Steven D. Cantarutti

Partner

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

Steven Cantarutti is a Partner in the Firm’s Insurance and Reinsurance Services Group.

Steve represents a wide array of domestic and foreign insurers in federal and state courts at the trial and appellate levels as well as in arbitrations. Steve has particular experience in litigating complex and high exposure claims brought under commercial general liability, excess and umbrella, cyber risk, employer’s liability, environmental impairment liability, errors or omission, mortgageholder’s impairment, and professional liability policies. Steve also represents insurers in bankruptcy proceedings where trustees or creditors are seeking insurance recovery. Steve’s vigorous representation of his clients has led to favorable results, whether through litigation or settlements.

Steve also provides counsel to insurers in pre-suit and other activities. Such engagements include providing coverage opinions and positions, recommendations for the underwriting of policy forms, and enhancing claims handling practices. In addition, Steve provides training programs and seminars to clients on a variety of issues, and has been a speaker at continuing legal education classes, with a particular interest in the area of cyber liability risks and policies.

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.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Represented national insurer in a New York state court action involving cyber-attack claims tendered by certain Sony companies under commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies, 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 CGL policies may be liable to cover cyber-attacks. See Coughlin Duffy Case Alert, “New York Trial Court Denies Sony’s Claims Against Primary CGL Insurers to Pay for Defense Costs Related to Cyber-Attack Litigation."
  • Represented an employment practices liability insurer in an appeal before the New York Court of Appeals seeking a contribution claim against a co-insurer 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 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 under CGL policies (issued pre-1986), which resulted in a successful settlement after the first phase of trial.
  • Represented CGL insurers on the issue of availability of Environmental Impairment Liability (“EIL”) and Cost Cap insurance for a chemical industrial facility in New Jersey, which resulted in a favorable settlement after summary judgment motions were filed.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for an EIL insurer facing multiple types of pollutions events during the construction of a healthcare facility in New York City.
  • Secured favorable decision for professional liability insurer from New York Appellate Division, First Department, where court held that the liability of attorneys and their law firm fell within exclusions for business-related activities. See Lee & Amtzis, LLP v. American Guar. & Liab. Ins. Co., 7 N.Y.S.3d 80 (1st Dept. Apr. 7, 2015).
  • Co-chaired 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.
  • Represented an insurer in an adversarial bankruptcy proceeding where the debtor, who provided engineering services for a nuclear power plant, faced numerous asbestos-related claims, which led to a favorable settlement.

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Developments in Construction Defect Law,” Coughlin Duffy LLP’s Seminar on Emerging Issues in Insurance Coverage (May 10, 2018) 

Speaker, “Cyber Insurance: An International Coverage Problem Waiting to Happen,” American Bar Association Roundtable (March 4, 2016)

Presenter, “Cyber Security Post-Sony: Risks, Responses, and Disclosures,” The Knowledge Group, LLC Live Webcast (December 8, 2015)

Speaker, “Professional Liability Exposures for Cyber Risks and Related Litigation,” Coughlin Duffy LLP’s Professional Liability Insurance Coverage Seminar (November 19, 2015)

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

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

Speaker, “Cyber Risks, Related Litigation and Insurance Issues,” New Jersey State Bar Association, Insurance, Business and Tax Sections (May 13, 2015)

Speaker, "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

Co-Author, "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 (November 21, 2016)

Memberships

New Jersey State Bar Association (Insurance Law Section)

American Bar Association (Litigation and Tort Trial/Insurance Practice Sections)

News

Events