P: (212) 804-4242
F: (212) 344-8066
 

Kevin F. Buckley

 

Kevin F. Buckley’s litigation experience includes first-party property insurance coverage disputes concerning commercial and residential losses; insurance fraud; complex environmental contamination losses; commercial construction losses; construction defects; product liability; and torts involving commercial property.  The matters that he has handled have arisen out of losses throughout the United States and abroad.  In addition to adversarial matters, Mr. Buckley regularly provides advice to his clients regarding contract interpretation and strategy. Mr. Buckley’s practice includes appraisals, mediations, hearings, trials, and appeals.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Buckley served as a captain in the U.S. Army Infantry.

Representative Matters

First-Party Property Insurance Coverage:

MZM Real Estate Corp v. Tower Ins. Co. of N.Y., 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 30691(U), 2017 WL 1330494, 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1292 (Sup. Ct. [N.Y. Co.] April 7, 2017)(Insured sued to enforce an appraisal award arising out of Superstorm Sandy, which appraisal concluded more than two years after the loss. Case dismissed on suit limitation grounds.) This decision was reported in the PLRB Frontlines, May 10, 2017, case 9726; Law360 Insurance on April 13, 2017; Mealey’s Litigation Report, Catastrophic Loss, May 11, 2017 and The Harris Martin Superstorm Sandy Insurance Coverage Litigation Report, April 19 2017.

Abrar Deli & Grocery Hylan Corp. v. Tower National Ins. Co., Index 100249/16 (Sup. Ct. [Rich. Co.], Jan. 27, 2017)(Superstorm Sandy case dismissed based on breach of the insurance policy’s two-year suit limitation provision).

40 East Broadway v. Charter Oak Fire Ins. Co. et. al., 2017 WL 318663, 2017 WL 375320, 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 30131(U) (Sup. Ct, NY Co., Jan. 20, 2017) (Sup. Ct [NY Co.], Jan. 23, 2017)(Damage to commercial building due to neighboring excavation.  Insurer granted summary judgment because Insured could not prove contractors acted with malice needed to prove the loss was caused by the named peril of vandalism.)

Kashaka v. Tower Ins. Co. of N.Y. et. al., 2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 32499(U), 2016 WL 7407081 (Sup. Ct., [Kings Co.] Dec. 22, 2016)(Insured misrepresented structure containing a day-care center and residential tenant as an owner occupied primary residence.  Court voided insurance policy based on this material misrepresentation in the application for insurance.  The court noted that the Insured “continued to ratify the application and its answers by accepting the policy and permitting it to be renewed for years thereafter on the same terms.”)

Five Towns Nissan, LLC v. Universal Underwriters Ins. Co. et. al., 2016 NY Slip Op 32316(U), 2016 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4347, 2016 WL 6916478 (Sup Ct. [NY Co.], Nov. 22, 2016)(Damage to auto dealership from Sandy. Property damage excluded by insurance policy’s flood exclusions, which bars coverage for “storm surge.”) This decision was reported in the PLRB Frontlines, December 28, 2016, case 9612, and Law360 Insurance on November 29, 2016, Mealey’s Litigation Report, Catastrophic Loss, Vol. 12 Issue 3, December 6, 2016 and The Harris Martin Superstorm Sandy Insurance Coverage Litigation Report, November 29 2016. This decision was preceded by the following appellate court decision: 125 A.D.3d 580, 5 N.Y.S.3d 35 (1st Dept. Feb. 25 2015)(Appellate court reversed lower court’s grant of summary judgment of up to $2M in business interruption coverage because the business interruption must be caused a covered cause of loss, which flood is not.) This decision was reported in the PLRB Frontlines, March 4, 2015 case 14024 and Law360 Insurance on March 2, 2015.

Five Towns Mason Materials v. Hermitage Ins. Co., 2016 NY Slip Op 32444 (Sup Ct. [Nassau Co.], Nov. 4, 2016)(“Overwhelming evidence” proved damage to two commercial buildings was either pre-existing or the result of excluded flood – summary judgment granted to insurer). This decision was reported in the New York Law Journal, as a Decision of Interest, on November 22, 2016, Mealey’s Litigation Report, Catastrophic Loss, Vol. 12 Issue 3, December 6, 2016, and The Harris Martin Superstorm Sandy Insurance Coverage Litigation Report, November 29, 2016.

Great American Ins. Co. of NY v. CNY Excavating and Concrete, LLC, 2016 NY Slip Op 31950(U) (Sup. Ct. [NY Co.] Oct 18, 2016)(After having dismissed the insured’s case in Oneida county for suing the parent of the insurer, Great American commenced suit in New York County, which CNY moved to change venue back to Oneida county where the loss occurred and all witnesses reside. CNY’s motion was denied on because it failed to properly support its motion with the type of evidence required by CPLR 510). This decision was reported in the New York Law Journal as a “Decision of Interest” on October 25, 2016.

HB Holdings & Realty Mgmt., LLC et al v. Tower Ins. Co. of N.Y., 2016 N.Y. Slip Op 31857 (U) (Sup Ct., [Westchester Co] Sept 30, 2016)(Court found pursuant to the policy’s definition, a 9″ roof deflection is not a collapse nor is the falling of portions of the ceiling, despite conflicting expert reports on cause). This decision was reported in Mealey’s Litigation Report, Catastrophic Loss, Vol. 12 Issue 1, October 12, 2016; Mealey’s Litigation Report: Insurance, Vol. 30, Issue 47, October 19, 2016; and in the PLRB Frontlines, October 19, 2016.

Brady v. Tower Group Companies, et al, Index No. 14938/2014 (Sup. Ct., [Queens Co.] Sept 22, 2016)(Superstorm Sandy destroyed a structure. Insurer denied coverage based on policy’s “flood” exclusion. Despite conflicting expert opinions on the cause of the loss, summary judgment granted because Plaintiff’s expert’s opinion was speculative absent “Moses-like parting of the water.”) This decision was reported in Mealey’s Litigation Report, Catastrophic Loss, Vol. 12 Issue 1, October 12, 2016; and in the New York Law Journal as a “Decision of Interest” on October 13, 2016.

Almonte v. Castlepoint Ins. Co., 45 Misc. 3d 1218(A), 2014 WL 6434448, 2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 51624 (Sup. Ct. [NY Co.] Oct. 8, 2014) aff’d 108 A.D.3d 1056, 969 N.Y.S.3d 329 (1st Dept. 2016)(fire damage to an apartment house.  Insurer granted summary judgment because the structural configuration of the property did not fall within the policy definition of a covered “Residence Premises”).  The trial court decision was reported by the New York Law Journal as a “Decision of Interest” on November 5, 2014 and the appellate court decision was reported in the PLRB Frontlines, July 6, 2016.

TV Realty v. Tower Ins. Co. of NY, 2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 31720(U), 2016 WL 3913776 (Sup. Ct. [Bronx Co.] June 28, 2016)(Water damage to commercial building.  Insurer granted summary judgment because the insured breached the policy conditions requiring prompt notice of loss and inspection of property proving the loss by failing to notify insurer of the loss for 14 days and replacing the roof through which the water entered before the insurer had an opportunity to inspect.)  This decision was reported as a Decision of Interest in the New York Law Journal on July 6, 2016 and was featured in Mealey’s Litigation Report: Catastrophic Loss, Vol. 11, Issue 10, July 2016.

215 Benziger Ave., LLC v. Hermitage Ins. Co., Index No. 15347/2015 (Sup. Ct. [N.Y. Co.] June 28, 2016)(Wear & tear / vandalism damage.  Insurer granted summary judgment based on policy exclusion for loss caused by one to whom you entrust property after filing a police report alleging that its tenant had vandalized the property.)

The Provencal LLC, v. Tower Ins. Co. of N.Y., 45 Misc. 3d 1204(A), 2014 WL 4937936, 2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 51450(u), (Sup. Ct. [Rockland Co.] Sept. 18, 2014) aff’d 138 A.D.3d 732, 30 N.Y.S. 138 (2d Dept 2016)(Commercial property damaged by storm.  Following a “trial on stipulated facts,” the trial court found that the insurer had no liability for the claimed damage due to the insurance policy exclusions for loss caused by collapse, faulty design, surface water, and rain.  The appellate court affirmed and held that the insurer did not waive, and was not estopped from enforcing, the insurance policy’s flood exclusion regardless of whether it was specified as a basis for the denial of coverage when the claim was denied.)  These decisions were reported in: Mealey’s Litigation Report, Insurance, Vol. 28 Issue 44, September 24, 2014 and the appeal in Vol. 30 Issue 22, April 13, 2016; Mealey’s Litigation Report, Catastrophic Loss, Vol. 11 Issue 7, April 2016; PLRB/LIRB Frontlines, Nov. 5, 2014, PLRB Case 9038 and the appeal on April 20, 2016, PLRB Case 9414; Law360 Insurance on September 19, 2014, and the appeal on April 6, 2016; Advisen Front Page News April 21, 2016; and as a “Decision of Interest” in the September 24, 2014 issue of The New York Law Journal.

Northern SPY Food Co., LLC v. Tower Nat. Ins., 2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 30514(U), 2016 WL 1161522 (Sup. Ct., [N.Y. Co.] March 24, 2016)(Power outage caused by the flooding of a utility service provider’s substation was not a covered cause of loss for purposes of restaurant’s business interruption and spoilage claim.)  This decision was reported in: Mealey’s Litigation Report, Catastrophic Loss, Vol. 11 Issue 7, April 2016; PLRB/LIRB Frontlines, May 4, 2016 edition, PLRB Case 9425; and as a Decision of Interest in the New York Law Journal on April 5, 2016.

CAC 3, LLC v. Tower Group, Inc., 2016 N.Y. Slip Op 30424(u), 2016 WL 1123226 (Sup. Ct., [N.Y. Co.] March 9, 2016)(Power outage caused by the preemptive shutdown by utility service provider of a substation in anticipation of flooding was not a covered cause of loss for purposes of restaurant’s business interruption and spoilage claim.)  This decision was reported in: Mealey’s Litigation Report, Catastrophic Loss, Vol. 11 Issue 7, April 2016; and PLRB Frontlines, March 23, 2016 edition as case 9393.

Azor v. Tower Ins. Co. of New York, 2015 N.Y. Slip. Op. 32361(u), 2015 WL 9244884 (Sup. Ct.[Kings Co.] Dec. 17, 2015)(Fire damage to apartment house. Insurer granted summary judgment because Policy required dwelling to be owner’s residence, which it was not.  Insurer did not waive that provision by issuing another policy to Insured for a separate location where she resided.)  This decision was reported as a Decision of Interest in the New York Law Journal on December 31, 2015.

Elshazly v. Castlepoint Ins. Co., 49 Misc.3d 1216(A), 2015 N.Y. Slip. Op. 51732(u), 2015 WL 7737920 (Sup. Ct., [N.Y. Co.] Nov. 16, 2015)(Fire damage to apartment house. Insurer granted summary judgment because structure did not fit within the policy definition of the property to be insured.) This decision was reported in: PLRB Frontlines, December 16, 2015 edition; and the New York Law Journal, as a Decision of Interest on December 15, 2015.

Seco Basic v. Admiral Ins. Col. et al., Index No. 15218/14 (Sup. Ct. [Kings Co.] Nov. 15, 2015)(case dismissed based on suit limitation provision.)

La Casa Di  Arturo, Inc. v. Tower Group, Inc.,  49 Misc.3d 1209(A), 26 N.Y.S.3d 725, 2015 WL 6457633, 2015 N.Y. Slip Op. 51539(U)(Sup. Ct., [N.Y. Co.] Oct. 14, 2015)(Power outage caused by flooding of utility service provider was not a covered cause of loss for purposes of restaurant’s business interruption claim.) This decision was reported in: PLRB Frontlines, November 4, 2015 edition; Mealey’s Litigation Report, Catastrophic Loss, Vol. II, Issue #2, November 2015; The Harris Martin Superstorm Sandy Insurance Coverage Litigation Report, October 2015; and the New York Law Journal, as a Decision of Interest on October 29, 2015.

Geffrard v. Castlepoint Ins. Co., Index No. 16611/14 (Sup. Ct., [Queens Co.] Aug. 11. 2015)(Superstorm Sandy property damage claim barred by one-year suit limitation period, which began to run on the date of the storm, despite allegation that most of the damage was not discovered until months later.) This decision was reported in the PLRB Frontlines, November 4, 2015.

Iwachiw, World Network Int’l et al v. Travelers, et al.,  2014 WL 10413643 and 2015 WL 5476070 (E.D.N.Y. 2015)(Claims for breach of contract, negligence, and unjust enrichment arising out of Sandy storm damage dismissed based on lack of standing to sue.)

128 Hester LLC v. New  York and General Marine Ins. Co., 2014 NY Slip Op 31334, 2014 WL 2115581 (Sup.Ct.[NY Co.] May 20, 2014) rev’d 126 A.D.3d 447,5,N.Y.S.3d 69, (1st Dept. 2015) (Damage to commercial property from adjacent construction. Appellate Court reversed lower court and held that even if material information is discovered after the application for insurance is submitted, which makes the application untrue, the applicant cannot “remain silent until the . . . policy is issued. . . “)  This decision was reported in the PLRB Frontlines, April 1, 2015, and in Law360 Insurance on March 6, 2015

Morales v. Castlepoint Ins. Co., 125 A.D.3d 947, 4  N.Y.S.3d 297 (2d Dept. 2015)
(Fire damage to investment/rental property. Appellate court reversed the lower court and granted insurer summary judgment because there was a material misrepresentation in the application for insurance regarding occupancy of the premises.  Even if the Insured was not the source of the misrepresentation, he ratified it later.) This decision was reported in the PLRB Frontlines, March 11, 2015 edition and Law360 Insurance on February 27, 2015.

Lexington Park Realty v. National Union Fire Ins. of Pittsburgh, 120 A.D.3d 413, 992 N.Y.S.2d 1 (1st Dept. August 14, 2014)(Hotel loss. The Court held that a loss caused by the misappropriation of property by a lessee or its contractor is barred by property policy’s “entrustment” exclusion regardless of whether the property is chattels.  The Court also noted that the doctrine of waiver is inapplicable when the issue is the existence or nonexistence of coverage).  The lower court decision was reported as a “Decision of Interest” in the April 10, 2013 issue of the New York Law Journal, N.Y.L.J. 1202595167980, at *1.

Lema v. Tower Ins. Co. of N.Y., 119 A.D.3d 657, 990 N.Y.S.2d 231 (2d Dept. June 9, 2014)(Fire damage to apartment house.  Appellate court reversed lower court and granted Insurer summary judgment based on the Insureds’ material misrepresentation in the application for insurance regarding the structural configuration of the building).

Katz v. Castlepoint Ins. Co and Tower Group Companies, Index No. 4764/2011 (Sup. Ct. Kings Cty., June 3, 2014)(Storm damage to building.  Insured sought $1,554,989, mainly for cracked tile-work, separated sheetrock, electrical damage, and damaged structural elements, as well as punitive damages for an alleged conspiracy.  After a trial that lasted a week and a half, the jury returned a verdict for the Insurers.  After trial, the appellate court ruled that it was error for the lower court to refuse the Insurer’s request to amend it’s answer to add fraud as an affirmative defense). 121 A.D.3d 948, 995 N.Y.S.2d 131 (2d Dept. 2014).

James v. Tower Ins. Co. of New York, et al., 112 A.D.3d 786, 977 N.Y.S.2d 345 (2d Dept. 2013), lv. denied 23 N.Y.3d 901 (2014)(Fire damage to apartment house.  Insurer granted summary judgment, which was affirmed on appeal, after establishing that the Insured’s representation during the procurement of the insurance policy that the structure would be owner occupied was false and the Insurer “would not have issued the same policy if the correct information had been disclosed in the application.”)

Rome v. Tower Ins. Co. of New York, Index 26359/2011 (Sup. Ct., Kings Co., Dec. 16, 2013)(Water damage to structure.  Court awarded summary judgment to the Insurer because the insurance policy’s Water exclusion, which contained an anti-concurrent causation clause, barred the Plaintiff’s water damage claim regardless of whether a covered sewer backup contributed to that loss. The Court noted that the “evidence in the record establishes that the Plaintiff’s damage was ALSO caused by surface water.”)

All American Restoration Svcs. v. Didehban v. Tower Group, Inc., Index No. 34285/2011 (Co. Ct.,  Suffolk Co. Aug. 8. 2013)(Fire damage to commercial property.  Court awarded summary judgment in favor of the insurer, holding that it could not be liable for a breach of a policy issued by its subsidiary).

181 South Franklin Associates v. Great American Insurance Company of New York, 40 Misc. 3d 1242(A), 980 N.Y.S.2d 277, (Sup. Ct., Nassau Co. July 16, 2013)(Damage to exterior of office building.  Court awarded summary judgment because the insurer established that damage to a building’s facade was not caused by Hurricane Irene and was excluded from coverage under the policy).   The decision was reported as a “Decision of Interest” in the August 7, 2013 issue of the New York Law Journal, was reported by the PLRB Front Lines on August 14, 2013 (case no. 8740), and was reported in Mealey’s Litigation Report, Catastrophic Loss, Vol. 8 Issue 11, August 2013.

Consulate of Lebanon v. Hermitage Ins. Co., 2013 WL 1874361, N.Y.L.J. 1202599597510, at *1, Index No. 653092/2011 (Sup. Ct., N.Y., Co.  April 30, 2013)(Water damage to consulate building.  Court held that coverage for interior “water damage due to heavy rain” is barred by “rain water” and sewer back up exclusions where it was established that water did not enter the premises through damage to the exterior of the building and the loss was caused by a back up of a roof drain).  The decision was reported as a “Decision of Interest” in the May 14, 2013 issue of the New York Law Journal and was reported in the May 15, 2013 issue of Mealey’s Litigation Report: Insurance.

Hermitage Ins. Co. v. Robert Ricca, N.Y. Co., Index No. 105096/2011 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. 2012)(Water damage to several apartments in apartment complex.  Insurer granted summary judgment based on the Insured’s breach of his duty to cooperate with Insurer’s investigation by refusing to allow Insurer’s consultants access for a third inspection of the property).

Varanasi v. Castlepoint Ins. Co., N.Y. Co., Index No. 109679/2011 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. 2012)(Insurer granted summary judgment based on the Insureds’ material misrepresentation in the application for insurance regarding their occupancy of the building).

Favellato v. Tower Ins. Co. of New York, Index No. 1021/2008 (Sup. Ct., Kings Co., March 30, 2011)(The Court found as a matter of law that plaintiffs failed to provide “prompt notice” of the alleged loss, that the alleged loss was specifically excluded from coverage by the Policy’s exclusions for “wear and tear” and “faulty design,” and that plaintiffs failed to introduce any admissible evidence to support their contention that the loss occurred as a result of the February 2006 snowstorm).

Bella-Vita LLC v. Tower Ins. Co. of New York, 29 Misc. 3d 1233A, 920 N.Y.S.2d 239, 2010 N.Y. Misc. Lexis 5952, 2010 WL 5071737, N.Y.L.J. 1202476226777, at *1 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co. 2010)(Bar/lounge structural damage.  Court awarded summary judgment, holding that “a building in danger of collapsing is not covered under the policy…’even if it shows evidence of cracking, bulging, sagging [or] bending.’”  Loss found to predate policy’s inception).  The decision was also reported as a “Decision of Interest” in the December 17, 2010 issue of the New York Law Journal and was reported in the January 19, 2011 issue of Mealey’s Litigation Report: Insurance.

3039 B St. Assocs. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 740 F. Supp. 2d 671 (E.D.Pa. May 3, 2010),aff’d 444 Fed.Appx. 610, 2011 WL 4351145, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 19311 (3d Cir 2011)(Water damage to warehouse allegedly caused by a frozen pipe that ruptured.  Based on an exclusion restricting coverage if the hazard is increased by any means within the control of the insured, Lexington’s adjuster repeatedly sought certain information from the insured the Fall of 2007 and January 2009 and denied the insured’s request for an advance payment during that time.  The lower court found that the insurer did not commit bad faith because the insured “either failed to provide the requested information or provided deficient and/or conflicting documentation.”  On appeal the Third Circuit found that the insured’s claim was “highly questionable, and …[the insurer] reasonable investigation.” The Court held that, under the circumstances, the insurer was not required to simply take the insured’s caretaker “at his word and immediately [pay] the claim” – as a matter of law.)  The lower court decision also was reported in Mealey’s Litigation Report: Insurance Bad Faith, May 13, 2010, Vol. 24-1.

Rangoli, Inc., et al. v. Tower Ins. Co., 71 A.D.3d 753, 894 N.Y.S.2d 919 (2d Dept. 2010)(Several commercial properties suffered damage from a landslide.  Insurer granted summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, based on the insured’s failure to provide prompt notice of its claim and insured failed to prove that the loss occurred during the policy period).

East 115th Street Realty v. Focus & Struga Building Developers LLC, Great American Ins. Co. of N.Y., et al., 27 Misc.3d 1206(A), 910 N.Y.S.2d 404, (Table, Text in WESTLAW), Unreported Disposition, 2010 WL 1407985, 2010 N.Y. Slip Op. 50572(U); 2010 N.Y. Misc. Lexis 700; 243 N.Y.L.J. 52; The Commercial Division Law Report, Vol 13, No. 1 May 2010 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co. 2010), aff’d 85 A.D.3d 511, 925 N.Y.S.2d 56 (1st Dept. 2011)(Commercial building collapse.  Insurer established that Insured’s representation during the procurement of the insurance policy that “there will be no structural changes” was false and material to its decision to issue the policy, which the court held voids the policy from inception).  The lower court decision was reported as a “Decision of Interest” in the March 19, 2010 issue of the New York Law Journal.

J&S Commercial Construction v. Field of Dreams v. Great American Ins. Co. of New York, et al., 26 Misc.3d 1221(A), 907 N.Y.S.2d 100, (Table, Text in WESTLAW), Unreported Disposition, 2010 WL 447040, 2010 N.Y. Slip Op. 50201(U) (Sup. Ct., Oneida Co. 2010)(Water loss to sporting complex.  Insurer awarded summary judgment after establishing that faulty workmanship was the cause of water infiltrating the premises, which is an excluded cause of loss under the insurance policy).   The decision was also reported as a “Decision of Interest” in the February 9, 2010 issue of the New York Law Journal.

120 & 122-124 Lexington Ave. Corp. v. New Hampshire Ins. Co., 2009 WL 9409556 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co. 2009)(Partial collapse of mixed use building. Insurer established as a matter of law that the collapse was caused by long-term wear and tear rather than an insured peril, which entitled it to summary judgment). The decision was reported in the November 11, 2009 issue of Mealey’s Litigation Report: Insurance.

Cougar Sport, Inc. v. Hartford Ins. Co., 190 Misc.2d 91, 737 N.Y.S.2d 770 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2000) aff’d 288 A.D.2d 85, 733 N.Y.S.2d 151 (1st Dept. 2001) (Warehouse theft.  Insurance policy’s entrustment exclusion barred coverage for theft by the warehouse wherein the insured’s property was stored).

Caiati of Westchester, Inc. v. Glens Falls Ins. Co., 265 A.D.2d 286, 696 N.Y.S.2d 474 (2d Dept. 1999)(Appraisal.  Appellate court overturned lower court decision that awarded insured prejudgment interest on an appraisal award.  On appeal the court held that insurer’s payment of an appraisal award within 30 days after the award was made was timely and did not breach the policy, where the unambiguous terms of the policy’s “loss payment” provision gave the insurer 30 days to make payment).

Fraud:

Miller d/b/a Chesapeake Core Supply v. Great American Ins. Co., 59 F.Supp.3d 749 (E.D.Va. Nov. 12, 2014 ) Arson to a commercial structure/fraud.  Evidence developed during pre-suit investigation concerning items fraudulently included in the insured’s claim was shared with Virginia State Police and local fire marshal, which led to the indictment and conviction of the insured for insurance fraud on February 15, 2013.  The motion for summary judgment in the insured’s breach of contract case against Great American was granted following the decision on the appeal of the criminal case. The Court rejected the Insured’s argument that since the proof of fraudulent inflation of the claim related only to a small portion of the claim, the rest of the claim is not barred.  The Court held that “A little bit of fraud” bars the entire claim.

3039 B St. Assocs. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 483 Fed.Appx. 693, 2012 WL 1854124 (3d Cir. 2012)(Warehouse theft. The Insured alleged that a friend who was granted access to the warehouse to remove scrap metal had stolen numerous pipes and fixtures. The lower court held that “[a]lthough the evidentiary record presents a compelling case for both [the fraud and entrustment] exclusions, … it is nevertheless clear that the entrusted property exclusion applies.”  The Third Circuit affirmed.)

Classon Realty Corp. v. Tower Ins. Co. of New York, Index No. 32189/05 (Sup. Ct., Kings Co., Jan. 20, 2011)(Arson to commercial building.  Following a two-week trial, a unanimous jury found by clear and convincing evidence that the insured set fire to the premises and made material misrepresentations regarding the insurance claim.  On cross-examination, the insured was questioned about, among other things, a prior fraud conviction, forged documents intended to satisfy various liens against the insured – including a lien by the Department of Justice, his inconsistent statements, and other facts relevant to the insured’s credibility).

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage v. Banco Popular, Markel International Ins. Co., et al., Index No. 6987/09 (Sup. Ct., Kings Co. 2009)(One insured absconded with insurance proceeds made payable to all insureds and the mortgagee.  Court awarded summary judgment in favor of insurer as it had satisfied its obligations.)

Troop v. Bebet Assoc., Index No. 111369/08 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co. 2010)(Apartment building fire loss.  In dismissing the case, the court held that there was “evidence that plaintiff’s own negligence was the sole proximate cause of the fire and … [the] claim is arguably fictitious”).

Ramadhin v. Allstate Ins. Co., Index No. 26133/99 (Kings Co. Nov. 6, 2002)(Arson.  Following a two-week trial, a unanimous jury found by clear and convincing evidence that the insured had the fire set to the premises and made material misrepresentations regarding the insurance claim.  After the insured alleged on direct that many drug dealers in the neighborhood had a motive to burn the premises because she was an “anti-drug” crusader, the Court found that she had “opened the door” for cross-examination about her own drug dealing activities.   The insured was also cross-examined about her concealment of eviction proceedings that were pending at the time of the fire.)

Environmental:

Hicksville Water District v. Osram Slyvania Products, Inc., et al., Index No. 601420/11 (Sup. Ct., Nassau Co. 2012)(Alleged contamination of groundwater from several commercial properties.  Confidential resolution.)

Schwinger v. Verizon et al., Case No. CV 02-6530 (E.D.N.Y. 2004)(Class action by persons allegedly injured by various forms of contamination at numerous sites on Long Island.  Client obtained summary judgment based on the plaintiff’s inability to prove causation.)

Astuto v. Verizon et al., Case No. CV 02-6529 (E.D.N.Y. 2004)(Class action for alleged damage to various properties by contamination at numerous sites on Long Island.  Client obtained summary judgment based on the plaintiff’s inability to prove causation.)

PECO Energy Co. v. Pennsylvania Dept. of Env. Protection and U.S. EPA v Insurance Co. of N. Am., et al., Case No. 99-07386 (Pa. Ct. of Common Pleas 2004)(Ground contamination at various Manufactured Gas Plants throughout Pennsylvania.  Confidential resolution.)

Alcoa v. Accident & Casualty Co., et al.,  Case No. 92-2-28065-5 (Superior Ct. Wash. 2003) (Ground contamination of aluminum manufacturing facilities thought the United States.  Lead counsel for sites in Vernon, California and Rockwell Texas.  Confidential resolution.)

Product Liability:

United Initiators, Inc. et al. v. Kiel Engineering GMBH, Case No. 07CV153183 (Ohio, Ct. C.P. Lorain Co. 2007)(Explosion in chemical manufacturing plant allegedly caused by defective production software. Confidential resolution.)

Royal a/s/o STMicroelectronics, Inc. v. Semiconductor Process Equip. Corp., Case No. CV2000-004332 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Co. 2002)(Alleged contamination of computer chip inventory due to defective design of processing equipment.  Confidential resolution.)

Commercial:

Essa Realty Corp. v. J. Thomas Realty Corp., 70 A.D.3d 483, 894 N.Y.S.2d 417 (1st Dept. 2010)(Alleged structural damage to adjacent building.  Lower court injunction overturned on appeal.  Confidential resolution.)

Royal a/s/o Dana Corp. v. Security Guards, Inc., 255 F.Supp.2d 497 (E.D.Pa. 2003) (Fire damage to truck manufacturing facility allegedly due to negligence of security company.  Confidential resolution.)

Dana Corp. v. American Home, Case No.: 99-CV-2158 (E.D.Pa. 2001) (Fire Damage to truck manufacturing facility allegedly due to negligence of security company. Confidential resolution.)

Publications

  • “U.S. Supreme Court Issues Landmark CERCLA Decision in Environmental Cleanup Action,” MCWG News Bulletin, May 2009.
  • “The Stringfellow Acid Pits:  The Supreme Court Of California Rules On Insurers’ Liability For Indivisible Property Damage Under ‘Sudden And Accidental’ And ‘Absolute’ Pollution Exclusions,” Mealey’s Pollution Liability Report, May 7, 2009.

Speaking Engagements

  • Insurance Estoppel and Waiver Amid Conflicting Case Law: Safeguarding Coverage, Navigating Insurer and Insured’s Duties,” Strafford Webinars, June 7, 2016.
  • “Super Storm Sandy – Lessons Learned from Claim Process through Litigation,” New York Ass’n of Independent Adjusters, Inc., May 12, 2016.
  • “Claims Handling and Insurance Law,” National General Ins. Co. Claims, November 11, 2015.
  • “Things That Make You Go Humm, From White Lies to Fraud in a First-Party Property Claim,” The Honorable Order Of The Blue Goose New York Pond, October 18, 2013
  • “Delay In Completion – Soft Cost Claims,” Inland Marine Underwriters Association, Dallas, April 2008.

Admissions

New York State Courts
New Jersey State Courts
USDC, Southern District of New York
USDC, Eastern District of New York
USDC, District of New Jersey
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

Education

J.D., Fordham University School of Law, 1997
M.S.B.A., Boston University, 1992
B.A., St. John’s University (cum laude), 1989