (J&J’s) bankruptcy as being in bad faith, as requested by the talc claimants, permitting the talc claimants to pursue their claims directly in the tort system. LTL (J&J) again filed for bankruptcy on April 4, 2023. On July 28, 2023, the Bankruptcy Court rejected the filing, holding that the proposed bankruptcy didn’t meet the standards for financial distress. LTL (J&J) again has appealed, and the Third Circuit has accepted cert and set a briefing schedule. Anderson Kill has identified insurance assets available to pay claimants’ settlements and judgments and has answered claimants’ counsels’ questions regarding the $2 billion in insurance available to do pay claims against LTL (J&J).

Tort Claimants Committee and Future Claimants Representative in Cyprus Mines. Anderson Kill was approved by the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to serve as special insurance counsel to the Tort Claimants Committee and the Future Claimants’ Representative in the Cyprus Mines case, effective March 25, 2021. Cyprus Mines provided talc to Johnson & Johnson and others, and its bankruptcy proceeding is impacted by those of J&J subsidiaries. Holders of claims for personal injury or wrongful death arising from exposure to talc or talc-containing products constitute the largest creditor constituency in the Cyprus Mines Chapter 11 case, which stems from the company’s provision of talc to Johnson & Johnson. Potentially over $1.6 billion in insurance assets stand to be recovered and transferred to the trust to cover claims from those with mesothelioma or ovarian cancer caused by exposure to asbestos-bearing talc products. Anderson Kill is working to transfer those insurance assets to the Trust and to mediate before Ken Feinberg and Tim Gallagher with an insurance company interested in settling its dispute before litigation by the ensuing trust.

Kaiser Gypsum Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claims and the Future Claimants’ Representative . Anderson Kill was approved by the US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina as Special Insurance Counsel to the Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants and the Future Claimants’ Representative in the Kaiser Gypsum Company asbestos bankruptcy in the Western District of North Carolina. Anderson Kill advised the Committee and the FCR and their counsel regarding how best to secure over a billion dollars in insurance coverage that will be used to fund payments to the Asbestos Claimants. On August 9, 2018, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division entered a lift stay order permitting claimants to file suit against the Debtors to access over a billion dollars in insurance coverage. On August 13, 2020, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court confirmed the bankruptcy plan proposed by the ACC and FCR and made the lift stay order part of the permanent plan. Anderson Kill presently represents the resulting Kaiser Gypsum Asbestos Settlement Trust. Pending the appeals, claimants can access at least $5.5 million in insurance coverage for each and every claim without limit – and even more excess insurance coverage within limits.

Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC. On August 31, 2023, Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC f/k/a Colt’s Manufacturing Company, Inc. (Colt’s) filed suit in U.S. District Court in Connecticut against two AIG companies – American International Specialty Lines Insurance Company n/k/a AIG Specialty Insurance Company (AISLIC) and National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. (National Union) - regarding products liability coverage for an action pending in the Superior Court of Indiana against Colt’s and other manufacturers and distributors of handguns. The suit was filed by the City of Gary (the City) in August 1999, and alleges, among other things, that Colt’s negligent design, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of firearms injured the City and its citizens in multiple ways. In October 1999, an Interim Defense Funding Agreement was executed, whereby AISLIC, National Union, or both agreed to pay Colt’s costs incurred in connection with its defense of the City’s lawsuit (among others). Following execution of the agreement, AIG paid Colt’s defense costs through at least 2017, but informed Colt’s in 2021 that they would cease providing a defense, citing a provision in a self-insured retention endorsement that, according to AIG, eliminated the duty to defend. The endorsement in question, however, does not modify the sole coverage stipulated in the relevant policy (for Products/Completed Operations Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability) that triggered the duty to defend. Colt’s, therefore, filed suit seeking damages arising from the AIG companies’ breaches of their contractual and good faith obligations, and a declaratory judgment adjudicating the respective rights, duties, and obligations of Colt’s and the two AIG companies.

Family Dollar Stores of Wisconsin. Anderson Kill represents Family Dollar Stores of Wisconsin in a lawsuit filed in August 2020 in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, involving liability for the cost of rebuilding a store that was destroyed as a result of arson. Family Dollar seeks a declaratory judgment finding that Family Dollar and the property’s owner are entitled to insurance coverage for the destroyed property, as well as a finding of bad faith claims handling due to the insurance towers’ failure to issue any coverage determination prior to the lawsuit being filed. The policyholder/plaintiff has successfully opposed a motion to bifurcate the coverage and bad faith portions of the case, and as such, Family Dollar will be able to pursue bad faith damages as well as a declaration of coverage for the destroyed property.

Brenntag Northeast LLC. Brenntag filed this coverage case in Pennsylvania state court in 2018 against three primary and excess insurance companies. In 2022, Brenntag successfully resolved this action with two of the three defendants. With regard to the remaining defendant, Travelers Insurance Company, Brenntag seeks a declaration of the existence of coverage, compensatory damages for breach of contract and compensatory, punitive and statutory damages for bad faith, including reimbursement of legal fees, as well as sanctions for wrongful conduct. In 2023, Brenntag and Travelers completed discovery and filed cross-motions for summary judgment on all issues, along with multiple in limine motions and other pre-trial filings. The Court held three full days of hearings on the complex competing summary judgment motions, which currently are sub judice. Brenntag also filed a lengthy motion for sanctions for Travelers’ wrongful conduct, both in claims handling and litigation. That motion is sub judice as well.

Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. Anderson Kill represents the Diocese of Brooklyn in pursuit of defense and indemnity from its insurance companies in connection with hundreds of underlying lawsuits alleging negligent supervision of clergy and others alleged to have committed acts of child sexual abuse. One of its insurance companies seeks to avoid coverage on grounds that, among other things, the diocese “expected or intended” the abuse. On 3/31/23, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted the policyholder’s motion to stay the insurance company’s indemnity-based declaratory judgment claims, accepting the policyholder’s argument that the diocese’s alleged notice of each of the hundreds of instances of underlying abuse is key to the underlying actions, and, absent a stay, there is a risk of inconsistent factual determinations between the underlying actions and the coverage action. The court also agreed with the policyholder’s argument that the insurance company’s indemnity claims should be stayed because of the risk that any factual or legal determinations could impact the policyholder’s liability in the underlying actions.

Griffon Corporation. Anderson Kill represents Griffon Corporation in insurance negotiations for coverage for an environmental cleanup claim in New York estimated to be in the eight figures. The issues in dispute include missing policies, late notice, pollution exclusions, trigger and allocation.

Benefytt Technologies, Inc. In a suit filed in Delaware state court in February 2021, Benefytt seeks to secure D&O and E&O protection for 3 underlying claims for a securities class action defense, a consumer class action defense and indemnification, and repayment of defense costs and statutory market conduct examination claim expenses. This coverage litigation implicates two lines of liability insurance coverage. The dispute also involves arguments by certain insurance companies over related claims defenses involving claim placement from policy period to policy period, late notice arguments, notice of wrongful acts, and recoupment claims. To date we have secured over $21 million in coverage settlements, and the litigation remains pending. Trial will likely take place in 2024.

Scholastic Inc. Scholastic seeks excess insurance coverage from St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance, a Travelers subsidiary, for more than $14 million in excess defense and settlement costs stemming from a trademark and copyright infringement suit filed by Vanderbilt University against Scholastic. The primary insurance company covered defense and indemnity costs up to the $10 million policy limits. Although the Vanderbilt claim against Scholastic fell squarely within the terms of the excess policy, which expressly insures Scholastic for claims including allegations of Professional Liability Loss resulting from Scholastic’s rendering of Professional Services, Travelers denied coverage. In April 2023, Scholastic sued Travellers in S.D.N.Y., alleging wrongful denial of coverage. Currently before the Court is a motion by Travelers seeking to dismiss Scholastic’s claim for consequential damages and attorney’s fees. Scholastic has opposed the motion, arguing that Travelers’ conduct warrants consequential damages including attorney’s fees.

Capital Crossing Service Company, LLC. Anderson Kill represents Capital Crossing in two related insurance coverage actions against Mapfre Insurance company over coverage for over property losses sustained at over 100 locations as a result of Hurricane Maria. The cases are pending in U.S. District court in Boston, Massachusetts and in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The plaintiff seeks over $30 million in losses and the cases raise novel issues concerning coverage for lenders with respect to properties covered by force placed insurance and insurable interest, as well as novel choice-of-laws issues for bad faith claims. Jurisdictional issues are currently being briefed.

QAD, Inc.. Anderson Kill represents enterprise resource and supply chain management software provider QAD regarding Directors & Officers liability insurance coverage, including defense costs and indemnity payments, for the company and the company’s directors arising out of the securities litigation entitled Nantahala Capital Partners II Limited Partnership v. QAD et al., in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware. Following a series of mediations, Anderson Kill was able to negotiate a favorable settlement for QAD and its directors and officers, the terms of which settlement is confidential.

Future Claimants’ Representative in Aldrich Pump. Anderson Kill has been approved by the US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina as special insurance counsel to the Future Claimants’ Representative in the Aldrich Pump asbestos bankruptcy case. Aldrich Pump was formed as part of a May 2020 corporate restructuring, in which the newly formed companies Aldrich Pump and Murray took on legacy asbestos liabilities previously held by Trane Technologies, a manufacturer of pumps, compressors and HVAC equipment that sometimes incorporated components containing asbestos. Aldrich and Murray hold a reported $1.7 billion in liability insurance coverage to be potentially recovered and transferred to a 524(g) asbestos trust to cover asbestos injury claims.

WRG Asbestos PI Trust. Anderson Kill was selected as lead insurance counsel to the WRG Asbestos PI Trust at the conclusion of the W.R. Grace asbestos bankruptcy and continues to pursue insurance recoveries under coverage in place settlement agreements and from insolvent insurance estates. Anderson Kill already has recovered more than $650 million in insurance assets transferred to the Trust.

Radiac Adhesives. Anderson Kill represents Radiac Adhesives in New Jersey Superior Court, Essex County, against ten insurance companies for coverage for environmental cleanup in excess of $9 million at a former facility now used as a day care center. The issues in dispute include missing policies, trigger of coverage, and allocation among insurance companies. Radiac’s motion for summary judgment is pending. Radiac has settled with three of the insurance companies and is in mediation with the others.

Clean Pro Carpet & Upholstery Care. Anderson Kill represents Clean Pro Carpet in an insurance coverage suit removed to the Eastern District of Louisiana in May 2020, seeking coverage for costs incurred in providing restoration services to a condominium complex following a catastrophic fire. The condominium’s homeowner’s association assigned the rights to its insurance proceeds to Clean Pro. The insurance company has refused to cover over $6 million worth of Clean Pro’s services, alleging inflated billing. The insurance company invoked the arbitration clause and the matter was referred to arbitration. The insurance company then filed a separate action in the Southern District of New York seeking the appointment of an arbitration umpire, which Anderson Kill successfully removed back to the Eastern District of Louisiana. The Eastern District of Louisiana ultimately appointed an umpire and the arbitration will take place in 2024.

MicroBilt. MicroBilt sued Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s and CFC Underwriting in September 2020 in U.S. District Court in New Jersey seeking bad faith consequential damages resulting from Lloyd’s long delay and failure to pay attorneys’ fees that it had agreed to pay. As a result of a 16-month delay, Microbilt had to retain new counsel to defend the underlying suit, incurring substantial additional cost. The matter value is $5 million. On November 10, 2021, Judge Freda L. Wolfson denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss part of a suit, holding that the fact that the defendants ultimately paid is immaterial to cause of action in breach of contract for delay. The court further that the cause of action may actually lie in breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, not contract, and therefore denied the motion without prejudice. The parties are currently in discovery.

CTC Transportation Insurance. Anderson Kill represents CTC, a third-party administrator for an insurance company accused by the Nevada Insurance Commissioner of fraudulently causing the insolvency of that insurance company. CTC has sued seeking coverage from QBE and other insurance companies, who are relying upon an insurer insolvency exclusion and an insured vs. insured exclusion to deny coverage. The liquidator has sued CTC for over $40 million in damages. We have defeated the insurance company’s motion to dismiss. The matter is now subject to a tolling agreement until August 2024. In the meantime, the primary insurance company has agreed to defend the underlying matter.

Recent Cases

Individual plaintiffs in The Ohio Casualty Insurance Co. v. California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church et al. Anderson Kill is insurance counsel to victims of alleged sexual abuse in the United Methodist Church. Those victims now have been further victimized by being named as defendants in a lawsuit brought by an insurance company, the Ohio Casualty Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Ohio Casualty filed its declaratory action for non- coverage against the victims, the Los Altos United Methodist Church, and the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in the US District Court for the Central District of California on July 6, 2023. On November 17, 2023, the federal court stayed Ohio Casualty’s lawsuit on Anderson Kill’s briefing.

Terminix. Anderson Kill represents pest control company Terminix in pursuit of coverage under a $25 million Swiss Re excess policy for an $8 million judgment against the company, plus $3 million in interest and costs. The policy included products-completed operations hazard coverage purchased for an additional premium that Terminix argues should provide coverage for liability incurred when a Terminix employee allegedly exposed a third party to pesticide. The plaintiff in the underlying suit alleged that pesticide applied by a Terminix employee in an adjoining store seeped through the wall and caused him permanent loss of taste and smell. Terminix argues the claim fits squarely within the products-completed operations coverage because the injury occurred off-premises and the work was completed at the time of the plaintiff's injuries. Terminix's primary insurance company covered defense costs in the underlying suit and estimated the claim would be resolved for $75,000, but a jury awarded the plaintiff $8 million. Swiss Re denied the claim, arguing that the products-completed operations hazard did not apply and on late notice grounds, while Terminix argued there were no grounds to believe that the underlying suit would require excess coverage. On Oct. 26, 2023, the court granted partial summary judgment to Terminix, holding that the policyholder proved that bodily injury occurred away from its insured premises and arose out of its product, triggering coverage under the products-completed operations hazard.

Meridia Downtown Urban Renewal Bound Brook, LLC. Anderson Kill represented Meridia in an insurance coverage action against a number of insurers over coverage for a catastrophic arson fire loss to a large apartment complex during construction. The case was pending in New Jersey Superior Court, Union County. The plaintiff sought over $35 million in damages. The case involved novel issues concerning the interpretation of policy conditions and exclusions for alleged failure to maintain protective devices on a construction site, and the availability of consequential damages for alleged insurer delay in payment. The Anderson Kill team prevailed on summary judgment on the issues relating to protective devices, and the case settled in October 2023 after further discovery and motion practice on damages and other issues.

Synnex. Anderson Kill represented Synnex in an insurance coverage suit filed in October 2020 in U.S.D.C. for the Northern District of California, seeking coverage under a crime policy for indemnity costs arising out of the theft of approximately $14 million worth of computer hardware and software from the Synnex Westcon-Comstor warehouse in Mexico City. Axis denied coverage on grounds that the security guards at the site were not employees pursuant to the definition in the policy and that the stolen software was not covered because it was intangible property. On March 15, 2023, the court granted summary judgment on all essential points to Synnex, finding that the guards in question were leased employees covered under the policy, and that therefore, Axis had an obligation to cover SYNNEX’s losses from the theft. The Court further found that the software loss was covered because it was integrated with computer hardware, thereby constituting tangible property that was covered under the Policy. Specifically, the Court stated that SYNNEX lost a physical product made more valuable by the software pre-installed onto it. The court also rejected Axis’s motion to dismiss the breach of contract/bad faith claim, finding that evidence in the record suggests that Axis acted unreasonably by failing to conduct a full and fair investigation. The case settled in October 2023.

Hankook Tire America Corp.. Anderson Kill represented Hankook Tire America Corp. against the insurance company’s appeal of a summary judgment decision finding coverage for the theft of tires from Hankook’s warehouse facility under a marine cargo policy. The case concerned whether Hankook sustained its burden to prove it had suffered a loss under the policy by relying on two comparisons of physical inventory counts in its inventory management program, which Hankook used to manage its supply chain and track inventory. Hankook asserted claims for breach of contract and consequential damages because the insurance company had no arguable basis to challenge the claim. The case was resolved in a confidential settlement.

Siplast, Inc. Anderson Kill represented Siplast, a manufacturer of roofing materials, in an appeal to the 5th Circuit after the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas found in 2020 no coverage for a suit seeking damages stemming from a faulty roof. While failure of the roof resulted in damage to ceilings and walls, insurer EMCC denied coverage on grounds that the plaintiff in the underlying suit is not seeking damages for covered property damage. The matter value is in excess of $5 million. On Jan. 11, 2022, the Fifth Circuit found that EMCC must defend Siplast, accepting the policyholder's argument that EMCC's reading of the underlying complaint was overly narrow and that the insurance company has a duty to defend under Texas law. The case settled on terms favorable to the policyholder in October 2022 and was dismissed in January 2023.

Sonneborn LLC. Anderson Kill represented Sonneborn LLC, a leading manufacturer and supplier of high-purity specialty hydrocarbons and vegetable-based emollients, in an insurance coverage action against several insurers in Pa. Court of Common Pleas seeking tens of millions of dollars for losses resulting from a refinery fire. The case involved novel and complex issues relating to ordinance or law coverage for safety upgrades to refinery processing machinery and equipment implemented after the fire. In particular, and of potentially broad significance, the case involved novel issues of whether the OSHA General Duty clause, which applies to every construction contract but does not specify safety requirements for particular situations, constitutes a law or ordinance which triggers coverage, when in the past OSHA has studied the type of problem which triggered the explosion at issue. The matter value is $25 million. A settlement favorable to the policyholder was finalized in November 2021 and the case was dismissed in November 2021.

NYU Langone Health System. In June 2018, Anderson Kill filed a complaint for the NYU Langone Health System against Aetna Health in the Supreme Court of New York, County of New York, seeking recovery of more than $24 million in systemic underpayments and non-payments to NYU Langone for services that had already been rendered. The lawsuit alleges breach of contract and seeks declaratory relief, along with statutory interest under New York law. At the end of 2019, NYU Langone moved for summary judgment and in 2020 Aetna filed a dispositive motion as well. In part due to the extraordinary intervention of the pandemic, both motions were denied, but without prejudice to renew. That caveat is unusual in summary judgment motions. Accordingly, in August 2021, NYU filed a renewed motion for partial summary judgment. While judgment on that motion was pending, the case settled on terms favorable to NYU, in November 2021, with full resolution in 2022.

BDO Puerto Rico PSC. In the matter of BDO Puerto Rico PSC v. Chubb Insurance Company of Puerto Rico, which is pending in the Tribunal Supremo (Court of First Instance) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we successfully argued that where a policyholder seeks summary judgment on the duty to defend, the insurance company cannot rely on information that it did not have when it first denied coverage and, as such, cannot seek a stay of the motion for summary judgment in order to pursue discovery. Chubb pursued its argument all the way to the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, which denied Chubb’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari on February 24, 2022.

Prinston Pharmaceutical, Solco Healthcare, and Huahai US. The companies distributed and sold a popular blood thinner. The Food and Drug Administration recalled the product because it contained a carcinogen. This resulted in over fifty class actions and individual damage suits being filed against the companies. The companies had an applicable life sciences insurance policy of $10,000,000. The insurance company denied coverage for most of the claims, arguing that the class actions all alleged economic loss, not bodily injury, and as a result were not covered under the insurance policy. We filed suit against the insurance company on behalf of the companies. We arranged an interim defense cost sharing agreement pursuant to which the insurance company assumed most of the defense costs, exhausting the policy, with final payment delivered in October 2021.

Historic Cases

Keene Corporation v. Insurance Company of North American (1981). Landmark case establishing the "continuous trigger of coverage" for long-tail (in this case, asbestos) liabilities: when damage occurs, when it manifests, and when a claim for relief is made.

Central Illinois Public Service Company. Jury verdict finding coverage for pollution that was neither expected nor intended. U.S. Seventh U.S. Circuit upheld, finding that the term “sudden and accidental” in the pollution exclusion prevalent until 1986 was ambiguous.

Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., et al., No. 92-2-05214-8 (MJP) (Civil Track I). (Washington Superior Court, King County, April 1996) Two Washington Supreme Court decisions recognizing 1) coverage for environmental clean-ups even without a government lawsuit and 2) joint and several liability of multiple insurance companies on the risk over time.

Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 142 Wn.2d 654, 15 P.3d 115 (2000) Decision for coverage recognizing 1) no general aggregate limit in standard form policies for claims other than products claims, 2) non-settling insurance company bears burden of showing that the policyholder was made whole, and 3) policyholder entitled to coverage even though policyholder had no relation to property during policy period.

Humana v. Forsyth (1999). U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting the insurance industry’s McCarran-Ferguson defense, subjecting the insurance industry to liability under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Anderson Kill an amicus brief filed on behalf of United Policyholders quoted in Supreme Court decision.

Textron Inc. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 754 A.2d 742 (RI 2000) Rhode Island Supreme Court recognized that the word "sudden" in the pre-1986 pollution exclusion can mean “unexpected” and that policyholders' good faith effort to contain toxic waste is covered. Court also recognized the continuous trigger of coverage for property damage over extended time.

Wausau v. Tektronix, CCV 9908032 (Clackamas County, Oregon, 2002). Jury verdict and declaratory judgment in favor of coverage at six environmental sites, establishing that late notice only precludes coverage when the insurance company can show that it was prejudiced by the delay -- even when notice was 15 years late, as in this case.

Chickasha Cotton Oil Co. v. Houston General Ins. Co., et al., 2002 Tex. App. LEXIS 5692, 2002 WL 1792467 (Tex. App. – Dallas, 2002). Decision holding  that 1) pollution exclusion does not apply to coverage for personal injury, 2) alleged misconduct by insurance companies gives rise to bad faith and unfair settlement practice claims, 3) the terms of missing policies may be proven by secondary evidence and mandatory insurance forms filed with state insurance departments or specimen policies from the insurance company.

Fuller-Austin Insulation Co. v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., et al., No. BC116835 (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2003).  California court found that policyholder facing present liabilities for present and future claims could prove and recover all liabilities at time of claim.  Jury verdict of $188,793,014 against Lloyd's and other insurance companies in asbestos insurance coverage case, the first pre-packaged 524(g) asbestos bankruptcy in the U.S. (a top 10 verdict in the U.S. in 2003). Decision upheld in part and reversed in part on appeal. Settlements before trial yielded over $190 million from 14 insurance companies.

The Trustees of Princeton University vs. Nation Union and AIG, No. 650 202/06 (2008). The New York State Supreme Court, the Appellate Division and the Court of Appeals, upheld broad obligation of a D&O insurance company to pay defense costs when incurred. Court entered judgment on the full amount of the policy limits plus pre- and post- judgment interest.

HLTH Corp. v. Agricultural Exc. & Sur. Ins. Co., 2008 WL 3413327 (2008), appeal as to certain insurance companies, Axis Reinsurance Co. v. HLTH Corp., No. 565, 2009 (2010). Summary judgment for WebMd Health to advance defense costs in D&O case.

Bi-Economy Market, Inc. v. Harleysville Insurance Company, et al. (2008). New York Court of Appeals held that policyholders can seek consequential damages when their businesses collapse as a result of the insurance company’s failure to fulfill its contractual obligations. Anderson Kill filed an amicus brief on behalf of United Policyholders in the case.

ASARCO, Inc., et al. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., (105th Jud. Dist., Tex., Nueces County). Third-party liability coverage action that produced landmark decisions for policyholders on defense costs outside of policy limits (June 2009), the scope of an asbestosis exclusion (March 2009), choice of law (2008 and 2004) and other key coverage issues.

In re ASARCO LLC, et al. (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, S.D. Tex., Corpus Christi Division).  Lead coverage counsel to ASARCO Inc. prior to its filing of bankruptcy petition; lead coverage counsel to ASARCO as debtor-in-possession throughout the bankruptcy; lead coverage counsel to the ASARCO Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust that emerged from the bankruptcy proceeding.  Representative actions included recovery of substantial insurance proceeds in confidential settlements from multiple insurance companies.  Successfully reopened pre-petition insurance settlement as fraudulent conveyance; thereafter, prevailed on appeal to federal district court and achieved new settlement post-petition.

Retail Ventures, Inc. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co., F.3d --, 2012 WL 3608432 (6th Cir. Aug. 23, 2012).    United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected AIG's denial of insurance coverage for Retail Ventures’ losses from a data breach at the hands of a computer hacker. The Sixth Circuit’s influential decision rejected the insurance company’s argument that the breach did not constitute a “direct loss,” instead finding that theft of insured property by computer fraud imposes a traditional proximate cause standard.

State of California v. Continental Ins. Co., 55 Cal.4th 186, 281 P.3d 1000 (2012).  Won jury verdict and eventual landmark decision from California Supreme Court securing coverage for the Stringfellow Acid Pits, described as the most complex environmental clean-up in the world. Decision establishes that policyholders are entitled to the entire limits (all sums) of their insurance policies instead of some reduced pro-rata share and that policyholders can "stack" policies for all years, not just a single year, in which the loss occurred. State has recovered settlements of $172 million in indemnity plus $60 million in defense costs.

U.S. Bank N.A. v. Indian Harbor Ins. Co., 68 F. Supp. 3d 1044 (D. Minn. 2014). Court twice rejected insurance company’s attempt to limit coverage based on disgorgement defense, holding that coverage was not precluded until/unless a final adjudication found ill-gotten gains.

Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. (“Amtrak”), et. al. in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of N.Y.  Lead counsel to defendant Amtrak in declaratory judgment action filed by London insurers regarding employee personal injury and environmental liability claims.  Won a multi-million-dollar verdict in a 2017 jury trial regarding environmental liabilities. These results enabled the policyholder to settle with all insurers and dismiss the case in 2019.

Siltronic Corporation v. Employers Insurance Company of Wausau et al., 3:2011-cv-01493 (D. Or. 2018). Decision finding coverage for Siltronic Corporation in its pursuit of insurance recoveries for the clean-up related to Portland Oregon Harbor.  In an issue of first impression, the U. S. District Court of Oregon granted Siltronic's motion for summary judgment on 11/19/18, holding the exclusion for "expected or intended" pollution only applied to the historic polluter and did not apply to the policyholder Siltronic, which bought the property not knowing it already was contaminated. Siltronic then settled with its primary and excess insurance companies.

Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, et al. v. BioEnergy Dev. Group LLC, 189 A.D.3d 573, 139 N.Y.S.3d 13 (1st Dept 2020); 178 A.D.3d 463, 115 N.Y.S.3d 240 (1st Dept 2019).  Breach of implied duty of good faith, consequential damages, attorneys' fees and interest claim for tens of millions of dollars permitted because underwriters and insurance companies' delayed interim payments on business interruption policies.

American Home Assurance Co. v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey et al., case number 651096/12, in the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department (2018), reaffirmed (2019). Policyholder entitled to attorneys' fees in establishing duty to defend even when policyholder moves for summary judgment on its counter-claim for defense. Rulings in trial and appellate court holding that AIG a) must defend the underlying action b) cannot pro-rate defense costs on the basis that only certain claims are covered, and that c) coverage is triggered if a plaintiff's asbestos-related injury occurred during the policy period, regardless of when it manifested itself. AIG dropped its final appeal in July 2021.

National Rankings

Anderson Kill’s insurance recovery group has been recognized as a top national practice for multiple years by:

Chambers USA (18 years)
The Legal 500 United States (17 years)
Benchmark Litigation (11 years)
Best Law Firms (10 years)
Business Insurance (7 years)

National Recognition

Business Insurance: 2024

Legal Team of the Year

Benchmark Litigation: 2024

Insurance Firm of the Year (Finalist)

Business Insurance: 2023

Legal Team of the Year (Finalist)

Business Insurance: 2022

Legal Team of the Year (Finalist)

National Law Journal: 2022

Elite Trial Lawyers (Finalist)

Business Insurance: 2021

Legal Team of the Year

Law360: 2021

Insurance Group of the Year

Business Insurance: 2020

Legal Team of the Year (Finalist)

Business Insurance: 2019

Legal Team of the Year

New York Law Journal: 2019

Litigation Department of the Year - Insurance

Business Insurance: 2018

Legal Team of the Year

Law360: 2018

Insurance Group of the Year

Law360: 2013

Insurance Group of the Year

Law360: 2012

Insurance Group of the Year

Individual Recognition

Business Insurance: 2024

Insurance Litigator of the Year - Robert Horkovich (Finalist)

Super Lawyers: 2024

Top 50 Women - Washington, D.C. - Rhonda Orin

Business Insurance: 2023

Women to Watch - Diana Gliedman

Benchmark Litigation: 2023

Litigation Star - Robert Horkovich
Litigation Future Star - Joshua Gold

Business Insurance: 2021

Breakout Award - Raymond Mascia, Jr.

Benchmark Litigation: 2020

Insurance Lawyer of the Year - Robert Horkovich
National Litigation Star - Robert Horkovich
40 & Under Hot List - Carrie Maylor DiCanio

Law360: 2020

Rising Star - Raymond Mascia, Jr.

Legal 500: 2020

Hall of Fame - Robert Horkovich
Hall of Fame - William Passannante
Next Generation Partners - Raymond Mascia, Jr.

Super Lawyers: 2020

Top 50 Women - Washington, D.C. - Rhonda Orin

Benchmark Litigation: 2019

40 & Under Hot List - Carrie Maylor DiCanio

Super Lawyers: 2019

Top 50 Women - Washington, D.C. - Rhonda Orin

Benchmark Litigation: 2018

National Litigation Star - Robert Horkovich
40 & Under Hot List - Carrie Maylor DiCanio

Business Insurance: 2018

Breakout Award - Carrie Maylor DiCanio

Law360: 2018

MVP in Insurance Law - Robert Horkovich

Benchmark Litigation: 2017

National Litigation Star - Robert Horkovich

Litigation Counsel of Ameria: 2017

Fellow - Rhonda Orin

Benchmark Litigation: 2016

National Litigation Star - Robert Horkovich

Benchmark Litigation: 2015

National Litigation Star - Robert Horkovich

Benchmark Litigation: 2014

National Litigation Star - Robert Horkovich

Law360: 2014

Titan of the Plaintiff Bar - Robert Horkovich

Benchmark Litigation: 2013

National Litigation Star - Robert Horkovich

Law360: 2013

MVP in Insurance Law - William Passannante

Law360: 2012

MVP in Insurance Law - Robert Horkovich

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