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Eric A. Fitzgerald CPCU, CLU

Shareholder
Assistant Director, Professional Liability Department; Chair, Insurance Coverage / Bad Faith Practice Group
2000 Market Street, Suite 2300
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 575-2688
(215) 575-0856 - Fax
eafitzgerald@mdwcg.com
Eric Fitzgerald is the Assistant Director of the Professional Liability Department.  He assists the Director in overseeing the Department’s 16 practice groups, which include approximately 150 attorneys throughout the firm.  He is also the Chair of the Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith Litigation Practice Group, which includes over 30 attorneys exclusively providing general counsel and litigation of insurance coverage disputes.  Eric also sits on the firm's Board of Directors where he is a Senior Vice President. 
 
Eric works with a wide variety of property/casualty lines, including: Professional and Miscellaneous E&O; D&O; EPL; Law Enforcement Liability; School Leaders’ E&O; CGL; Commercial Property, Excess and Umbrella; Specialty Lines; Boiler & Machinery; Inland Marine; Builders Risk; OCP’s and OCIP’s; Garagekeepers; Commercial Auto; and Worker’s Compensation.  He is rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell and has litigated many different coverage issues, including: construction defect; intellectual property; notice of claim, relation back and prior/pending exclusions in claims made policies; environmental; civil rights; product defect; liquor liability; additional insureds; policy reformation and rescission cases.   He exclusively defends insurance companies in State and Federal courts in Pennsylvania and New York.  Eric has also served as both a Mediator and an Arbitrator in insurance coverage disputes.
 
Eric obtained his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation in 1999 . He has served as a National Governor and member of the Executive Committee of the CPCU Society and as a member of its Nominating Committee. He is currently a member of the CPCU Champions Committee. He also served as a member of the American Institute for CPCU Advisory Council where he assisted in the drafting of several of the CPCU textbooks.  He is also a member of the Philadelphia and Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapters of the CPCU Society.  He began his National CPCU Service as the Northeast Regional New Designee Representative and as the Editor of the Excess, Surplus and Specialty Lines Section Newsletter, The Specialist.  He previously served as second vice president, programs chair and publicity chair for the CPCU Society Philadelphia Chapter and on the Board of Directors of the Rochester, New York, Chapter.  He is also a CPCU course instructor.  Eric also holds the Chartered Life Underwriter ("CLU") and Associate in Reinsurance ("ARe") designations.
 
In addition to his CPCU activities, Eric is a Certified Litigation Management Professional with the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) and he is an instructor in the CLM Claims College.  He is also a member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS), the Property Legal Research Bureau (PRLB) and the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC).
 
Prior to joining Marshall Dennehey, Eric practiced in Rochester, New York, where he provided statewide New York coverage counsel for several large national insurers. He began his career in 1993 as a judicial clerk for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, where he participated in the drafting of many significant coverage decisions in New York State.
 
He is a former Chairman of the Board of Directors for "Kids Innovating Stage and Sound", a non-profit children's theater group in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  During his term, he oversaw the relocation of the group and raised funds for the construction of a new theater.   He has also served as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Monroe County, New York, Bar Association Foundation, and was the Chair of the Monroe County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section.   
 

Significant Representative Matters

  • Trial verdict for insurer in a matter regarding the reformation of a complex insurance program for a holding company with over 200 subsidiaries. Case involved testimony from senior officers from the insured corporation and the insurer and broker. Policy was reformed on behalf of the insurer to add a subsidiary and, therefore, subject to an exclusion for negligent operation of vehicle in the course of employee's duties for the employer.

  • Trial verdict for insurer on "assault and battery" exclusion. Court applied exclusion and found no duty to defend or indemnify after denying summary judgment earlier in the case. Decision upheld on appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

  • Summary judgment for insurer in a matter involving the alleged faulty construction and site selection for a multi-million dollar mining project. Court held that the insured engineer's work was not an "occurrence" and fell within the policy exclusions for professional services and work product of the insured. Court further rejected attempts by insured counsel to apply a continuous trigger theory of causation in a property damage case and held that the claim manifested prior to the inception of the policy.

  • Summary judgment for insurer applying "interrelated businesses" exclusion in a directors & officers' liability claim. Court held that criminal "check kiting scheme" by necessity utilized the checking accounts of an uninsured business as well as the insured business and triggered the exclusion as a matter of law.

  • Summary judgment for insurer on issue of whether plaintiff was a dual employee of two affiliated corporations and subject to "employers liability" exclusion. After reviewing factual testimony from company officers, Court agreed that insured company was a dual employer of the plaintiff although his W-2s and employment file were with an affiliated company.

  • Summary judgment for insurer enforcing insured's UIM stacking waiver. Court found that the statute requiring issuance of an "important notice" did not provide a statutory remedy for an insurer's failure to issue the notice and that the waiver was, therefore, valid despite statutory violation.

  • Summary judgment for insurer finding no ambiguity in blank retroactive date on claims made policy. Court applied regulation defining retroactive date to hold that a blank date equated inception date, not full prior acts.

  • Judgment on the pleadings for insurer on duty to indemnify real estate appraiser in "sub prime" litigation complaint. The Court held that the allegations of fraud and conspiracy were not negligent wrongful acts under the professional liability policy.

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • Coverage Issues in Pennsylvania School Claims, 2018

  • Best Practices for Coverage Position Letters, 2018

  • Coverage Issues for Defective Workmanship Claims in NY, PA and NJ, 2017

  • Jurisdictional Hotspots for Policy Limit Time Demands, 2016

  • Insurance 101 for Workers' Compensation Policies, 2016

  • Generally Acting Professional – Coordination of General Liability and Professional Liability Policies, 2016

  • Underwriters Under Fire: Best Practices for Underwriter Testimony and Production of Underwriting Files in Litigation, 2016

  • Coverage Position Letters in PA, NY and NJ, 2016

  • EPL 101, Merchants Insurance Group, April 19, 2016

  • Additional Insureds and Related Issues

  • Best Practices for Handling Split Claim Files, 2015

  • Professional Services Exclusions

  • Best Practices in Maintaining Claims Files

  • Coverage Issues Arising out of Faulty Workmanship Claims

  • Coverage Issues Arising out of Employers Liability Coverages

  • Coverage Issues Arising out of Municipal Professional Liability Policies

  • Cross-over Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Claims in PA and NY

  • Negotiation Techniques

  • Priority of Coverage in Rental Vehicle Claims

  • Intentional Acts/Occurrence

  • Course Instructor - CPCU 6 "The Legal Environment of Insurance"

Published Works

Education

  • University at Buffalo School of Law, SUNY, Buffalo, NY (J.D., 1993)

  • University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (B.A., 1989)

    Honors: cum laude

Pages

Law Alerts June 1, 2018
New York Court Addresses When an Insurance Broker Has a Special Duty of Advisement   By G. Jay Habas, Esquire* In New York, the duty of an insurance broker to obtain insurance coverage for a client is narrowly defined to require that a client..., The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a...
Law Alerts April 23, 2018
Edited by Allison Krupp, Esq. No coverage for wrongful death claims under umbrella policy since bodily injury occurred to an insured.    Charles v. USAA, No. 7106 of 2016 (Luzerne Cnty. C.C.P. March 3, 2017) The plaintiffs filed a..., The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific...
Law Alerts April 12, 2018
Edited by Allison Krupp, Esquire Pennsylvania Superior Court vacates trial court’s $21M bad faith verdict, ruling in favor of insurer and finding that plaintiff failed to show clear and convincing evidence of bad faith.    Berg v...., The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific...
Law Alerts April 4, 2018
Ohio Supreme Court Clarifies Start of Statute of Limitations in Insurance Agent & Agency Negligence Actions   By David J. Oberly, Esquire The Ohio Supreme Court has issued a significant decision that is extremely pertinent to all..., The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific...
Law Alerts March 1, 2018
By David Henry, Esquire Key Defenses to E&O Claims That Really Aren’t     One of the most important defenses in a failure to procure claim against an insurance agent is not technically a defense—it is something a..., The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific...
Law Alerts February 1, 2018
By Timothy G. Ventura, Esquire PA Supreme Court Decision Bolsters Defense of Financial Advisors/Insurance Agents   Yenchi v. Ameriprise Fin., Inc., 161 A.3d. 811, 820 (Pa. 2017) Insurance agents and brokers and financial advisors..., The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific...
Articles March 1, 2012
Litigation Management

Pages

August 11, 2016
Attorneys James H. Cole, Andrew W. Davitt, Eric A. Fitzgerald, Edward J. McGinn, Jr. and Matthew S. Schorr, all shareholders at civil defense litigation firm Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, will serve as faculty at the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance's (CLM) 2016 Claims...
March 17, 2016
Three Marshall Dennehey attorneys are set to speak at three separate sessions at the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance's (CLM) annual conference, to be held April 6 – 8 in Orlando, Florida. The CLM promotes and furthers the highest standards of claims and litigation management to foster...
August 24, 2015
Attorneys James H. Cole, Andrew W. Davitt, Eric A. Fitzgerald, Edward J. McGinn, Jr. and Matthew S. Schorr, all shareholders at civil defense litigation firm Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, will serve as faculty at the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance's (CLM) annual Claims...
September 2, 2014
Marshall Dennehey shareholders Eric A. Fitzgerald, Andrew W. Davitt and Matthew S. Schorr will serve as faculty at the CLM's annual Claims College, to be held September 7-10, 2014, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eric A. Fitzgerald, CPCU, CLU, will address the...
June 25, 2013
Marshall Dennehey announced today that shareholders Christopher E. Dougherty and Eric A. Fitzgerald have been named Director and Assistant Director, respectively, of the firm's Professional Liability Department. The official leadership changes come following the retirement of longtime shareholder,...
Seminar Apr 17, 2013
Program Summary: A panel of insurance claims and adjusting experts, along with an insurance coverage attorney, will examine how the October 2012 super storm that battered the Northeastern U.S. is changing the game for professionals and what can be...
Conference Apr 6, 2016
Niki Ingram, director of the Workers' Compensation Department, Eric Fitzgerald, assistant director of the Professional Liability Department, and Claudia Costa, a member of the Professional Liability Department, are speaking at the 2016 CLM...

Education

  • University at Buffalo School of Law, SUNY (J.D., 1993)
  • University of Rochester (B.A., cum laude, 1989)

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1994
  • Pennsylvania, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit

Associations & Memberships

  • CPCU Society, Philadelphia Chapter
  • Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) Society
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • Property Legal Research Bureau (PRLB)
  • American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC)

Honors & Awards

Year Joined Organization: 2000

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