Murtha Means More
Marilyn B. Fagelson Murtha Cullina LLP Partner

Partner

New Haven
Email: mfagelson@murthalaw.com
Phone: 203-772-7725
Fax: 203-772-7723

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Bar & Court Admissions

  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut

Education

  • Hofstra University (J.D., 1983)
  • Wesleyan University (B.A., 1978)

Marilyn B. Fagelson


Marilyn Fagelson is Chair of the Firm’s Insurance Recovery Practice Group and works principally on complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage on behalf of policyholders, and appellate practice. She has represented policyholders seeking coverage for claims involving a variety of subject areas including asbestos and environmental injuries, legal malpractice, sexual abuse, health care, property damage, products liability, automobile accidents, unfair trade practices and antitrust. Marilyn has secured coverage of defense and indemnity under many types of policies, including commercial general liability, errors and omissions, malpractice, property, homeowners, automobile, health care, title and crime policies. She is a fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel.  Marilyn is also a member of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association and she has held the positions of Chair (2016-2018), Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Insurance Section of the Connecticut Bar Association.

Marilyn also handles other types of complex commercial disputes, including antitrust and unfair trade practice claims, breach of contract and various business tort cases. Marilyn has represented clients in arbitration, administrative proceedings and in state and federal courts. Marilyn has tried cases to verdict and argued appeals. She also has resolved matters through mediation and informal settlement discussions. Marilyn is a member of the Federal Practice Section of the Connecticut Bar Association.

Prior to joining Murtha Cullina LLP, Marilyn practiced in New York where she handled both state and federal commercial litigation, primarily in the areas of antitrust and intellectual property.

REPRESENTATIVE INSURANCE COVERAGE CASES:

Won interlocutory Connecticut Supreme Court appeal of favorable rulings in a case concerning the allocation of defense and indemnity for asbestos-related personal injury claims brought by our client against dozens of primary, excess and umbrella insurers.  After wins at month-long trials held in 2012 and 2013, in 2017 the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s favorable rulings, including defeating the insurers’ attempt to allocate indemnity to the post-1986 period, when insurance coverage was no longer available. The Appellate Court also rejected the application of the pollution exclusion to asbestos personal injury claims.  After certifying a limited number of issues for further appeal, in October 2019 the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed, adopting more than half of the Appellate Court’s “well-reasoned” decision and handing Vanderbilt another important victory on the allocation and pollution issues.  R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co., 333 Conn. 343 (Conn. Oct. 8, 2019), affirming 171 Conn. App. 61 ( 2017). 

Won appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, affirming judgment after a bench trial in which the trial court awarded coverage to a Roman Catholic diocese for settlements of sexual misconduct claims. Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. v. Interstate Fire & Cas. Co., 905 F.3d 84 (2d Cir. 2018).

Prevailed on appeal with the Connecticut Supreme Court construing the meaning of “suit” to require the insurer to provide a defense for an environmental action initiated by a “Potentially Responsible Party” letter sent by the EPA. R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc. v. Continental Cas. Co., 273 Conn. 448 (2005).

Won a jury verdict against an excess insurer to recover post-judgment interest on the underlying products liability action. The case settled on favorable terms before post-verdict motions, including "offer of judgment" interest, were determined.  Stanley Works v. CIGNA, (Conn. Super. 2005).

Successfully defended against motions of more than a dozen insurers to dismiss claims for coverage, bad faith and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act brought on behalf of a proposed class of homeowners whose basement walls are crumbling. Halloran v. Harleysville Preferred Ins. Co., 2018 WL 5840031 (D. Conn. 2018).

Prevailed on summary judgment for our law firm client, when the court concluded that a former partner's knowledge should not be imputed to the firm and therefore the firm received defense and indemnification under its malpractice policy.  Maher & Williams v. ACE Am. Ins. Co., 2010 WL 3546234 (D. Conn. 2010).

Successfully moved to stay insurer’s declaratory judgment action pending the conclusion of the underlying case in which the insurer was defending the policyholder.  Western World Ins. Co. v. The Glastonbury ABC Company, Inc. (D. Conn. 2012).

EXAMPLES OF OTHER RECENT CASES:

The Connecticut Supreme Court adopted arguments propounded on behalf of the Connecticut Bar Association, Amicus Curiae, holding that a surviving spouse’s elective “Statutory Share” under General Statutes § 45a-436 should be calculated based upon the value of the estate at the time of distribution.  Dinan v. Patten, 317 Conn. 185 (2015).

Defended clients and negotiated the settlement of antitrust investigations in two separate industries conducted by the Connecticut Attorney General.  In one instance the settlement included an acknowledgement of no wrong doing and in both instances settlement was achieved without the payment of any fine or attorney’s fees. 

MEMBERSHIPS AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

American College of Coverage Counsel 

American Bar Association, Litigation Section and Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee

Connecticut Bar Association, Insurance Law Section (Executive Committee and former Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer) and the Federal Practice Section (Executive Committee)

New Haven County Bar Association

New Haven Inn of Court, Treasurer

Connecticut Anti-Defamation League, Civil Rights Committee

Lawyers for Children America, Member of Board of Directors

RECOGNITION

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Insurance Law since 2014 (Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC)

Holds an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Rating from Martindale-Hubbell

Speaker & Moderator:  The Allocation Game:  A Practical Look At Who Wins Under All Sums, Pro Rata And The New ALI Restatement, Annual Meeting of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, March 1, 2019.

Moderator: The Revolution Is Now - Big Data in Claims and Underwriting, Annual Meeting of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, March 2, 2018.

Speaker:  What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You: Identifying the Minefields in Professional Liability Claims, ABA Section of Litigation Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Women in Insurance Networking CLE Meeting, October 2016

Moderator: Let's Get Rid Of Discovery!, Annual Meeting of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, March 4, 2016.

Speaker: Getting to Less:  A Symposium On Strategies For Reducing Discovery In Insurance Coverage Cases, the Insurance Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association and the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut Law School, February 26, 2016. 

Moderator:  Symposium on Claims Handling: Rights, Wrongs and Remedies, Connecticut Bar Association and the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut Law School, February 2015.

Speaker:  Insurance Coverage 101 – Commercial General Liability Policies, Connecticut Bar Association and the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut Law School, January 2014.

Moderator:  Storm Law:  Snow, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, What’s Next?  Insurance and Other Resources Explored, Connecticut Bar Association, January 2012.

Speaker:  Business Interruption Insurance – Causation, Connecticut Bar Association, January 2010.

In addition to speaking on insurance recovery issues, Ms. Fagelson regularly provides training to clients, colleagues and professional organizations on subjects including the fundamentals of state and federal antitrust laws and electronic discovery.

AUTHORED

Insurance Recovery Group News: CT Supreme Court Issues Punitive Damages Ruling Favorable to Policyholders, December 2017

Insurance Recovery Group News: Murtha Cullina Helps Policyholder Prevail Before Connecticut Appellate Court In Asbestos Coverage Dispute, March 2017

AppellateInsights.com Blog: Supreme Court Holds Transfer To A Trust Prevails Over Bequest In A Will, January 2017

AppellateInsights.com Blog: Court Considers Subjective Standard to Prove “Knowing Misappropriation” of Clients Funds, September 2016

Insurance Recovery Group News: Choice-Of-Law Ruling In Massachusetts Diminishes Coverage For Rhode Island Public Utility, September 2016

Insurance Recovery Group News: New York Holds Excess Insurers Liable For “All Sums” Related To Long Tail Claims, May 2016

Insurance Recovery Group News: Was it Vandalism or Was it Theft?, February 2016

Insurance Recovery Group News: The Connecticut Supreme Court Affirms Denial of CGL for Electronic Data Breaches, May 2015

Insurance Recovery Group News: Supreme Court Allows Insurers to Seek a Declaration Allocating Defense Costs to Fellow Insurers, August 2014

Insurance Recovery Group News: A "Volunteer" Is Injured At Your Workplace - Are You Insured For That?, April 2014

Insurance Law: Reaching Excess Layers Of Insurance, Connecticut Law Tribune's Special Insurance Section, Vol. 40, No. 6, February 2014

Insurance Recovery Group News: The Connecticut Appellate Court Limits CGL Coverage For Electronic Data Breaches, January 2014

 

IN THE NEWS

Connecticut Law Tribune: Vanderbilt Turns Tide in Multimillion-Dollar Insurance Fight Over Asbestos, October 2019

Law360: 4 Ways Conn. Justices Set Precedent On Asbestos Coverage, October 2019

Law360: Talc Co. Needn't Fill Asbestos Insurance Gap: Conn. Justices, October 2019

Law360: 4 Issues Facing Conn. Justices In Asbestos Coverage Fight, November 2018

Law360: 2nd Circ. Gives Church, Insurer Partial Wins In Abuse Row, September 2018

Law360: Diocese Slams Insurer In Sex Abuse Claims Row At 2nd Circ., January 2018

Law360: Vanderbilt Needn't Fill Asbestos Coverage Gaps: Conn. Court, March 2017

Law360:Vanderbilt Scores In Asbestos Coverage Row Of 30 Insurers, April 2014

Connecticut Law Tribune:  Hartford Diocese Sues Insurer Over Abuse Cases, November 2012

 

Overview

Marilyn Fagelson is Chair of the Firm’s Insurance Recovery Practice Group and works principally on complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage on behalf of policyholders, and appellate practice. She has represented policyholders seeking coverage for claims involving a variety of subject areas including asbestos and environmental injuries, legal malpractice, sexual abuse, health care, property damage, products liability, automobile accidents, unfair trade practices and antitrust. Marilyn has secured coverage of defense and indemnity under many types of policies, including commercial general liability, errors and omissions, malpractice, property, homeowners, automobile, health care, title and crime policies. She is a fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel.  Marilyn is also a member of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association and she has held the positions of Chair (2016-2018), Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Insurance Section of the Connecticut Bar Association.

Marilyn also handles other types of complex commercial disputes, including antitrust and unfair trade practice claims, breach of contract and various business tort cases. Marilyn has represented clients in arbitration, administrative proceedings and in state and federal courts. Marilyn has tried cases to verdict and argued appeals. She also has resolved matters through mediation and informal settlement discussions. Marilyn is a member of the Federal Practice Section of the Connecticut Bar Association.

Prior to joining Murtha Cullina LLP, Marilyn practiced in New York where she handled both state and federal commercial litigation, primarily in the areas of antitrust and intellectual property.

REPRESENTATIVE INSURANCE COVERAGE CASES:

Won interlocutory Connecticut Supreme Court appeal of favorable rulings in a case concerning the allocation of defense and indemnity for asbestos-related personal injury claims brought by our client against dozens of primary, excess and umbrella insurers.  After wins at month-long trials held in 2012 and 2013, in 2017 the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s favorable rulings, including defeating the insurers’ attempt to allocate indemnity to the post-1986 period, when insurance coverage was no longer available. The Appellate Court also rejected the application of the pollution exclusion to asbestos personal injury claims.  After certifying a limited number of issues for further appeal, in October 2019 the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed, adopting more than half of the Appellate Court’s “well-reasoned” decision and handing Vanderbilt another important victory on the allocation and pollution issues.  R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co., 333 Conn. 343 (Conn. Oct. 8, 2019), affirming 171 Conn. App. 61 ( 2017). 

Won appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, affirming judgment after a bench trial in which the trial court awarded coverage to a Roman Catholic diocese for settlements of sexual misconduct claims. Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. v. Interstate Fire & Cas. Co., 905 F.3d 84 (2d Cir. 2018).

Prevailed on appeal with the Connecticut Supreme Court construing the meaning of “suit” to require the insurer to provide a defense for an environmental action initiated by a “Potentially Responsible Party” letter sent by the EPA. R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc. v. Continental Cas. Co., 273 Conn. 448 (2005).

Won a jury verdict against an excess insurer to recover post-judgment interest on the underlying products liability action. The case settled on favorable terms before post-verdict motions, including "offer of judgment" interest, were determined.  Stanley Works v. CIGNA, (Conn. Super. 2005).

Successfully defended against motions of more than a dozen insurers to dismiss claims for coverage, bad faith and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act brought on behalf of a proposed class of homeowners whose basement walls are crumbling. Halloran v. Harleysville Preferred Ins. Co., 2018 WL 5840031 (D. Conn. 2018).

Prevailed on summary judgment for our law firm client, when the court concluded that a former partner's knowledge should not be imputed to the firm and therefore the firm received defense and indemnification under its malpractice policy.  Maher & Williams v. ACE Am. Ins. Co., 2010 WL 3546234 (D. Conn. 2010).

Successfully moved to stay insurer’s declaratory judgment action pending the conclusion of the underlying case in which the insurer was defending the policyholder.  Western World Ins. Co. v. The Glastonbury ABC Company, Inc. (D. Conn. 2012).

EXAMPLES OF OTHER RECENT CASES:

The Connecticut Supreme Court adopted arguments propounded on behalf of the Connecticut Bar Association, Amicus Curiae, holding that a surviving spouse’s elective “Statutory Share” under General Statutes § 45a-436 should be calculated based upon the value of the estate at the time of distribution.  Dinan v. Patten, 317 Conn. 185 (2015).

Defended clients and negotiated the settlement of antitrust investigations in two separate industries conducted by the Connecticut Attorney General.  In one instance the settlement included an acknowledgement of no wrong doing and in both instances settlement was achieved without the payment of any fine or attorney’s fees. 

MEMBERSHIPS AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

American College of Coverage Counsel 

American Bar Association, Litigation Section and Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee

Connecticut Bar Association, Insurance Law Section (Executive Committee and former Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer) and the Federal Practice Section (Executive Committee)

New Haven County Bar Association

New Haven Inn of Court, Treasurer

Connecticut Anti-Defamation League, Civil Rights Committee

Lawyers for Children America, Member of Board of Directors

RECOGNITION

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Insurance Law since 2014 (Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC)

Holds an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Rating from Martindale-Hubbell

Speaking Engagements

Speaker & Moderator:  The Allocation Game:  A Practical Look At Who Wins Under All Sums, Pro Rata And The New ALI Restatement, Annual Meeting of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, March 1, 2019.

Moderator: The Revolution Is Now - Big Data in Claims and Underwriting, Annual Meeting of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, March 2, 2018.

Speaker:  What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You: Identifying the Minefields in Professional Liability Claims, ABA Section of Litigation Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Women in Insurance Networking CLE Meeting, October 2016

Moderator: Let's Get Rid Of Discovery!, Annual Meeting of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, March 4, 2016.

Speaker: Getting to Less:  A Symposium On Strategies For Reducing Discovery In Insurance Coverage Cases, the Insurance Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association and the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut Law School, February 26, 2016. 

Moderator:  Symposium on Claims Handling: Rights, Wrongs and Remedies, Connecticut Bar Association and the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut Law School, February 2015.

Speaker:  Insurance Coverage 101 – Commercial General Liability Policies, Connecticut Bar Association and the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut Law School, January 2014.

Moderator:  Storm Law:  Snow, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, What’s Next?  Insurance and Other Resources Explored, Connecticut Bar Association, January 2012.

Speaker:  Business Interruption Insurance – Causation, Connecticut Bar Association, January 2010.

In addition to speaking on insurance recovery issues, Ms. Fagelson regularly provides training to clients, colleagues and professional organizations on subjects including the fundamentals of state and federal antitrust laws and electronic discovery.

Publications

AUTHORED

Insurance Recovery Group News: CT Supreme Court Issues Punitive Damages Ruling Favorable to Policyholders, December 2017

Insurance Recovery Group News: Murtha Cullina Helps Policyholder Prevail Before Connecticut Appellate Court In Asbestos Coverage Dispute, March 2017

AppellateInsights.com Blog: Supreme Court Holds Transfer To A Trust Prevails Over Bequest In A Will, January 2017

AppellateInsights.com Blog: Court Considers Subjective Standard to Prove “Knowing Misappropriation” of Clients Funds, September 2016

Insurance Recovery Group News: Choice-Of-Law Ruling In Massachusetts Diminishes Coverage For Rhode Island Public Utility, September 2016

Insurance Recovery Group News: New York Holds Excess Insurers Liable For “All Sums” Related To Long Tail Claims, May 2016

Insurance Recovery Group News: Was it Vandalism or Was it Theft?, February 2016

Insurance Recovery Group News: The Connecticut Supreme Court Affirms Denial of CGL for Electronic Data Breaches, May 2015

Insurance Recovery Group News: Supreme Court Allows Insurers to Seek a Declaration Allocating Defense Costs to Fellow Insurers, August 2014

Insurance Recovery Group News: A "Volunteer" Is Injured At Your Workplace - Are You Insured For That?, April 2014

Insurance Law: Reaching Excess Layers Of Insurance, Connecticut Law Tribune's Special Insurance Section, Vol. 40, No. 6, February 2014

Insurance Recovery Group News: The Connecticut Appellate Court Limits CGL Coverage For Electronic Data Breaches, January 2014

 

IN THE NEWS

Connecticut Law Tribune: Vanderbilt Turns Tide in Multimillion-Dollar Insurance Fight Over Asbestos, October 2019

Law360: 4 Ways Conn. Justices Set Precedent On Asbestos Coverage, October 2019

Law360: Talc Co. Needn't Fill Asbestos Insurance Gap: Conn. Justices, October 2019

Law360: 4 Issues Facing Conn. Justices In Asbestos Coverage Fight, November 2018

Law360: 2nd Circ. Gives Church, Insurer Partial Wins In Abuse Row, September 2018

Law360: Diocese Slams Insurer In Sex Abuse Claims Row At 2nd Circ., January 2018

Law360: Vanderbilt Needn't Fill Asbestos Coverage Gaps: Conn. Court, March 2017

Law360:Vanderbilt Scores In Asbestos Coverage Row Of 30 Insurers, April 2014

Connecticut Law Tribune:  Hartford Diocese Sues Insurer Over Abuse Cases, November 2012

 

Newsletters & Alerts
Bar & Court Admissions
  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
Education
  • Hofstra University (J.D., 1983)
  • Wesleyan University (B.A., 1978)
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