Jerry O'Leary joined the practice group comprising Finazzo Cossolini in 1997 after serving a judicial clerkship in Federal District Court in New Jersey for the Honorable G. Donald Haneke. Throughout his career, Jerry has litigated a wide array of complex first and third party insurance coverage matters ranging in scope from environmental and asbestos claims to fraud and negligent inspection claims. He has handled claims involving extremely complex physical damage, business interruption and extra expense issues as well as environmental and mass tort claims involving a variety of complex allocation issues. From Y2K and mold claims to multi-million dollar claims arising out of Hurricane Katrina, Jerry has litigated first and third party claims in state and federal courts throughout the United States. He has also regularly provided legal advice and counsel to property insurers in the investigation and adjustment stages of losses. Jerry also has prosecuted numerous subrogation cases on behalf of insurers and policyholders that have yielded many substantial recoveries, some of which are detailed below.
A significant portion of Jerry's practice also involves the representation of financial services and other companies in class actions involving claims of consumer fraud, unfair and deceptive trade and predatory lending practices and, most recently, New Jersey's Truth in Consumer Contract Warranty and Notice Act, which has become a hotbed for class action claims in recent years in New Jersey. He has defended clients, including financial services companies and insurers in numerous putative class actions in federal and state courts in a variety of jurisdictions in cases involving RESPA, TILA, FCRA, ECOA and FHA and various state consumer fraud and common law fraud claims.
Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., 1996
Pontifical College Josephinum, M.A., 1990, summa cum laude
Don Bosco College, B.A., 1986, magna cum laude
New Jersey, 1997
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey; Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1999
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1999
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2009
Professional Profile / Memberships
New Jersey State Bar Association (Banking Law Section; Financial Services Litigation Committee)
Federal Bar Association
Defense Research Institute
Areas of Expertise:
- First party insurance coverage and subrogation matters
- Third party coverage matters
- Class Action Practice
- Financial services litigation
- Complex commercial and tort cases
Recent Representative Matters:
- Obtained affirmance by the Sixth Circuit of a Federal District Court's dismissal of an asbestos manufacturer's claims for unaggregated insurance coverage for asbestos liabilities in excess of $125 million in a case venued in the Northern District of Ohio.
- Obtained denial of class certification in Federal Court in New Jersey in a predatory lending case against a federal thrift alleging Consumer Fraud Act, RESPA, TILA and LLA claims in excess of $200 million.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a sales finance company in a class action alleging consumer fraud and TILA claims in excess of $50 million arising out of an automobile lease.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a national sales finance company dismissing with prejudice 9 out of 10 claims in a class action alleging the violation of various consumer protection statutes and seeking damages in excess of $200 million. The one remaining claim is presently on appeal.
- Obtained a "no pay" result on behalf of an insurer in a 10 day insurance coverage arbitration before three former Federal Judges in a case originally filed in Mississippi State Court involving a Fortune 100 Company asserting a claim arising out of Hurricane Katrina in excess of $90,000,000.
- Obtained a $1.7 million subrogation recovery in a case venued in Federal Court in Connecticut arising out of a catastrophic restaurant fire involving numerous defendants.
- Obtained a $1.2 million subrogation recovery in a case venued in Federal Court in Connecticut arising out of the catastrophic failure of a turbine at an electrical power generation plant.
- Obtained a $900,000 subrogation recovery in a case venued in State Court in New Jersey arising out of a fire at a strip mall in Bergen County, New Jersey.