Ronald Schiller, Chair of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, has a broadly diversified trial, appellate and arbitration practice. Ron is a business trial lawyer, appellate lawyer and counselor. Ron advises financial institutions, insurers and reinsurers, technology companies, and other businesses in high-stakes litigation matters, particularly where taking the case through trial or appeal needs to be part of the client’s arsenal.
Ron and his trial teams have prepared to try and tried two to four cases a year in courts and before arbitration panels every year for more than a decade. He and his teams have also prepared and argued appeals in appellate courts around the country at the rate of several a year. Most of this work has been for an array of insurers and reinsurers in sophisticated coverage, bad faith, and reinsurance disputes. A substantial part of this practice includes representing insurers and reinsurers in business disputes against financial institutions, other large companies, and healthcare and managed care companies on E&O, D&O, professional liability, reinsurance, and ERISA coverage disputes. The firm’s practice extends to trial and appeals courts in more than 25 jurisdictions. These cases include disputes in the billions of dollars. Many of these matters have helped define the coverage exposure in the state, with several cases even now poised to clarify the scope of coverage or exclusions under California, Washington State, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Louisiana law.
The respected English publisher Chambers & Partners has recognized Ron in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business numerous times, noting that clients admire him as “someone who consistently wins big cases.” Chambers USA has further stated: “He is a particularly experienced adviser of businesses and insurers in litigation avoidance matters and settlement strategies. He exhibits further expertise in complex coverage cases and reinsurance disputes. Sources praise him for his clarity, stating that he is able to take ‘complex analytical work, distill it down, synthesize it and navigate it for his clients.’” He has been repeatedly named a Band 1 Insurance attorney by Chambers USA, with the publication calling him “outstanding and one of the best lawyers in Pennsylvania” and noting that “he knows his way around the courtroom and is very effective.” In 2020, Ron was recognized as one of the Best of the Bar by the Philadelphia Business Journal, an award which honors the top attorneys in the region based on the high quality of their work and their commitment to improving the practice of law. He has repeatedly been selected by his peers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer and has been named in the Best Lawyers in America.
- USA Gymnastics v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc. – USA Gymnastics has demanded coverage from our client Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc. under a D&O liability policy issued to USAG beginning in May 2016. The alleged claims arise from (1) multiple cases pending in Michigan, Colorado, and California against USAG seeking damages for Dr. Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of athletes while he was serving as USAG’s team physician, and (2) investigations initiated by, among others, both houses of Congress and the US Olympic Committee, investigating Nassar’s abuse and how it was able to proceed. Liberty denied coverage under its polices, among other reasons, based on exclusions of coverage of claims related to intentional acts and claims for bodily injury, lack of an insured claim for a wrongful act, and because claims pre-dated Liberty’s policy period. Ron argued the case before the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on November 9, 2020. Listen to the argument here.
- In Re Verizon Insurance Coverage Appeals – Represented excess insurer in Delaware Superior Court and Delaware Supreme Court, winning a reversal and judgement at Supreme Court, in $50 million D&O dispute concerning coverage for “Securities Claims.” Appeal also addressed whether trial court wrongly denied separate trial on allocation and reasonableness of defense costs and Delaware choice of law. Watch the argument here.
- Millennium Laboratories, Inc. v. Allied World Assurance Company (U.S.) Inc. – Lead trial and appellate lawyer in successful defense against $5 million coverage demand in D&O coverage litigation. The Policyholder, sought coverage for costs Millennium incurred in defending against an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ Investigation”), which was commenced by the DOJ’s service of a document subpoena on Millennium. The policy at issue contained an endorsement that defined “Claim” so as to include certain investigations commenced by service of a subpoena. Our insurance coverage department represented Allied World at every stage of the coverage litigation, before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California and then the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, securing a defense judgment of no coverage.
- Jacob Horn, et al. v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters, Inc. – Secured summary judgment for insurer in connection with coverage demand for $60 million consent judgment entered to resolve for alleged underlying violations of the TCPA. Later prevailed before the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which upheld the District Court ruling that the policy did not cover the invasion of privacy claims brought in the underlying action. Read more here.
- TIAA-CREF v. Illinois National Insurance Company, et al. – Lead trial and appellate attorney along with colleague Dan Layden. Ron represented Zurich American Insurance Company after TIAA-CREF sought millions from its professional liability insurance carriers, including Zurich, for TIAA-CREF’s settlement of three underlying ERISA class actions. Zurich contended that the insured never sought consent and never properly notified Zurich of the claim, which are both conditions precedent under the Zurich policy. In December 2016, we secured a defense verdict, removing Zurich’s $15 million policy from exposure. The Court denied post-trial motions in June 2017. TIAA-CREF appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court, seeking relief from the finding that it had never properly given Zurich notice of the settlement and potential claims and also urged the court to reverse the lower court’s denial of prejudgment interest. Ron argued the appeal for Zurich on June 6, 2018. Watch the full argument here.
- Massachusetts Bay Ins. Co. v. American Healthcare Services Association, et al. – Lead trial and appellate attorney. On March 1, 2017, Ron argued an appeal before the Supreme Court of New Hampshire in a case involving a multi-million dollar healthcare insurance dispute stemming from dozens of patients contracting Hepatitis C while being treated at a New Hampshire area hospital, which ultimately led to a criminal prosecution. In September 2017, the Court ruled in favor of Ron’s client, Arch Insurance Company. Watch the full argument here.
- UnitedHealth Group, Inc. v. Columbia Casualty Co., et al. – Lead trial and appellate attorney. Prevailed on summary judgment in coverage and bad faith litigation for two insurers that were part of a professional liability insurance tower issued to UnitedHealth Group, Inc. following insured’s settlement of underlying litigation for $350 million. On October 19, 2016, Ron argued the appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Listen to the full argument here.
- Connect America Holdings, LLC, et al. v. Arch Insurance Company – Lead trial attorney. Secured jury verdict in favor of Insurer in $5 million phase one coverage litigation arising from underlying trademark litigation.
- CIGNA Corp. v. Executive Risk Indemnity Inc. and Nutmeg Insurance Company – Lead trial and appellate attorney. Won summary judgment and held win on appeal on behalf of both Insurers in $20 million coverage and bad faith case arising from underlying ERISA class action.
- Executive Risk Indemnity Inc. v. CIGNA Corp. – Lead trial and appellate attorney. Won partial summary judgment, later secured verdict at trial and held win on appeal in coverage and bad faith action involving $135 million insurance claim based on settlement of consolidated MDL class-action lawsuits. Established Pennsylvania law regarding burden of proof for allocation between covered and non-covered loss.
- HSB Group, Inc. v. SVB Underwriting, LTD – Lead trial attorney. Successfully represented plaintiff in Insurer v. Insurer dispute resulting in multi-million verdict for client and implicating foreseeability of loss under tail coverage policy.
- Specialty Surfaces International, Inc., v. Continental Casualty Co. – Lead trial and appellate attorney. Won summary judgment and held appeal establishing important Third Circuit precedent that design defects do not qualify as “occurrences” under a general liability policy, whether a claim against the designer is pleaded as a contract or tort cause of action.
- Orchard Brands Topco LLC n/k/a OBC Topco LLC, et al. v. Twin City, et al. – Lead trial attorney. Won phase one decision on partial summary judgment against hedge fund in multi-million coverage dispute relating to disgorgement defense under California law, positioning case for positive resolution for client.
- Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. MP III Holdings, et al. – Lead trial and appellate attorney. Won summary judgment in multiple state and federal court actions involving $10 million coverage and bad faith claims.
- Representation of Zurich as lead trial and appellate attorney in several bifurcated faith claims in Florida state and federal courts for property damage and lost income claims arising out of Hurricane losses and bad faith claims subsequent to appraisal proceedings.
- Representation of Chubb, Arch, Swiss Re, and other insurers as lead trial attorney in managed care coverage and bad faith litigation throughout the country, including successfully resolved actions against various Blue Cross and Blue Shield franchisees in Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, California and Illinois arising out of underlying managed care litigation brought by physicians and patients.
- National Fire Insurance Co. of Hartford v. Robinson Fans Holdings, Inc. – Lead trial attorney. Tried statutory and common law bad faith claims to a favorable jury outcome, positioning the case to favorably resolve coverage claim arising from competing CGL and E&O policies as applied to allegedly defective industrial fans installed in large cogeneration facility.
- AstenJohnson, Inc. v. Columbia Casualty Co. and American Insurance Co. – Lead trial and appellate attorney. Won summary judgment in initial trial over claim for approximately $100 million of asbestos lawsuit-related damages, argued Seventh Amendment issues on appeal, and prepared for partial retrial, resulting in favorable resolution for client.
- Simon Wrecking Company, Inc., Simon Resources, Inc., Mid-State Trading Company v. American International Underwriters, et al. – Lead trial attorney. Won partial summary judgment in seminal pretrial rulings defining and applying “custom and usage” standard, admissibility of evidence on regulatory estoppel claim, and positioning coverage defense for trial and ultimate favorable resolution.
- The Broadcast Team v. The Hartford. – Lead attorney on post-trial motions and appeal. Won remittitur of $17 million jury award remitted to $1.7 million. The case ultimately resolved favorably on appeal.