Seth B. Schafler is a partner in the Insurance Recovery & Counseling Group. Seth has represented high-profile clients in precedent-setting cases spanning every type of insurance work for more than 25 years.
He has extensive experience representing policyholders in coverage negotiations and disputes with their insurance companies, and litigating coverage issues in federal and state courts across the country.
Seth’s experience covers a wide variety of insurance products including commercial general liability, directors and officers, professional liability, errors and omissions, fiduciary liability, property, business interruption, fidelity, marine and credit risk insurance, among others.
In addition to his litigation practice, Seth also advises his clients on any and all of their day-to-day insurance and coverage needs, including directors and officers liability insurance (D&O) and errors and omissions (E&O) matters.
In the biggest single insurance claim of all time, Seth represented the lessees of the World Trade Center in the litigation involving their insurance claims for property damage and business interruption losses resulting from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The case not only had billions of dollars on the line, but also involved complex and novel insurance issues concerning the number of occurrences and the interaction of many different policy forms.
Seth also represented several prime contractors involved in the clearing work at ground zero. Following the attacks, the state of New York created the WTC Captive Insurance Company funded by $1 billion FEMA grant to insure the loss. Seth assisted the prime contractors in recovering insurance proceeds to pay for a global settlement with claimants alleging respiratory injury claims.
For more than ten years, Seth has represented JP Morgan Chase & Co. in various high-stakes insurance coverage matters and has helped JP Morgan recover significant sums. Highlights include representing JP Morgan :
- in claims for D&O and bankers professional liability coverage in connection with claims arising out of unauthorized copper derivative transactions
- in claims for bankers professional liability insurance coverage in connection with claims arising out of the underwriting of WorldCom bonds
- in claims for bankers professional liability coverage in connection with lending activities and other banking services provided to Enron
- as successor to Bear Stearns in claims for bankers professional liability insurance in connection with settlements of civil lawsuits and regulatory proceedings involving market-timing and late trading practices in mutual funds
Seth represented Bausch & Lomb in a product liability litigation over a contact solution product. In this case, Seth was successful in obtaining in excess of $200 million from Bausch & Lomb’s insurance tower to cover the claims of eye injuries resulting from an alleged faulty product.
In a complex construction matter, Seth represented OHL USA in recovering a very substantial insurance settlement after its tunneling project to replace a water siphon under New York Harbor was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
Representing a large number of sports teams and leagues, Seth works on matters ranging from claims surrounding stadium defects to complex liability issues. Seth’s sports industry clients include the Philadelphia Eagles, the Buffalo Bills and the New Jersey Devils. He also regularly represents Major League Baseball in its coverage needs.
With a mind to give back to his community, Seth has been actively involved in pro bono work. He has represented the Conference on Material War Claims Against Germany, Inc. in securing insurance proceeds to pay for claims brought by Holocaust survivors. He has also provided insurance counsel to the school board of his local school district, the Mamaroneck Union Free School District, on a pro bono basis.
- Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, J.D., 1981
- Articles Editor, Cardozo Law Review, 1980-1981
- University of Chicago, B.A., 1978
Admissions & Qualifications : New York, Missouri
Clerkships : U.S. District Court, Missouri, Western District – Hon. John W. Oliver
Court Admissions :
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. District Court, New York, Eastern District
- U.S. District Court, New York, Southern District
- New York City Bar
- New York State Bar Association
Rate : $$$