John G. Koch is a member of Flaster Greenberg’s Insurance Recovery, Litigation and Environmental Practice Groups, focusing his practice on policyholder-side commercial insurance recovery and environmental law. His practice also includes commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, transactions counseling, contract indemnity disputes, supply chain disputes, and product recalls.
On behalf of commercial policyholder clients, Mr. Koch has recovered substantial sums under both liability insurance policies and property insurance policies. Mr. Koch has represented policyholders in matters involving environmental and toxic tort liabilities (CERCLA, asbestos, silica, hearing loss), business interruption and property damage (especially damage from natural disasters), product or construction defects, product recalls, “coverage B” liabilities, D&O, E&O, and bad faith.
Mr. Koch’s environmental practice includes environmental contribution and cost recovery litigation, counseling 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.
Mr. Koch has lectured on a number of different topics, including:
- “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)
- Compelled property insurer to pay an additional $15 million above its loss assessment in commercial property damage claim without resorting to litigation.
- 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 multi-million 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 a $6.5 million judgment after a 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 multi-billion 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.
Honors & Awards
- Named a New Jersey "Rising Star," 2013 - 2016, by Thomson Reuters, publishers of New Jersey Super Lawyers magazine
- Named a Pennsylvania "Rising Star," 2014 - 2016, by Thomson Reuters, publishers of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine
- Top Attorney List, Environmental Law, SJ Magazine, 2015
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- New York Bar Association
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- Member, Board of Directors, Environmental Law Section, 2015 - 2018
- Delaware Valley American Environmental Inn of Court – a chapter of the American Inns of Court, that meets monthly to foster excellence in professionalism, ethics, and civility in the legal profession.
- Past Chair, Membership Committee
- Past Member, Executive Committee
- Flaster Greenberg Welcomes Back Shareholders; Bolsters Insurance Recovery Practice; and Expands Philadelphia OfficePress Release(July 31, 2020)
- Press Release(January 1, 2016)
- FG's Marty Judge and John Koch Elected to Board of Directors of the NJSBA’s Environmental Law SectionPress Release(July 1, 2015)
- Twelve Flaster Greenberg Attorneys Honored by Thomson Reuters as 2015 Pennsylvania “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars”Press Release(May 29, 2015)
- Fifteen Flaster Greenberg Attorneys Honored by Thomson Reuters as 2014 Pennsylvania “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars”Press Release(May 16, 2014)
- Fifteen Flaster Greenberg Attorneys Honored by Thomson Reuters as 2014 New Jersey “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars”Press Release(March 13, 2014)
- Eleven Flaster/Greenberg Attorneys Honored by Thomson Reuters as 2013 New Jersey “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars”Press Release(March 14, 2013)
- Press Release(August 9, 2011)
- Photo Caption(March 31, 2011)
- Luminaries and Leaders from Business, Community & Private Sector Convene for Regional Sustainability SymposiumPress Release(February 28, 2011)
- Press Release(November 4, 2010)
- Press Release(April 16, 2008)
- Builders League of South Jersey(October 21, 2015)
- Environmental Regulation of BusinessRutgers Law School, Camden(March 25, 2015)
- Government Incentives for the Development of Solar and Other Forms of Renewable EnergyAtlantic Builders Convention(April 2010)
- New Jersey State Bar Association Environmental Law Section(May 8, 2008)
Articles & Alerts
- The Legal Intelligencer(August 6, 2020)
- The Philadelphia Business Journal(July 31, 2020)
- Who Has to Pay for Periods of Insolvent Insurance in Long-Tail Coverage Claims? New Jersey High Court Changes the Game in Favor of PolicyholdersEnvironmental Claims Journal, Volume 26, Issue 1(March 2014)
- Philadelphia Commercial Buildings Over 50,000 Square Feet Subject to Upcoming Reporting Deadlines under New Energy and Water Use Benchmarking OrdinanceLegal Alert(February 25, 2013)
- Legal Alert(December 14, 2012)
- Congress, Cave Bugs, Courts and the Commerce Clause: Did the Fifth Circuit Figure Out How to Regulate Intrastate Activity Under the Endangered Species Act?Villanova Environmental Law Journal, vol. 16, no. 309(2005)
- New Jersey
- New York
- 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
- Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 2005
- Managing Editor of Outside Articles, Villanova Environmental Law Journal
- James Madison University, B.A., Philosophy, cum laude,2000