Steven D. Cantarutti

Of Counsel

(973) 631-6060
350 Mount Kemble Avenue
P.O. Box 1917
Morristown, NJ 07962

Steve is Of Counsel at Coughlin Duffy where his practice focuses on insurance and reinsurance coverage disputes. 

He has represented a wide array of domestic and foreign insurers in state and federal courts pending at the trial and appellate level.  Steve has particular experience in advising and representing insurers facing complex and high exposure claims, including those involving cyber risk or data breaches, products liability, toxic torts, property damage, pollution, property damage, professional liability, malpractice, bad faith, additional insured status, contribution and subrogation.  Steve also has experience representing insurers’ interest in bankruptcy proceedings involving toxic tort claims.  

Prior to joining Coughlin Duffy, Steve was a litigation associate for the law firm of Hardin, Kundla, McKeon, Poletto & Polifroni, P.A., where he focused his practice on coverage disputes, insurance defense, and professional liability.  In 2004, he joined the law firm of Smith Stratton Wise Heher & Brennan, LLP, where he worked on matters involving insurance and reinsurance coverage disputes, commercial litigation, civil litigation defense, and insurance fraud.

Experience

  •  Represented a national insurer in a New York state court action involving cyber-attack claims tendered by certain Sony companies, which resulted in a summary judgment in the client’s favor. This decision was the first of its kind by any court in the United States addressing whether a comprehensive general liability policy may be liable to cover cyber-attacks. See Coughlin Duffy Case Alert, dated March 3, 2014, entitled, “New York Trial Court Denies Sony’s Claims Against Primary CGL Insurers to Pay for Defense Costs Related to Cyber-Attack Litigation." http://www.coughlinduffy.com/news/documents/NewsletterE-AlertMarch32014SonyDecision.pdf
  • Represented an insurer in an appeal before the New York Court of Appeals involving a contribution claim for defense costs under California law. The New York Court of Appeals overturned the Appellate Division’s, First Department, decision, which held that the client was solely responsible to cover the defense costs, and instead concluded that the defense costs must be equally shared by the client and another co-insurer. See Illinois Union Ins. Co. v. Assurance Co. of Amer., 950 N.Y.S.2d 515 (N.Y. 2012).
  • Served as co-counsel at trial in defense of an umbrella insurer facing $30 million in environmental property damage claims, which resulted in a successful settlement after the first phase of trial.
  • Served as co-counsel in defense of two excess insurers in a month-long bench trial involving hundreds of millions of dollars in coverage claims arising from exposure to asbestos and silica.
  • Other recent achievements include obtaining a favorable settlement for a primary insurer involving an environmental claim where issue involved whether the absolute pollution exclusion was included in the policy, and successfully obtaining summary judgment on the duty to defend and late notice issues in cases pending before New York State Supreme Courts.

News

Events

Speaking Engagements

“Cyber Insurance: An International Coverage Problem Waiting to Happen,” Roundtable hosted by the American Bar Association, March 4, 2016, Tucson, Arizona.

“Cyber Security Post-Sony: Risks, Responses, and Disclosures,” Live Webcast , Hosted by The Knowledge Group, LLC, December 8, 2015.

“Professional Liability Exposures for Cyber Risks and Related Litigation,” Coughlin Duffy LLP’s Professional Liability Insurance Coverage Seminar, New York, New York, November 19, 2015.

“It’s All Out There – Cyber Risk and the Evolving Insurance, Litigation and Risk Management Environmental,” New Jersey CPCU Society Chapter, Inc., Somerville, New Jersey, October 30, 2015.

“Key Exposures, Coverages and Policy Issues Impacting the Cyber Liability Marketplace,” Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, Financial Lines Launch, San Francisco, California, October 20, 2015.

“I’ve Been Hacked! Do I Have Insurance? Cyber Liability & Insurance Issues,” New York City Bar Association, New York, New York, June 4, 2015.

“Cyber Risks, Related Litigation and Insurance Issues,” New Jersey State Bar Association, Insurance, Business and Tax Sections, May 13, 2015, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

"Emerging Coverage Issues Related to Cyber Risks: An Examination of Coverage under ‘Traditional’ CGL and Other Policies,” New Jersey State Bar Association, Insurance Section, November 19, 2014.


Publications and Presentations

Armenti, Lorraine A. and Cantarutti, Steven D., "The Evolution of Cyber Coverage Law: A Survey of Critical Decisions and the Market's Response," American Bar Association, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Coverage Journal Fall 2016, November 21, 2016.

Coughlin, Kevin T., Cantarutti, Steven D. and Messier, Jonathan, “Under Attack: The Deluge of Cyber Attacks and Industry Response,” U.S. Legal Update, Munich, Germany, October 16, 2014.  

Coughlin, Kevin T., Cantarutti, Steven D. and Messier, Jonathan, “As Goes New York, So Goes . . . : Why New York Has Emerged as the Newest New Battleground for National Coverage Disputes,” DRI Insurance Coverage & Practice Symposium, December 4, 2014. 

Membership

New Jersey State Bar Association, Insurance Law Section

American Bar Association, Litigation and Tort Trial/Insurance Practice Sections