Steven D. Cantarutti
Partnerscantarutti@cmg.law 350 Mount Kemble Avenue
P.O. Box 1917
Morristown, NJ 07962
Direct (973) 631-6060
Fax (973) 267-6442
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 Midlige & Garland, 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.
- 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 Midlige & Garland 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.
- Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D., 2002)
- University of California, Berkeley (B.A., with honors, 1992)
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (2004)
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (2018)
- United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (2017)
- State of New Jersey (2003)
- State of New York (2003)
Speaker, "Developments in Construction Defect Law,” Coughlin Midlige & Garland 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 Midlige & Garland 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)
New Jersey State Bar Association (Insurance Law Section)
American Bar Association (Litigation and Tort Trial/Insurance Practice Sections)
- March 24, 2020 Insurance Implications Of COVID-19 Pandemic
March 24, 2020
The Covid-19 virus is affecting almost every business and every aspect of life. State governments across the United States are...
- October 3, 2019 Third Circuit Reopens Window for Potential Coverage of Product Defect Claims Based Upon Definition of an “Occurrence”
October 3, 2019
On September 13, 2019, the U.S. Third Circuit (“Third Circuit”) partially overturned a decision from the U.S. District Court (“District...
- October 31, 2017 New Jersey Appellate Division Modifies Manifestation Analysis
October 31, 2017
On October 12, 2017, the New Jersey Appellate Division in Air Master & Cooling, Inc. v. Selective Ins. Co., et...
- November 22, 2016 The Evolution of Cyber Coverage Law: A Survey of Critical Decisions and the Market's Response
November 22, 2016
- June 16, 2016 New York Federal Bankruptcy Court Declines To Follow Zeig And Instead Holds That The Underlying Limits Must Be Actually Paid Before Third- Party Excess Policies Are Triggered
June 16, 2016
On June 7, 2016, New York Federal Bankruptcy Judge Stuart M. Bernstein made a significant decision in an adversary proceeding,...
- April 15, 2016 Fourth Circuit Holds CGL Insurer Must Defend Policyholder For Information Posted On The Internet
April 15, 2016
On April 11, 2016, a partial panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Travelers Indemnity Co. of Amer....
- October 16, 2014 Under Attack—The Deluge of Cyber Attacks and Industry Response
October 16, 2014
As the headlines reveal on an almost daily basis, cyber attacks and other data breaches have significantly increased in the...
- March 3, 2014 New York Trial Court Denies Sony's Claims Against Primary CGL Insurers to Pay For Defense Costs Related to Cyber-Attack Litigation
March 3, 2014
On February 21, 2014, a New York trial court (Hon. Jeffrey K. Oing, J.S.C.) in Zurich Amer. Ins. Co. v....
- January 24, 2012 New York Appellate Division Construes the “Caused By” Language In an Additional Insured Provision Broadly
January 24, 2012
On January 19, 2012, the New York Appellate Division, First Department, in W & W Glass Sys., Inc. v. Admiral...
- May 10, 2018 Emerging Issues in Insurance Coverage Seminar
Please join Coughlin Midlige & Garland at the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City, New Jersey as we host our seminar...
- December 8, 2015 Steven Cantarutti to speak on the live webcast, “Cybersecurity Post Sony: Risks, Responses and Disclosure ” on December 8, 2015 (3:00-5:00 p.m. EST)
Steven Cantarutti to speak on the live webcast, “Cybersecurity Post Sony: Risks, Responses and Disclosure ” on December 8, 2015...