John G. KochTwo Logan Square 100 North 18th Street, Suite 1925 Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 883-7419 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- J.D., Villanova University School of Law, Managing Editor of Outside Articles, Villanova Environmental Law Journal (2005)
- B.A. in Philosophy and Sociology, James Madison University, cum laude (2000)
- New York
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Who Has to Pay for Periods of Insolvent Insurance in Long-Tail Coverage Claims? New Jersey High Court Changes the Game in Favor of Policyholders
- Environmental Claims Journal, Volume 26, Issue 1 (2014)
- Congress, Cave Bugs, Courts and the Commerce Clause: Did the 5th Circuit Figure Out How to Regulate Intrastate Activity Under the Endangered Species Act? – Case Note
- Villanova Environmental Law Journal, Volume 16 (2005)
Honors & Awards
- Named a New Jersey and Pennsylvania’s “Rising Star” 2013 – 2018, by Thomson Reuters, publishers of New Jersey Super Lawyers and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine
- Top Attorney List, Environmental Law, SJ Magazine, 2015
- Environmental Law Section, New Jersey State Bar Association Board of Directors (Board of Directors, 2015-2018)
- Delaware Valley American Environmental Inn of Court (former Committee Chair)
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- New York Bar Association
- LEED® Green Associate, Green Building Certification Institute
John is a partner at the firm and focuses his practice on policyholder-side commercial insurance recovery and environmental law. His practice also includes commercial litigation and dispute resolution, litigation management involving insurance-funded defenses, transactions counseling, contract indemnity disputes, supply chain disputes, and product recalls, among other matters.
On behalf of commercial policyholder clients, John has recovered from insurers substantial sums in claims involving environmental and toxic tort liabilities (CERCLA, asbestos, silica, hearing loss), product or construction defects, “coverage B” liabilities, D&O, business interruption and property damage (especially damage from natural disasters).
John’s environmental practice includes litigating cleanup suits, counselling clients through site remediation, and negotiating with government regulators. It also includes due diligence, risk transfer and negotiations in transactions involving industrial or contaminated property.
John has lectured on a number of different topics. His recent speaking engagements include:
- “Environmental Insurance 101: Managing Environmental Risk with Insurance in 2019” (RIMS, Boston, Spring 2019)
- “Environmental Risks Arising from Natural Disasters” (Perrin Conferences, Miami, Spring 2019)
- “The Out-of-State Practice of Law” (De. Valley Am. Enviro. Inn of Ct., Philadelphia, Spring 2019)
- “Insurance Recovery for In-House Counsel: Practical Insights for Identifying, Presenting and Successfully Resolving Insurance Claims” (ALM, Philadelphia, Summer 2018)
- “How to Avoid Insurance Coverage Pitfalls in Long-Term Toxic Tort and Environmental Contamination Claims” (RIMS, Austin, TX, Spring 2018)
- “What the Flood? An Introduction to the National Flood Insurance Program” (Pennsylvania Bar Association, Harrisburg, PA, Spring 2017).
- “Environmental Regulation of Business” (Rutgers Law School, Camden, NJ, Spring 2015)
- Recovered an additional $15 million above insurer’s original payment in commercial property damage claim arising out of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
- Represent a global food ingredients company identified as a potentially responsible party in the Lower Passaic River Study Area (Diamond Alkali Superfund Site). Defeated the client’s insurer’s preemptive lawsuit (in trial court and on appeal) in Illinois seeking to avoid coverage for the $1.4 billion cleanup of the Lower Passaic River in New Jersey. In addition, counselled client regarding its defense against USEPA’s cost recovery efforts and the defense of related contribution litigation in the District of New Jersey.
- Represented boiler manufacturer in asbestos coverage litigation in the Eastern District of New York. Recovered millions of dollars in past defense and indemnity costs, and negotiated allocated cost share for future claims. In addition, counsel client in connection with managing the insurer-funded defense of existing and future asbestos lawsuits being continually filed in multiple jurisdictions.
- Represented financial investment company in fraud litigation in the Southern District of New York against the principal of a business in which the client invested; successfully settled the case in mediation resulting in the return of millions of dollars to client.
- Represented global prepared foods company in resolving contractual and indemnity disputes with ingredients suppliers involving product recall, and negotiated insurance coverage with implicated insurers.
- Arbitrated over 100 flood insurance claims arising from Hurricane Sandy on behalf of commercial and private property owners, recovering on average over four times more than what FEMA and various insurers initially paid.
- Advised large foreign manufacturing client seeking to acquire contaminated New Jersey industrial facility regarding exposure to environmental risks; defined risks and assisted in structuring asset purchase agreement to minimize risk to buyer legally and practically.
- Obtained full indemnity plus attorneys’ fees in New Jersey action against insurers seeking coverage to remediate contaminated industrial property, where remediation was estimated to cost millions of dollars. Prevailed on summary judgment seeking attorneys’ fees and declaration of coverage as to non-settling excess insurer respecting its disputed Carter-Wallace share of remediation costs, while counseling client with respect to the underlying cleanup.
- Counselled industrial clients in Ward Transformer Superfund Site in North Carolina, Diamond Alkali Superfund Site in New Jersey, and Ventron Superfund Site in New Jersey.
- Obtained summary judgment ruling in New Jersey holding that client owed no indemnity to contractor for contractor’s own negligence under construction contract in multimillion dollar case involving collapse of piers owned by NY & NJ Port Authority. In addition, successfully defeated attempt by client’s insurer to avoid its coverage obligation to the contractor as an additional insured under client’s policy.
- Obtained summary judgment ruling in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania requiring general liability insurer and separate auto insurer to defend property management company against significant wrongful death lawsuit involving employee’s negligence while driving a company car, where both insurers denied coverage claiming the other was responsible.
- Obtained funds from state property-liability insurance guaranty fund for insolvent insurer’s share of cleanup costs relating to contaminated site in New Jersey.
- Obtained summary judgment ruling in New Jersey requiring general liability insurer to defend large medical center in mold exposure claim in New Jersey, despite mold exclusion in the policy and despite New Jersey’s unique Burd rule; and obtained attorneys’ fees for prosecuting coverage action against insurer.
- Obtained 97% contribution to New Jersey client’s defense against asbestos lawsuits despite the insolvency of the insurer with the lion’s share of time on the risk, and despite other lost policy issues.
- Obtained $6.5 million judgment after ten day bench trial in New Jersey on behalf of former shareholders of privately held corporation (formerly a public corporation) in suit against former officer for breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of the company; issues involved ERISA and withdrawal liability. Filed and settled direct coverage action against former executive’s D&O carrier to recover judgment.
- Obtained dismissal of multiple third party claims for Spill Act contribution against industrial client in multibillion dollar Passaic River litigation in New Jersey.
- Successfully argued Environmental Rights Act and Spill Act matter before the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court, resulting in a complete upholding of summary judgment dismissing all claims seeking to compel the client’s fuel distribution company to remediate the plaintiffs’ contaminated property.
- Negotiated a half million dollar penalty for Clean Water Act permit violation down to a mere seven thousand dollars on behalf of manufacturer in the midst of an asset sale.