Eugene P. Murphy


  • Overview


    Gene Murphy concentrates his practice in liability and property insurance coverage matters, as well as products liability defense. For the past 30 years, he has focused on the evaluation, litigation, and resolution of a diverse range of coverage disputes, including mediations, arbitrations, and trials. In addition to his work in Florida, he has appeared before various state and federal courts throughout the country, including courts in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.

    Property Insurance Coverage Litigation

    With respect to property matters, Gene defends insurers and renders coverage analysis advice in a wide range of claims, including hurricane and wind damage, business interruption, design defect, faulty workmanship, law and ordinance, earth movement, sinkholes, mold, water damage, theft, collapse, hail damage, fire, and power failure. He recently obtained a dismissal with prejudice, with no payment by the defendant insurer, under a builder's risk policy in a paint overspray case. He also obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of an insurer in a multimillion-dollar business interruption and property damage lawsuit arising out of a theft of business inventory.

    Liability Coverage

    On the liability front, Gene provides coverage advice and litigates declaratory judgment actions involving various disputes, including duty to defend and indemnity obligations, employee exclusions, mold issues, assault and battery, additional insured issues, liquor liability exclusions, trigger and allocation issues, environmental, construction defect, contractual liability exclusions, bodily injury and property damage issues, occurrence and "expected or intended" issues, your product exclusions, separation of insureds issues, medical payments coverage, completed work exclusions, late notice issues, excess and umbrella coverage issues, and ADA issues. Gene recently obtained a "no duty to defend/indemnify" declaratory judgment arising out of the status of an injured worker and the application of employers' liability exclusion.

    He regularly does presentations on insurance-related topics, and contributes to Robinson+Cole’s Property Insurance Coverage Insights blog.

  • Experience
    • Experience


      • Filed declaratory judgment action on behalf of boiler and machinery insurer involving a multimillion-dollar insurance claim for damage to a Miami Beach Hotel, and ensuing business losses, arising out of a 2017 electrical arcing event. We filed a motion for summary judgment which led to a partial summary judgment ruling rejecting the Hotel’s arguments to justify claims for significant additional recoveries under the policy – attempted re-calculation of the effect of the co-insurance provision and claimed extension of the period of restoration to include all delays encountered by the Hotel in resuming operations, including those significant delays associated with the permitting process. Shortly thereafter, the coverage action was favorably resolved.

      • Represented insurer in multimillion-dollar business interruption and property damage lawsuit arising out of a theft of business inventory. The plaintiff, a wholesale distributor of souvenirs and novelty merchandise sold to large "big box" retailers, claimed that its storage container located outside of its warehouse facility was burglarized, causing substantial business interruption. Our diligent expert discovery efforts demonstrated that plaintiff could have replaced the stolen items within two to three months of the theft via Chinese or domestic suppliers. The matter was settled for less than 10 percent of plaintiff's original demand.

      • Represented commercial insurer in litigation involving alleged Hurricane Wilma damage to a multiple building apartment complex located in Florida. Shortly after the hurricane, the insured determined that the property damage was well below the deductible and did not assert a claim with the insurer. More than four years later, a subsequent owner of the complex filed suit claiming rights under the policy pursuant to a purported assignment by the insured, seeking millions of dollars for alleged hurricane roof damage and interior property damage. On behalf of the insurer, we filed a motion for summary judgment based upon the application of New Jersey law and asserted that the plaintiff's claim filed five years after the date of loss was time-barred by the two-year suit limitation provision. While the summary motion was pending before the court, the action settled favorably for less than 8 percent of the claim exposure.

      • Filed declaratory judgment action on behalf of liability insurer regarding an employer's liability coverage dispute and successfully procured default declaratory judgment that the insurer had no further duty to defend the insured and had no duty to indemnify the insured. In this case, the insured reported a bodily injury claim involving plaintiff's alleged fall on the premises and advised it hired plaintiff to work temporarily, and plaintiff only worked there for two days.

      • Represented insurer in first-party coverage action in response to other insurers' claims under a builders risk policy for the cost of replacing a voided product warranty. The claim arose from the overspray activities of a paint subcontractor during building construction. The manufacturer of components subject to overspray voided its extended warranty. On behalf of the insurer, we defended the property insurer and maintained that the builders risk policy does not provide coverage because there was no "physical loss of or damage to covered property," and any loss or damage fell within the faulty workmanship exclusion. Ultimately, plaintiffs dismissed the suit with prejudice and no payments made by our insurer.

      • Represented insurance company in multimillion-dollar lawsuit involving claim for alleged sinkhole damage to shopping center complex, where insured waited several years to notify insurer of damage and sought coverage for business income losses suffered long after the last insurance policy expired. Moved for summary judgment on common law defenses (fortuity requirement and manifestation trigger) and policy defenses (late notice, faulty design exclusion, and earth movement exclusion), paving the way for extremely favorable settlement.

      • Representation of Fortune 500 insurer in $28 million dispute in federal court, Middle District of Florida, involving design defect claims, where matter was settled for less than 15 percent of initial demand after motion for summary judgment was filed.

      • Represented insurance company against $3.75 million claim for alleged water intrusion and mold damage to home. Prevailed in motion for summary judgment on mold exclusion and faulty design exclusion.

      • Represented roofing products manufacturer in a products liability defense action: participated in successful Daubert motion to exclude plaintiff's expert, based upon failure to meet appropriate standards of reliability and relevance. *

      • Obtained summary judgment in favor of insurer in coverage action arising from alleged hurricane damage to roof and interior of insured's home, where insured had waited nearly two years to notify insurer of damage and instead attempted to repair damage himself.
      • Represented insurers in a silicone implant coverage action. Served as one of lead trial counsel during initial trial phases, with favorable rulings on deductible application, pharmaceutical products exclusion, and related issues.

      • Defended insurers in a manufactured gas plant coverage action and successfully argued for retention of federal jurisdiction, based upon FSIA, 28 USC section 1441(d). *

      • * Atty. Murphy was counsel in these representative transactions before joining Robinson+Cole.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      The Florida Bar
      Trial Lawyers Section

      Defense Research Institute

      New York State Bar Association

      International Association of Defense Counsel
    • Presentations


      "Dynamics of Policy Limit Demands in the Context of the Tri-Partite Relationship," co-presented with Gabrielle R. Mercadante, as part of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association’s 25th Annual Florida Liability Claims Conference (6/16/2022)
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      "Business Interruption Issues Arising from Catastrophes," presented at the first annual Florida Insurance Network Symposium (8/16/2019)
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      "Policy Limit Demands— Protecting Insurers Against The Latest Strategy of Plaintiffs' Counsel," co-presented with Rhonda J. Tobin and Lawrence Klein, as part of the Insurance In-House Counsel CLE Series (6/13/2018)
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      "Business Interruption Claims Arising from Catastrophes," co-presented with Daniel F. Sullivan and Wystan M. Ackerman, webinar (3/22/2018)
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      "Business Interruption Issues Arising from Hurricanes," co-presented with Stephen E. Goldman, Wystan M. Ackerman and Daniel F. Sullivan, at in-house presentation to 60 in-house lawyers and claim adjusters in New York, New York. (11/14/2017)

      "Preparing and Providing Testimony in a Fire Case," co-presented with Daniel F. Sullivan, at the Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention 39th Annual Seminar in Ocala, Florida. (3/8/2017)

      "Underwriting Issues in Insurance Claims," co-presented with Rhonda J. Tobin, at AIG Claims, Inc., in New York City (2/16/2017)
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      "Advanced Settlement Techniques for Property/Windstorm Insurance Claims: The Upside of Getting to 'Yes'," at the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference in Orlando, Florida (1/30 and 2/1/2017)
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      "Litigating Insurance Coverage Claims: Discovery and Settlement Strategies," at National Business Institute Seminar (6/15/2012)

      "Litigating Insurance Coverage Claims: Discovery and Settlement Strategies," presented in West Palm Beach, Florida; sponsored by the National Business Institute (6/2011)

      "Insurance Coverage Litigation: Common Types of Insurance Coverage Disputes and Interpreting Coverage Under the Insurance Contract," presented in West Palm Beach, Florida; sponsored by the National Business Institute (7/2008)

      "Property Insurance Coverage - Ensuing Loss," presented in Orlando, Florida, at Eleventh Annual Florida Liability Claims Conference; sponsored by the Florida Defense Lawyers Association (5/2007)

      "Third-Party Bad Faith: Claims-Handling Issues in the Mass Tort/Environmental Arena," at New York State Bar Association's Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section (9/1999)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • July 9, 2018

        Larry Klein, Gene Murphy, and Rhonda Tobin Present Program on Policy Limit Demands

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      • April 13, 2018

        Wystan Ackerman, Gene Murphy, and Dan Sullivan Present Webinar on Business Interruption Claims Arising from Catastrophes

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      • March 24, 2017

        Insurance + Reinsurance Group Lawyers Present at 39th Annual Arson Seminar

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      • February 21, 2017

        Rhonda Tobin and Eugene Murphy Speak on Underwriting Issues in Insurance Claims

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      • February 2, 2017

        Gene Murphy Presents at Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference

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      • July 3, 2012

        Eugene Murphy Presents Strategies for Litigating Insurance Coverage Claims

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      • June 15, 2011

        Eugene Murphy Speaks at Insurance Seminar on Litigating Coverage Claims

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      • July 9, 2008

        Robinson & Cole Insurance Attorney Presents at NBI Seminar

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      R+C News Releases

      • December 1, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Opens Office in Miami

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      • January 18, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Announces 2013 Partner Promotions

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        • View article