Insurance attorneys address the impact of nuclear verdicts


William G. Passannante, co-chair of Anderson Kill’s Insurance Recovery Group, had the following comments: “The insurance industry cries, ‘wolf’ yet again, this time using a made-up sensationalist label, ‘nuclear verdicts.’ According to ALM’s Verdict Search, there were half as many verdicts over $10 million in 2019 as in 2010, as J. Robert Hunter notes. But no matter. Whatever the guise, the story is similar.

The insurance industry’s response to real or imagined crises follows a script. After a disaster, assert a ‘crisis,’ use the crisis to justify premium increases and policy exclusions.

When September 11 claims hit, the insurance industry ‘reeled.’ Terrorism exclusions and the TRIA’ backstop’ followed. When the product liability ‘crisis’ hit, insurance companies’ reeled’ — then wrote product liability ‘laser’ exclusions. When asbestos suits emerged, the industry added asbestos exclusions. When environmental claims had their heyday, the ‘reeling’ industry wrote pollution exclusions. In each of these ‘crises,’ the insurance industry survived and thrived, narrowed coverage terms, and raised premiums.

My law firm and I have been pursuing policyholder rights for decades and have seen a number of these insurance industry profit-driving crises. The focus on nuclear verdicts is no different. The industry will reap profits while purchasers of insurance policies must fight to obtain the benefit of the insurance policies they purchased.”

Veiw the full PropertyCasualty360 article here.


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D&O Insurance Attorney | Anderson Kill P.C.
William G. Passannante
New York

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