John Schryber, a partner in Reed Smith’s Insurance Recovery Group, has been named a 2017 "MVP" in the Insurance category by Law360. Mr. Schryber received the honor after securing an $87 million award in a case that established new law aiding private equity firms in insurance disputes involving their portfolio companies.
The MVP awards honor attorneys who have distinguished themselves over the past year through high-stakes litigation, record-breaking deals and complex global matters. A team of Law360 editors selected the 2017 MVP winners after reviewing more than 1,000 submissions.
Law360, Los Angeles (December 19, 2017, 3:10 PM EST) -- This past summer, Reed Smith LLP partner John W. Schryber convinced a Maryland federal court that Travelers must pay $87 million to private equity firm American Capital Ltd. and one of its portfolio companies to cover the costs of underlying suits over tainted blood thinner, landing him a spot among Law360's 2017 Insurance MVPs.
His Biggest Accomplishment This Year:
In August, Schryber secured an $87 million award in a case that established new law aiding private equity firms in insurance disputes involving their portfolio companies.
Following a four-week bench trial, U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow ruled that Travelers Property Casualty Co. breached its duty to defend when it refused to pay legal fees for Schryber's clients, American Capital and its majority-owned portfolio company Scientific Protein Laboratories LLC, which produced components of the blood thinner heparin. The underlying suits alleged American Capital, SPL and others were responsible for making tainted batches of heparin, which purportedly led to dozens of deaths and hundreds of serious injuries worldwide.
The primary and excess commercial general liability policies issued by Travelers only named American Capital as an insured, but Judge Chasanow said the policies also covered SPL, thanks to language that extended coverage to all companies the insured holds a “majority interest” in.
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- as told to Jeff Sistrunk