For more than two decades, Greg Varga has focused his practice on representing insurance companies nationally in complex insurance coverage litigation, in lawsuits seeking punitive damages and other extracontractual remedies, and in other corporate litigation.
Insurance Coverage Litigation
In the insurance coverage arena, Mr. Varga has successfully defended clients in numerous high-exposure cases involving a wide variety of insurance lines, including commercial property; business interruption and extra expense; builders risk, contractor's equipment, motor truck cargo, and other inland marine risks; boiler and machinery coverages; excess and surplus lines risks; and homeowner's policies issued to high net worth individuals. Mr. Varga has substantial experience defending litigation over catastrophe claims, ordinance or law coverage exposures, and complex business interruption claims involving a broad array of industries and professions. In addition, he has represented clients in coverage disputes involving layered and quota share excess insurance programs, in disputes related to underwriting, and in controversies between primary and excess insurers. Clients have relied on Mr. Varga and his team to serve as national coverage and litigation counsel for catastrophe claims, Chinese drywall litigation, and other substantial exposures. Mr. Varga has also supervised numerous arson and fraud investigations and prosecuted declaratory judgment and rescission actions based on policyholder misrepresentation and fraud.
Bad Faith Litigation
Mr. Varga's experience in the defense of bad faith litigation is equally significant. He has defended clients against bad faith claims in all of the New England states, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas. Clients have often retained Mr. Varga and his team on the eve of trial to take over the defense of bad faith cases previously handled by other law firms. In other instances, Mr. Varga has been retained to consult on open claims to ensure compliance with good faith investigation and claim settlement practices and to avoid exposure to extracontractual liability.
In an increasing number of states, the extracontractual remedies available to policyholders and tort plaintiffs are of far greater concern than an insurer's potential exposure on the insurance policy. In response to this alarming trend, Mr. Varga and his team have developed innovative strategies for the defense of bad faith lawsuits and have successfully applied them to reduce clients' extracontractual exposures in a wide variety of first- and third-party claim disputes. For example, Mr. Varga led a team that defended a major international insurer in a Massachusetts bad faith action in which the plaintiffs had sought $40 million in compensatory and punitive damages against our client (the primary insurer of a business auto risk) for its alleged failure to promptly settle a catastrophic personal injury claim. After a six-week trial, Mr. Varga's client was exonerated of all liability and a judgment was entered in its favor. In the ensuing two years, Mr. Varga and his team successfully defended the judgment against the plaintiffs' appeal to the Commonwealth's highest court. Mr. Varga attributes his team's success in that case to the strategies that have become hallmarks of our approach to bad faith litigation: diligence in the discovery process, careful and extensive witness preparation of company personnel for depositions and trial, effective use of trial technology, and innovative trial tactics.
Though Mr. Varga is committed to vigorously defending each case through trial, he recognizes that protracted litigation is costly and unpredictable and is not always in a client's best interest. For this reason, Mr. Varga consults with clients at the outset of every new case in an effort to understand their unique business objectives for that controversy and works to formulate and implement innovative, practical, and cost-effective strategies for achieving those goals.
Mr. Varga is a frequent speaker and panelist at insurance industry and insurance bar programs, including the Property Loss Research Bureau, the Defense Research Institute, and the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel. He contributes to the firm's Property Insurance Coverage Insights blog as well. Mr. Varga has also lectured on trial techniques to other members of the bar. In addition, he chaired Robinson+Cole's in-house litigation and trial skills program for four years.