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 B. Fagelson, a Murtha Cullina partner and chair of the firm’s Insurance Recovery Practice Group, is recognized by Best Lawyers in America as one of Connecticut’s leaders in insurance law.

A seasoned trial and appellate lawyer, Marilyn handles complex commercial litigation and represents policyholders in insurance coverage disputes. Since joining Murtha in 1997, she has successfully prevailed in battles against much of the insurance market — often involving 20 or more insurers at a time. She represents policyholders seeking coverage for a diverse array of claims, including: 

•    Asbestos and environmental injuries
•    Legal malpractice
•    Sexual abuse
•    Property damage
•    Construction defects
•    Products liability
•    Unfair trade practices

Applying her deep knowledge of insurance law, Marilyn has secured coverage of defense and indemnity under commercial general liability, directors and officers, errors and omissions, title, crime and other types of policies. Many of her cases have attracted national attention, not only for the groundbreaking precedent they set in Connecticut for policyholders, but also for the strength of arguments made on behalf of her clients that have been adapted by the courts. 

Marilyn also handles other types of complex commercial disputes, including antitrust and unfair trade practice claims, breach of contract and various business tort cases. She has represented clients in arbitration, administrative proceedings, and in state and federal courts. In addition to trying cases to verdict and arguing appeals, she has resolved matters through mediation and informal settlement negotiations.

A regular speaker on insurance recovery topics at seminars and meetings hosted by bar associations and professional organizations, Marilyn is a frequent contributor to Murtha’s Insurance Recovery Group’s News Alerts. She also provides training to clients, colleagues and professional organizations on the fundamentals of state and federal antitrust laws, electronic discovery and other subjects. 

REPRESENTATIVE INSURANCE COVERAGE CASES:

Continental Casualty Company v. Rohr, Inc. (2020) – Prevailed on interlocutory appeal to the Connecticut Appellate Court in this case concerning insurance coverage for environmental claims under California law.  The Appellate Court reversed the trial court, adopting our client’s construction of the per occurrence limits of multi-year primary policies so as to allow proof of exhaustion of those polices and access to coverage under umbrella and excess policies.  

R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co. (2019) –  Won interlocutory appeal to Connecticut Supreme Court, which affirmed favorable and precedent-setting rulings concerning the allocation of defense and indemnity for asbestos-related personal injury claims.  After wins against dozens of primary, umbrella and excess insurers at a month-long Phase I bench trials held in 2012 and a month-long Phase II trial held in 2013, in 2017 the Appellate Court issued a 250 page decision addressing some 20 issues in which it affirmed and expanded 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.  333 Conn. 343 (Conn. Oct. 8, 2019), affirming 171 Conn. App. 61 ( 2017). 

The Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. v. Interstate Fire & Cas. Co. (2018) –  Won appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, affirming judgment after a 2016 bench trial in which the trial court awarded coverage to our client for settlements of sexual misconduct claims.  905 F.3d 84 (2d Cir. 2018).

Halloran v. Harleysville Preferred Ins. Co. (2018) – 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.  2018 WL 5840031 (D. Conn. 2018).

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

Maher & Williams v. ACE Am. Ins. Co. (2010) – 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.   2010 WL 3546234 (D. Conn. 2010).

R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc. v. Continental Cas. Co. (2005) – Prevailed on appeal to 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.  273 Conn. 448 (2005).

Stanley Works v. CIGNA (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.   Conn. Super. (2005).


EXAMPLES OF OTHER LITIGATION:

Saunders v. Briner (2019) –  Successfully represented a member of a Limited Liability Company before the Connecticut Supreme Court, which overturned judgment in derivative suit.  334 Conn. 135 (2019).

Dinan v. Patten (2015) – 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.   317 Conn. 185 (2015).

MEMBERSHIPS AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee

American College of Coverage Counsel, Fellow

Connecticut Bar Association, Insurance Law Section Executive Committee, Chair (2016-2018), Vice Chair and Treasurer), Federal Practice Section Executive Committee

Lawyers for Children America, Board of Directors

New Haven County Bar Association

New Haven Inn of Court, Treasurer

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:  Can You Climb the Excess Tower and Enjoy the View From Up There?  American College of Coverage Counsel 2021 Annual Meeting, September 23, 2021

Moderator:  Contra Proferentem:  A Vanishing Doctrine?  Meeting of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, March 6, 2020.

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: Beware of the Double Wammie!, October 2020

Insurance Recovery Group News: Missouri Court Rules Policyholders State Claim for Coverage of Pandemic-Related Losses, September 2020

Insurance Recovery Group News: Proposed Legislation Related to Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19, May 2020

Insurance Recovery Group News: Coronavirus and Business Interruption Insurance:  What Does The Physcial Loss or Damage Requirement Mean?, April 2020

Insurance Recovery Group News: Cajun Conti LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London: The First of the Coronavirus Insurance Recovery Actions, March 2020

Insurance Recovery Group News: Bad Faith Claims Against Insurers: Can They Be "SLAPP'ed?, December 2019

Insurance Recovery Group News: The Connecticut Supreme Court Affirms Policyholder Victory On Allocation Issues In Coverage For Asbestos-Related Injuries, October 2019

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 B. Fagelson, a Murtha Cullina partner and chair of the firm’s Insurance Recovery Practice Group, is recognized by Best Lawyers in America as one of Connecticut’s leaders in insurance law.

A seasoned trial and appellate lawyer, Marilyn handles complex commercial litigation and represents policyholders in insurance coverage disputes. Since joining Murtha in 1997, she has successfully prevailed in battles against much of the insurance market — often involving 20 or more insurers at a time. She represents policyholders seeking coverage for a diverse array of claims, including: 

•    Asbestos and environmental injuries
•    Legal malpractice
•    Sexual abuse
•    Property damage
•    Construction defects
•    Products liability
•    Unfair trade practices

Applying her deep knowledge of insurance law, Marilyn has secured coverage of defense and indemnity under commercial general liability, directors and officers, errors and omissions, title, crime and other types of policies. Many of her cases have attracted national attention, not only for the groundbreaking precedent they set in Connecticut for policyholders, but also for the strength of arguments made on behalf of her clients that have been adapted by the courts. 

Marilyn also handles other types of complex commercial disputes, including antitrust and unfair trade practice claims, breach of contract and various business tort cases. She has represented clients in arbitration, administrative proceedings, and in state and federal courts. In addition to trying cases to verdict and arguing appeals, she has resolved matters through mediation and informal settlement negotiations.

A regular speaker on insurance recovery topics at seminars and meetings hosted by bar associations and professional organizations, Marilyn is a frequent contributor to Murtha’s Insurance Recovery Group’s News Alerts. She also provides training to clients, colleagues and professional organizations on the fundamentals of state and federal antitrust laws, electronic discovery and other subjects. 

REPRESENTATIVE INSURANCE COVERAGE CASES:

Continental Casualty Company v. Rohr, Inc. (2020) – Prevailed on interlocutory appeal to the Connecticut Appellate Court in this case concerning insurance coverage for environmental claims under California law.  The Appellate Court reversed the trial court, adopting our client’s construction of the per occurrence limits of multi-year primary policies so as to allow proof of exhaustion of those polices and access to coverage under umbrella and excess policies.  

R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co. (2019) –  Won interlocutory appeal to Connecticut Supreme Court, which affirmed favorable and precedent-setting rulings concerning the allocation of defense and indemnity for asbestos-related personal injury claims.  After wins against dozens of primary, umbrella and excess insurers at a month-long Phase I bench trials held in 2012 and a month-long Phase II trial held in 2013, in 2017 the Appellate Court issued a 250 page decision addressing some 20 issues in which it affirmed and expanded 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.  333 Conn. 343 (Conn. Oct. 8, 2019), affirming 171 Conn. App. 61 ( 2017). 

The Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. v. Interstate Fire & Cas. Co. (2018) –  Won appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, affirming judgment after a 2016 bench trial in which the trial court awarded coverage to our client for settlements of sexual misconduct claims.  905 F.3d 84 (2d Cir. 2018).

Halloran v. Harleysville Preferred Ins. Co. (2018) – 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.  2018 WL 5840031 (D. Conn. 2018).

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

Maher & Williams v. ACE Am. Ins. Co. (2010) – 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.   2010 WL 3546234 (D. Conn. 2010).

R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc. v. Continental Cas. Co. (2005) – Prevailed on appeal to 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.  273 Conn. 448 (2005).

Stanley Works v. CIGNA (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.   Conn. Super. (2005).


EXAMPLES OF OTHER LITIGATION:

Saunders v. Briner (2019) –  Successfully represented a member of a Limited Liability Company before the Connecticut Supreme Court, which overturned judgment in derivative suit.  334 Conn. 135 (2019).

Dinan v. Patten (2015) – 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.   317 Conn. 185 (2015).

MEMBERSHIPS AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee

American College of Coverage Counsel, Fellow

Connecticut Bar Association, Insurance Law Section Executive Committee, Chair (2016-2018), Vice Chair and Treasurer), Federal Practice Section Executive Committee

Lawyers for Children America, Board of Directors

New Haven County Bar Association

New Haven Inn of Court, Treasurer

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:  Can You Climb the Excess Tower and Enjoy the View From Up There?  American College of Coverage Counsel 2021 Annual Meeting, September 23, 2021

Moderator:  Contra Proferentem:  A Vanishing Doctrine?  Meeting of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, March 6, 2020.

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: Beware of the Double Wammie!, October 2020

Insurance Recovery Group News: Missouri Court Rules Policyholders State Claim for Coverage of Pandemic-Related Losses, September 2020

Insurance Recovery Group News: Proposed Legislation Related to Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19, May 2020

Insurance Recovery Group News: Coronavirus and Business Interruption Insurance:  What Does The Physcial Loss or Damage Requirement Mean?, April 2020

Insurance Recovery Group News: Cajun Conti LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London: The First of the Coronavirus Insurance Recovery Actions, March 2020

Insurance Recovery Group News: Bad Faith Claims Against Insurers: Can They Be "SLAPP'ed?, December 2019

Insurance Recovery Group News: The Connecticut Supreme Court Affirms Policyholder Victory On Allocation Issues In Coverage For Asbestos-Related Injuries, October 2019

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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