Chris J. Fichtl
Chris’ career has focused on representing insurance companies nationwide in complex insurance coverage litigation in federal and state trial and appellate courts and extra-contractual disputes. This work often involves complex substantive and procedural issues arising out of environmental contamination, asbestos, lead paint, construction defects, additional insured, priest abuse, products liability, professional liability and malpractice.
Some of Chris’ representative insurance litigation matters include:
- Granted summary judgment on the number of “Dental Incidents” in a multi-million dollar medical malpractice claim. This was an issue of first impression in New York and was upheld on appeal.
- Granted summary judgment on the duty to defend class actions filed by thousands of plaintiffs in jurisdictions nationwide seeking millions of dollars in profits that the insured earned by advertising alcohol to minors. Argued that the underlying actions did not involve “bodily injury” or fall within the Liquor Liability coverage endorsement and that the claims were not compensable “damages.” This decision was upheld on appeal.
- Resolved MTBE pollution coverage claim by large petroleum manufacturer sued in several states by Attorneys General seeking billions of dollars in compensation for soil and groundwater contamination caused by MTBE.
- Litigated to successful conclusion several multi-million dollar coverage claims in Montana and Minnesota involving hundreds of alleged victims of priest abuse. The settlement included complex bankruptcy considerations to eliminate future claims against debtors and resulted in significant reduction in exposure to the insurer client.
Chris is committed to representing his clients in a cost-effective manner and understands that a successful result often requires the balancing of legal issues with practical solutions. Chris regularly and successfully services insurance management professionals by developing resolution strategies that add value and address the client’s needs.
New York State Bar Association