Sherilyn Pastor chairs the firm’s Insurance Recovery, Litigation & Counseling Group. She is an experienced trial attorney who has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance for corporate policyholders. She litigates complex coverage matters throughout the country and abroad. She provides insurance coverage advice to clients assessing their potential risks, analyzing new insurance products and considering the adequacy of their programs.
Sheri recently helped Wakefern Food Corp. and its members recover their Superstorm Sandy losses. Sheri obtained a $15.6 million jury verdict against Wakefern’s insurance consultant for having improperly advised on Wakefern’s property insurance policy. By that time, she had obtained a multi-million dollar award against Wakefern’s insurer, who had not paid Wakefern’s losses at their sales price, as its contract required. Sheri also obtained summary judgment that the insurer could not take a “make-up” credit against insurance amounts due for Wakefern’s business interruption losses.
A few years earlier, Sheri obtained summary judgment awarding Wakefern Food Corp. insurance for a different catastrophic storm loss, establishing New Jersey law that “physical damage” in a property and business interruption policy includes loss of use, value and function. Sheri also recently obtained summary judgment for an industrial shelving manufacturer, convincing a federal court that its employee’s bill padding and kickback scheme was a direct and covered loss under a crime insurance policy. In ruling, the court agreed that having the funds pass through an intermediary did not change the fundamental nature of the theft and unlawful taking of property.
Sheri likewise helped Lucent Technologies Inc. (now Alcatel Lucent) recover its fiduciary liability coverage following various class action settlements with ERISA plaintiffs. Sheri also defended Transamerica Corporation in a dispute with a former subsidiary (IMO Industries) regarding $1.5 billion in insurance coverage. Transamerica had purchased insurance for itself and its subsidiaries as part of a consolidated risk management approach. After a six-month trial, the court ruled in Transamerica’s favor on all claims against it, entering declaratory judgment that Transamerica’s decades-old divesture agreement left its former subsidiary liable for its own asbestos losses. The court rejected that Transamerica was responsible for deductibles, retentions or gaps in insurance coverage or was effectively transformed into a “de facto” insurer because of its risk management efforts. The Appellate Division upheld all of the trial court’s rulings in September 2014. The N.J. Supreme Court affirmed in July 2015 and ordered costs be paid in Transamerica’s favor.
Sheri is the Secretary-Treasurer of the American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC). She received the ACCC’s Thomas F. Segalla Award in 2015. Sheri also is the Immediate Past Chair (Policyholder Side) of the ABA Litigation Section’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, having served as Vice-Chair from 2009-2012 and as co-chair of various ICLC subcommittees since 2002. She was a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Professional Responsibility Rules Committee for over a decade and a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Working Group on Ethical Issues Involving Metadata in Electronic Documents. She also serves as an Editorial Consultant to Law360: Insurance and was on the Editorial Boards of the Insurance Coverage Law Bulletin and a consultant on the New Appleman Insurance Law Practice Guide.
She publishes and lectures frequently on insurance, trial skills and ethics matters.
Awards & Accolades
Recognized as a Band 1 leader in her field by Chambers USA, 2011-present
Ranked as one of New Jersey's “Best 50 Women in Business” by NJBIZ
Listed in The International Who's Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers, 2010-present
Included in New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2005-present
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Insurance Law and Litigation 2014-2020 and Best Lawyers’ 2018 “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation – Insurance
Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated, 2012-present
NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business Award, 2010
TWINS honoree, 2011
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