Legal Services

Insurance

Archer’s Insurance Practice Group handles the full range of insurance coverage issues, from providing advice on policy language to litigating major coverage disputes. Our attorneys have successfully obtained insurance coverage on behalf of individuals and businesses of all sizes that have been denied coverage by their carriers.

In today’s business climate, insurance is a distinct area of law requiring special skills and experience. Archer’s attorneys have many years of experience in insurance law and a proven record of accomplishment on behalf of their clients. Archer attorneys have not only won major victories for our clients in significant insurance coverage cases, but in the process have established important precedents in our courts. In successfully asserting our clients’ rights under their policies, the firm’s insurance litigators have successfully challenged insurance industry attempts to broaden coverage exclusions beyond their historical limits and original intent.

Our attorneys have represented policyholders in complex, often multi-party coverage actions, involving numerous types of insurance disputes implicating both indemnity and the duty to defend.  We have successfully pursued coverage, for example, under policies for Commercial General Liability (CGL); Errors and Omissions (E&O); Directors and Officers Liability (D&O); commercial crime coverage (employee dishonesty); worker’s compensation; homeowner’s insurance; health, life and disability insurance; and for businesses covered as additional insureds on subcontractors’ policies in construction litigation.

Our Insurance Practice Group has handled all types of coverage issues, including those related to the following areas:

  • Environmental
  • Intellectual Property
  • Construction
  • Directors and Officers liability
  • Contractual and indemnity issues
  • Employment practices, including employment discrimination
  • Product liability
  • Automobile
  • Health, life and disability
  • First and third-party claims
  • Bad-faith claims
  • Professional liability
  • Reinsurance
  • Bankruptcy-related coverage issues
  • Marine

At their core, insurance coverage disputes are contract cases; they arise out of a contractual relationship and involve a dispute over the parties’ obligations and duties under the insurance agreement.  Our attorneys are experienced in litigating coverage actions in state and federal trial and appellate courts and, ultimately, in restoring coverage. In this regard, for example, our attorneys have been successful in holding the insurance industry accountable for representations made when gaining regulatory approval for standard language describing specific policy exclusions, such as pollution exclusions found in CGL policies.

Examples of Archer’s efforts in this area of the law include:

  • Secured coverage for policyholders in one of New Jersey’s leading cases on environmental coverage issues. We successfully argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court that the insurance industry should be held accountable for representations made before state regulatory authorities – that the standard pollution exclusion clause in CGL policies was intended only to clarify “the scope of the prior coverage” and thus the carrier’s interpretation of that exclusion was rejected.
  • Secured coverage for policyholder in New Jersey’s leading case on the “absolute” pollution exclusion. We successfully argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court that the absolute pollution exclusion clause did not bar coverage for personal injuries arising from exposure to toxic fumes from a floor coating-sealant operation. The decision has severely restricted what insurance companies may exclude from coverage as pollution-related incidents.
  • Secured coverage for policyholder in one of New Jersey’s leading cases on choice- of-law in multi-state environmental coverage dispute. We successfully argued before the Appellate Division of the Superior Court that New Jersey law governed the interpretation of an insurance policy in a matter involving waste disposed at an out-of-state site.
  • Secured coverage for company’s directors and officers under a D&O policy in response to a class action lawsuit alleging that the individual directors breached their fiduciary duties by agreeing to buyout terms that benefited certain directors/majority stockholders to the detriment of other stockholders.
  • Secured coverage for policyholder under business insurance policy for property loss and loss of rental income due to building damage caused by soil saturation from leaks in an underground sprinkler system.
  • Secured coverage for development company as additional insured under electrical subcontractor’s CGL policy for serious personal injuries sustained by another subcontractor’s employee.
  • Secured coverage for development company as additional insured under subcontractor’s CGL policy for defense and indemnification related to adjacent home that sustained damage caused by construction project.
  • Secured coverage for vehicle rental company for defense and indemnification from lawsuit stemming from the crash of rental vehicle that injured multiple occupants.
  • Secured coverage for engineering firm under CGL and E&O policies regarding claims for personal injury suffered by jackhammer operator when his equipment struck an underground electrical wire.
  • Secured coverage for industrial metals manufacturing company for costs related to government-mandated remediation of environmental contamination at company plants.
  • Secured coverage for public school district for costs related to government- mandated remediation of soil and groundwater contamination caused by leaks from underground gasoline storage tanks used for school buses.
  • Secured coverage for policyholder under homeowner’s policy for property damage sustained due to flooding caused by plumbing system malfunctions.

 

Archer’s Insurance Group is chaired by Ellis I. Medoway, who serves as a Managing Editor of the American Bar Association (ABA) journal Coverage. Mr. Medoway and other members of the Group are frequent contributors of articles. Our attorneys have authored numerous articles on insurance-related issues in several legal publications.  In addition, Archer attorneys contributed the Insurance Law section of the comprehensive guide Library of New Jersey Civil Complaint Forms, published by New Jersey Law Journal Books.

Our firm’s insurance attorneys also frequently speak at seminars sponsored by the ABA as well as state and local bar associations and other approved educational forums.

Experience

  • Represented policyholders in complex, multi-party coverage actions involving numerous types of insurance policies.
  • Counsel and represent carriers in insurance coverage disputes involving school-related issues under commercial general liability policies and errors & omissions policies.
  • Prosecuted defendants who committed fraud against large corporations and insurance companies.
  • Prosecuted and defended non-compete cases in various industries including insurance, marketing, automobile sales, staffing services, and medical equipment and imaging.
  • Morton International v. General Accident, 134 N.J. 1 (1993), cert. denied, 114 S. Ct. 2764 (1994) (one of New Jersey’s leading cases on environmental coverage issues);
  • Nav-Its, Inc. v. Selective Ins. Co., 183 N.J. 110 (2005) (New Jersey’s leading case on the “absolute” pollution exclusion);
  • J. Josephson v. Crum & Forster, 293 N.J. Super. 170 (App. Div. 1996) (a leading case on choice of law in multi-state environmental coverage dispute);
  • Litigated  ERISA; insurance coverage; stock option dispute; product liability; real estate; and class action cases.

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