Zuckerman Spaeder Wins $9 Million for Insurers After Trial on Subrogation Claims
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP prevailed at trial for its clients, Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, and other insurers, in a subrogation dispute over millions of dollars in lead paint-related defense costs. In an opinion dated May 3, 2022, the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court held that Zuckerman Spaeder’s clients were entitled to recover $8.076 million, plus additional prejudgment interest, in subrogation from PPG Architectural Finishes, a third-party contractual indemnitor of their insured. On June 27, 2022, the court entered judgment for the insurers for $9.116 million. That judgment has been satisfied, and the case is concluded.
The case involved an asset purchase agreement between predecessors of the insured entity, Millennium, and a non-insured company, now PPG. The purchase agreement contained a written indemnification for costs incurred in connection with lead litigation cases. Zuckerman Spaeder’s clients joined the litigation in 2011, when they intervened in a dispute between Millennium and PPG’s predecessor. The case has a long history, including three trips to New York’s Appellate Division and an appeal to the New York Court of Appeals, which held in 2016 that New York’s anti-subrogation rule did not bar the insurers’ subrogation claim. After several intermediate rulings, the matter was tried remotely on January 21, 2021, after which the trial court delivered its post-trial decision.
Carl S. Kravitz, with partners Jason M. Knott and Adam B. Abelson, led the effort.