William G. Passannante is a nationally recognized authority on policyholder insurance recovery in D&O, E&O, asbestos, environmental, property, food-borne illness, and other insurance disputes, with an emphasis on insurance recovery for corporate policyholders and educational and governmental institutions.
According to clients quoted in Chambers USA, he is touted as, "A terrific policyholder lawyer" and "a tremendous tactician and an incredible trial lawyer." According to Chambers USA, he is the “go-to attorney for high-dollar insurance coverage litigation,” and “knows the industry inside-out.” "Mr. Passannante is well regarded for his client counseling and impressive advocacy, and has the perceptive ability to wade through legalese and identify the most salient and important issues. He relates to his clients with integrity, determination and devotion. He has a good sense of humor and is passionate about his work."
Mr. Passannante is co-chair of Anderson Kill's Insurance Recovery group. He is also a member of Anderson Kill's Cyber Insurance Recovery group and the COVID Task group. He has represented policyholders in major precedent-setting cases argued in trial and appellate courts throughout the country. Law360 recognized Mr. Passannante as 2013 MVP in the Insurance category, and he has been recognized in Chambers USA in every year since 2006 as a leading insurance recovery attorney. The Legal 500 United States consistency includes him on their elite "Leading lawyers" list and he is recommended for Insurance - advice to policyholders. Since 2010, Mr. Passannante has been selected by his peers for listing in The Best Lawyers in America. He has also been rated "AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated," the top rating, 5.0 out of 5.0, by his peers and was also designated a 2020 Top Rated Lawyer as listed in Martindale Hubbell.
He has represented The Glidden Company, The Trustees of Princeton University, The City of Peekskill, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Franchisees of Taco Bell, HLTH Corporation/WebMD, Yum! Brands, Picker International, Weyerhaeuser Company, Occidental Chemical Company, Imperial Chemical Industries, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc., The Lefrak Organization, Quest Diagnostics, Automatic Data Processing, Fleming Companies, Inc., and others.
Mr. Passannante was a drafter of the precedent-setting Weyerhaeuser case in the Supreme Court of the State of Washington which held that no overt threat against a policyholder is required to trigger insurance policies. Mr. Passannante co-chaired the program "Current Issues in D&O and Professional Liability Insurance" sponsored by the ABCNY and the ABA, and chairs the firm’s annual D&O Insurance Conference.
He has testified before the New York State Legislature regarding the insurance industry response to the victims of terrorist attacks. Mr. Passannante is an editor of the book, "The Policyholder Advisor,” and has published widely including in "Risk Management," "The (ABA) Brief," "Corporate Counsel Magazine," "Policyholder Advisor," "Copyright World," "Healthcare Financial Management," "Insurance Litigation Reporter," and "Mealey's Insurance."
Mr. Passannante is a Regis High School class representative (2006-present), a member of the Regis High School Alumni Board (2006-2009) and served on the school’s Executive Council (1998-2006). Prior to joining Anderson Kill, Mr. Passannante was a Financial, Industrial, and Econometric Consultant with Standard and Poor's/Data Resources, Inc.
Fellow, American Bar Foundation (2019-Present), New York State Bar Association, Vice-Chair of the Professionals, Officers and Directors Liability Committee of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association (Past), a member of the Directors and Officers Liability Committee of the Insurance Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Past); member, Securities Litigation Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Past); Federal Bar Council; and International Bar Association.
National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) (Past), American Bankers Association; American Judicature Society.
City of Peekskill New York – Represented City of Peekskill for insurance recovery related to the claims of wrongful arrest, conviction and incarceration in Deskovic v. City of Peekskill, 894 F.Supp.2d 443 (S.D.N.Y.2012).
Crestview Advisors – Represent policyholder to recover D&O liability insurance related to underlying Delaware corporate litigation. Crestview Advisors, L.L.C. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co., New York Supreme Court, Index No. 651386/20 (New York County 2020).
Lord & Taylor LLC — represent policyholder in cyber-related insurance claim. Lord & Taylor LLC v. Great American Ins. Co., No. 1:18-cv-12312 (S.D.N.Y. 2018).
Yum! Brands — represent policyholder to recover retained amount insurance policy under global worldwide insurance program. Yum! Brands, Inc. v. Clarendon America Ins. Co., No.: C-12-05973-LB (U.S.D.C., N.D. CA. 2013).
Executive Plaza — Clause limited time in which to bring suit under fire policy to two years from date of fire. Policy says that policyholder may recover cost of replacing destroyed property after property has been replaced. Court held that such contractual limitation period, in situation where property cannot reasonably be replaced in two years, is unreasonable and unenforceable. Executive Plaza, LLC v. Peerless Insurance, 22 N.Y.3d 511, 5 N.E.3d 989, 982 N.Y.S.2d 826 (2014).
U.S. Bancorp — represent bank in professional liability insurance matter regarding so-called "disgorgement" defense. U.S. Bank N.A. v. Indian Harbor Ins. Co., 68 F. Supp. 3d 1044 (D. Minn. 2014).
Colgate-Palmolive — represent policyholder to recover liability insurance for alleged product liability actions. Colgate-Palmolive Company v. OneBeacon America Ins. Co. and Resolute Management, Inc., No. 651193/2011 (N.Y. County 2013).
Acella Pharmaceuticals — represent pharmaceutical manufacturer with regard to insurance coverage. Gemini Insurance v. Acella Pharmaceuticals, LLC, et al., No. 1:2018cv04378 (SJS) (SDNY 2019).
Host Terminals — represent policyholder with respect to fire loss. QBE Underwriting Ltd. v. Host Terminals, LLC, No. 2:19-CV-0054 (HCM) (EDVA).
HEI Hotels — represent policyholder for general liability claims. The Arden Group, HEI Hotels, LLC et al. v. Continental Insurance Company, et al., 2020CV 332064 (Superior Court Fulton County, GA 2020).
Duro Dyne — represent policyholder manufacture with regard to historical alleged asbestos liabilities. The North River Insurance Company v. Duro Dyne Nat'l Corp., et al., 153 A.D.3d 844, 61 N.Y.S.3d 78, 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 06285 (August 23, 2017).
Wright Medical — represent policyholder to recover liability insurance related to allegations regarding hip implants in St. Paul Surplus Lines Ins. Co. v. Wright Medical Group, Inc., No. CH-14-0927-3 (Chancery Court of Tennessee, Thirtieth Judicial District, Memphis).
WebMd Health — summary judgment to advance defense costs in D&O insurance case. 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). Final insurance company, New Hampshire Insurance Company withdrew “recoupment” claim (2013).
Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. — represent pet food manufacturer with regards to insurance issues related to allegations of melamine tampering.
John Crane Inc. — represent policyholder in insurance recovery matter related to thousands of underlying asbestos cases. John Crane Inc. v. AIU Ins. Co. et al., No. 04-CH-08266 (Cir. Ct. Cook County, Illinois).
U.S. Sports Specialty Association — Utah Supreme Court rebuked an attempted “perverse manipulation of risk” by an insurance company, ruled that an insurance company does not have a right to reimbursement against a policyholder. AK filed an amicus brief in the case on behalf of United Policyholders. U.S. Fid. & Guar. Co. v. U.S. Sports Specialty Ass’n, No. 20090657 (Utah Jan. 24, 2012).
Princeton University — summary judgment as to liability in D&O insurance case. Trustees of Princeton University v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA., 83 N.Y.S.2d 437, appeal dismissed, 11 N.Y.3d 847 (Nov. 24, 2008).
Alfa Laval — trial court ruling regarding obligation to defend asbestos claims, Travelers v. Alfa Laval, Inc., No. 650667/2009 (November 22, 2011), extended (July 2013).
Franmac — trial court ruling to enforce trade name protection and food-borne illness insurance policy relating to 2006 e-coli outbreak. Quick Service Mgmt Inc., et al. v. Lloyd’s, MID-L-4861-07 (June 12, 2009).
Quest Diagnostics — won summary judgment for policyholder in health care industry regarding merger-related liability insurance coverage. St. Paul Fire Ins. Co. v. MetPath, Inc., 38 F. Supp. 2d 1087 (1998).
ICI Explosives — represented chemical manufacturer with regard to insurance recovery related to the Oklahoma City Bombing and allegations of civil liability in Gains-Tabb v. ICI Explosives U.S.A. Inc., No. CIV-95-719-R (W.D. Okla.).
Weyerhaeuser — won ruling that no overt legal threat is required to activate environmental liability insurance. Weyerhaeuser v. Aetna, 123 Wash. 2d 891 (1994).
NBTY, Inc. — represent policyholder in class action securities case in In re NBTY, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. CV 04-2619 (EDNY) (LDW).
Columbia Memorial Hospital — represent policyholder in United States ex. Rel. Montaperto v. New Parkway Hospital, et al., 05-CIV-4911 (LDW); and United States ex. Rel. Gelfand v. Special Care Hospital Management, et al., 02-CIV-6079 (EDNY) (LDW).
Lefrak — won summary judgment that insurance company duty to defend was triggered by lead paint claim. Lefrak Organization, Inc. v. Chubb Custom Ins. Co., 942 F. Supp. 949 (1996).
Federal v. Kozlowski — represent policyholder to recover D&O insurance and prevent rescission action. Federal Ins. Co. v. Kozlowski, 18 A.D.3d 33, 792 N.Y.S.2d 397 (1st Dep’t 2005).
Picker International — represent policyholder for coverage for alleged liability on account of exposure to radiation. Picker International, Inc. v. Travelers Indemnity Co., 35 F. Supp. 2d 70 (1998).
Automatic Data Processing ("ADP") — represent policyholder to recover proceeds of insurance coverage for alleged advertising injury for copyright infringement.
CMI Corporation — represent policyholder to recover insurance for advertising injury on account of patent infringement liabilities. CMI Corp. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co., et al., No. CIV-92-462-M (W.D. Okla.).
Fleming Companies — represent policyholder to recover insurance for alleged commercial crime claims. Also represented policyholder pursuing directors' and officers’ liability insurance coverage.
The Glidden Company — represent policyholder to recover insurance for alleged environmental liabilities in multi-site, multi-insurance company action.
ICI Americas — represent policyholder to recover D&O insurance on account of civil and criminal antitrust claims.
ICI PLC — represent policyholder to recover insurance for damages related to non-conforming food flavoring.
Occidental Chemical Company — represent policyholder to recover insurance coverage on account of construction accident.
Pueblo Xtra, International, Inc. — represent policyholder to recover proceeds of commercial crime policy.