Meghan Finnerty is a commercial litigator with a varied practice, with an emphasis on assisting corporate and nonprofit policyholders as they navigate disputes with their insurance companies. Ms. Finnerty regularly advises construction, manufacturing, restaurant industry, and auto industry clients on risk and insurance issues for each phase of the life cycle of the business.
Ms. Finnerty has recently litigated or advised policyholders in the context of the duty to defend, faulty workmanship and other “occurrence” issues, asbestos and other exclusions, property and business interruption coverage, D&O, E&O, EPLI, equipment breakdown coverage, coverage for opioid litigation, coverage under subcontractor policies, and bad faith claims.
Ms. Finnerty advises clients in the service, education, manufacturing, and restaurant industry on insurance coverage for coronavirus losses, including civil authority shutdowns and liability claims resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
She is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer in both insurance coverage and general commercial litigation.
- In Erie Ins. Exch. v. Moore, 2017 PA Super 372, 175 A.3d 999 (2017), Ms. Finnerty successfully argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that an insurance company’s duty to defend under a general liability policy extended to accidents committed during the course of intentional or criminal conduct, resulting in favorable case law to policyholders on the duty to defend, and the interpretation of “occurrence” and the intentional acts exclusion.
- In Pa. Mfrs. Indem. Co. v. Pottstown Indus. Complex LP, 2019 PA Super 223, 215 A.3d 1010 (2019), Ms. Finnerty obtained a landmark ruling for CGL policyholders when the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the duty to defend extended to a breach of contract claim for damage to a tenant’s property caused by a commercial landlord’s breach of its contractual obligation to maintain the roof. In so holding, the Superior Court expressly rejected a line of federal court decisions that suggested that claims against an insured for damage to another’s property cannot arise out of an occurrence simply because the insured is alleged to have negligently performed a contractual obligation.
- Ms. Finnerty recently negotiated full defense and indemnity coverage for a policyholder auto dealership that was named as a defendant in a large consumer fraud class action in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with approximately 2000 class members.
- Ms. Finnerty has successfully negotiated seven-figure settlements as lead counsel for policyholders under property, D&O, equipment breakdown, and business interruption policies.
- “Evolution: Property Insurance Law from Cargo to Crypto,” American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section’s Property Insurance Law Committee, Spring 2019, Featured Speaker
- Women, Diversity & Change Summit, CenterForce USA, May 2019, Panelist
- “Coverage Wars: The Risks and Benefits of Insurers Allocating Defense and Indemnity to Others,” 2nd Annual National Construction Defect Conference, November 2016, Speaker
- "Tips & Techniques for the Trial of a Bad Faith Claim," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, December 2014, Panelist
- "Insurance Coverage Update - Top Five Developments Policyholders Should Know," Legal Intelligencer In-House Counsel CLE Seminar, October 2014, Speaker
- “Insurance Coverage Issues Arising from Covid-19,” Co-Author (with Michael Conley)
- "Recent Developments in Property Insurance Coverage Litigation,” Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Spring 2019, Co-Author
- "Recent Developments in Property Insurance Coverage Litigation,” Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Winter 2018, Co-Author
- “Abuse and Molestation Claims: Insurance Issues for Policyholders,” The Legal Intelligencer, December 2011, Co-Author
- “Best Practices for Managing Risk in the Marcellus Shale Region,” The Legal Intelligencer, December 2011, Co-Author
- “Coverage for Climate Change: Footing the Bill for Carbon Footprints,” Environmental Claims Journal, November 2008, Co-Author
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