Christopher S. Franges
Of Counselcfranges@coughlinduffy.com 350 Mount Kemble Avenue
P.O. Box 1917
Morristown, NJ 07962
Direct (973) 631-6017
Fax (973) 267-6442
P.O. Box 1917
Morristown, NJ 07962
Christopher Franges is Of Counsel to the Firm and his practice concentrates in insurance and reinsurance coverage.
Chris’ practice concentrates on insurance and reinsurance coverage, broker licensing and regulation, and commercial litigation. He counsels insurers and reinsurers on coverage and claims handling issues, and represents them in litigation and arbitrations. He has substantial experience assisting insurers and reinsurers in evaluating their exposure to various types of loss by constructing sophisticated computer/mathematical models, including burn rate analyses, allocation models for long-tail losses such as asbestos mass tort and environmental contamination, and clash coverage modeling for portfolio exposures.
His areas of practice include direct and reinsurance of General Liability, Errors and Omissions, Professional Liability, Financial Services Liability, and Property/Casualty policies issued to insureds in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, pharmaceutical, investment banking, accounting, construction, and healthcare. In addition to his work with insurers and reinsurers, Chris also assists insurance brokers on licensing and regulatory matters.
Chris served as judicial clerk to the Honorable D. Nick Caporale of the Nebraska Supreme Court for the 1990-1991 Term. He was formerly associated with Grunsky, Ebey, Farrar & Howell and McElroy, Deutsch & Mulvaney, LLP. He joined the law firm of Coughlin Duffy LLP at its inception in March 2004.
- University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D., with distinction, 1990)
- Associate Legislation Editor, Assistant Comments Editor and Legislative Staff Writer, Pacific Law Journal
- University of California, Santa Cruz (B.A. 1985)
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1993)
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (1998)
- State of New Jersey (1998)
- State of California (1990)
Chris’ experience with complex coverage disputes includes:
- Amicus Curie briefing before the New Jersey Supreme Court with respect to the effect of amendments to the New Jersey Property-Liability Guaranty Association Act on the allocation of long-tail liabilities;
- coverage litigation involving the largest Superfund site in New Jersey;
- coverage litigation related to over $1.5 billion in asbestos liability costs arising from friction products;
- coverage litigation relating to asbestos and silica claims against multiple alleged successors to a former corporate conglomerate;
- advising reinsurers with respect to asbestos bankruptcies and 525(g) trusts;
- multi-national insurance and anti-trust litigation arising out of U.S. asbestos litigation; and
- mediation of coverage claims relating to payments under settlement of class action relating to defective organic roofing shingles.
Chris’ reinsurance experience includes counseling cedants and reinsurers on claims and arbitrations, including:
- professional liability claims against “Big 5” accounting firms around the world relating to tax shelters and audit services;
- liability claims against a nursing home arising from deaths and injuries as a result of Hurricane Katrina;
- claims against a pharmaceutical company arising from the use of thimerosal in vaccines; and
- assisting cedants with preparing claims notifications and support with respect to asbestos mass tort claims;
His financial modeling work has included:
- long-tail allocation models individually allocating thousands of asbestos bodily injury claims by date of first exposure across decades of insurance coverage under multiple allocation theories;
- projecting mass tort exposures based on representative claim samples; and
- modeling a reinsurance group’s portfolio exposure to a putative class action filed against 25 reinsured financial institutions and accounting firms under 37 treaty and facultative reinsurance agreements, involving 308 initial public offerings with a total value of $40 billion.
Chris was involved in the following matters with reported decisions:
Farmers Mutual Mut. Fire Ins. Co. of Salem v. New Jersey Prop.-Liab. Ins. Guar. Ass'n, 215 N.J. 522 (2013)
Continental Ins. Company v. Honeywell International, Inc.
460 N.J. Super. 156 (App. Div. 2009)
Atlantic Mutual Ins. Co. v. Hillside Bottling Co., Inc., 387 N.J. Super. 244 (App.Div.), certif. den. 189 N.J. 104 (2006)
CSR Ltd. v. Cigna Corp. 405 F. Supp. 2d 526 (D.N.J. 2006)
- March 28, 2018 New York’s High Court Rejects “Unavailability Rule” for Pro Rata Longtail Allocations
March 28, 2018
In a significant victory for insurers, on March 27, 2018, the New York Court of Appeals held that policyholders are...
- October 26, 2017 Connecticut Supreme Court to Review “Unavailability Exception” and Other Significant Asbestos-Related Coverage Issues
October 26, 2017
On October 18, 2017, the Connecticut Supreme Court granted petitions to review the “unavailability exception” and other significant asbestos coverage...
- October 12, 2017 Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Self-Interest or Ill-Will Not Required For Bad Faith Claim
October 12, 2017
On September 28, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court considered, as an issue of first impression, the requirements for proving a...
- March 2, 2017 Connecticut Appellate Court Issues Wide-Ranging And Mixed Decision Regarding Asbestos Insurance Coverage
March 2, 2017
In a wide-ranging and detailed opinion spanning more than 200 pages, the Connecticut Appellate Court addressed a multitude of issues...
- September 2, 2016 New York Appellate Division Holds Policyholder Responsible for Periods When Insurance Was Unavailable, Rejecting Stonewall Ins. Co. v. Asbestos Claims Management Corp., 73 F.3d 1178 (2nd Cir. 1995).
September 2, 2016
In a major departure from New York Law as predicted by the Second Circuit, The New York Appellate Division (1st...
- June 13, 2016 New Jersey Appellate Division Affirms Allocation to Insured for Pre-December 2004 Insolvencies
June 13, 2016
The New Jersey Appellate Division has held that in long-tail allocation cases, the policyholder remains responsible for amounts allocable to...
- January 12, 2016 N.J. Appellate Division Holds Insureds Remain Responsible for Sums Allocable to Insurers Who Became Insolvent Prior to December 22, 2004
January 12, 2016
On January 12, 2016, the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that an insured is responsible for sums otherwise allocable to...
- April 2, 2014 Connecticut Case of First Impression Affirms Exhaustion Under Cost Share Agreement and Holds Insured Responsible for Gaps in Coverage and Insolvencies
April 2, 2014
Following a 14 day bench trial, on March 28, 2014, a Connecticut trial court issued a decision which significantly impacts...
- September 24, 2013 New Jersey Supreme Court Requires Exhaustion of All Other Applicable Insurance Before N.J. Property-Liability Guaranty Association Pays Statutory Benefits For An Insolvent Insurer’s Long-Tail Claims
September 24, 2013
On September 24, 2013, in Farmers Mutual Fire Ins. Co. of Salem v. NJPLIGA, ** N.J. ***, 2013 N.J. LEXIS...
- February 28, 2011 New York Court of Appeals Addresses Annualization of Limits and “Stub” Policies
February 28, 2011
On February 22, 2011, New York’s highest state appellate court addressed the annualization of aggregate limits to a multi-year liability...
Publications and Presentations
Co-Author, "New Jersey Appellate Division Affirms Allocation to Insured for Pre-December 2004 Insolvencies," Environmental Claims Journal (2016) DOI: 10.1080/10406026.2106.1192901
Co-Author, “Just When You Thought You Understood New Jersey Allocation Law: Implications, Limitations and Complications in Applying Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Co. of Salem v. New Jersey Property-Liability Ins. Guar. Assn.," Environmental Claims Journal, Vol. 26, Number 3, Armenti, L. and Franges, C. (July-September 2014)
Co-Author, "Takeaways For Insurers From NJ Court’s Landmark Case.," Law360 (November 5, 2013)
Awards and Honors
Stauffer Legal Research Fellow (1989-1990)
American Jurisprudence Awards for Insurance Law and Jurisprudence
- Coughlin Duffy Trial Team Obtains Favorable Results
In an insurance coverage action arising from asbestos-related bodily injury actions, Coughlin Duffy attorneys secured favorable decisions, both on summary...
- When The Call To The Bullpen Came, Coughlin Duffy Was Able To Close The Deal
Our insurance company client was mired in a decade long litigation in a multi-site, multi-million dollar lawsuit seeking coverage for...