Christopher S. Franges

Of Counsel

(973) 631-6017
350 Mount Kemble Avenue
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.

Experience

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)

News

Publications and Presentations

Just When You Thought You Understood New Jersey Allocation Law: Implications, Limitations And Complications In Applying Farmers Mutual Fire Ins. Co. Of Salem v. New Jersey Property-Liability Ins. Guar. Ass’n.  26 Enviro. Claims J.  No. 3 216 (2014) Co-authored with Lorraine M. Armenti.

Takeaways For Insurers From NJ Court’s Landmark Case.  Law360, November 5, 2013, Co-authored with  L.M. Armenti and E. DeMarco

Awards and Honors

Stauffer Legal Research Fellow (1989/90);

American Jurisprudence Awards for Insurance Law and Jurisprudence.

Results