Kieran Leary

Kieran Leary

Education

Florida International University, College of Law (J.D., 2010) (Top 10% of graduating class)

University of Maryland, College Park (B.A., 2005)(cum laude)

Admitted to Practice

State of Texas

State of Florida

State of Connecticut

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

United States District Court for the District of Connecticut

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Awards & Honors

Connecticut Law Tribune—2018 Insurance Coverage Litigation Department of the Year

Practice Description

Mr. Leary is a Partner in QSLWM’s Insurance Coverage Practice Group. He has frequently been retained in complex and high-exposure coverage disputes which have garnered significant media and legislative attention, including sinkholes in Florida, sexual abuse claims, and claims arising from Hurricane Harvey.

Kieran was selected as lead counsel for several insurers in Connecticut’s crumbling foundation litigation at a time when many insurers were losing these claims at trial or settling them. In this role, he formulated the discovery strategy and legal arguments which would effectively end these “collapse” claims decisively in favor of insurers. Along the way, he obtained several favorable judgements of first impression which resulted in Kieran’s prior firm being recognized by the Connecticut Law Tribune as the Insurance Coverage Litigation Department of the Year.

Kieran was lead counsel in the trial court and co-appellate counsel with one of the nation’s top appellate attorneys in the seminal Connecticut Supreme Court case of Karas v. Liberty Ins. Corp., 2019 WL 5955947 (Conn. 2019). He was also lead counsel in the trial court and lead appellate counsel in Karas’ companion case, Dino v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Am. All of these cases were featured prominently by Law360 and other insurance news outlets throughout 2018 and 2019.

In Karas, the Connecticut Supreme Court returned a unanimous decision in Liberty’s favor on its selected certified questions from the federal trial court which resulted in the withdrawal of hundreds of pending crumbling foundation lawsuits against dozens of insurers. Some have estimated that the decision in Karas saved insurers as much as $2 billion.

Kieran has a long and documented history of winning cases for his clients that other insurers have lost or settled for substantial amounts in largely identical circumstances. He brings extensive and successful first chair jury trial experience to the table for matters which cannot be resolved prior to trial. He also maintains a successful appellate practice and his clients have prevailed in matters before numerous appellate courts, including the Connecticut Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Attorney Leary graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland, College Park, and graduated in the top 10% of his class from the Florida International University, College of Law in Miami, Florida. He is admitted to practice in the State of Texas, State of Florida, State of Connecticut, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is also admitted to practice in all federal courts in Texas.

Kieran is a proud native of both the East Mount Airy/Germantown section of Northwest Philly and Harris County, Texas.

Publications, Seminars, and Cases

    Karas v. Liberty Ins. Corp., 2019 WL 5955947 (Conn. 2019)(Substantial impairment of structural integrity standard applies to “collapse” provisions of homeowners’ policy and requires a showing that the building is in imminent danger of falling down or caving in; and coverage exclusion for loss to foundation includes the basement walls)

    Vera v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 2019 WL 5955936 (Conn. 2019)(Substantial impairment of structural integrity standard applies to “collapse” provisions of homeowners’ policy and requires a showing that the building is in imminent danger of falling down or caving in; and coverage exclusion for loss to foundation includes the basement walls)

    Lester v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 325 F.Supp.3d 243 (D. Conn. 2018)(Judgment in favor of insurer in a crumbling foundation lawsuit in a matter of first impression regarding proper interpretation of “collapse” provision in policy)

    1700 Barnum Ave. et. al v. West American Ins. Co. (Conn. Super. 2017)(Defense verdict as first-chair following five-day jury trial in matter concerning multi-million dollar commercial property loss)

    Alexander v. General Ins. Co. of Am., 2017 WL 188134 (D. Conn. 2017)(Judgment in favor of insurer in a crumbling foundation lawsuit in a matter of first impression concerning proper interpretation of expanded “collapse” provision in policy)

    Kowalyshyn v. Excelsior Ins. Co., 2018 WL 888724 (D. Conn. 2018)(Judgment in favor of insurer in a matter which established the applicability of a manifestation coverage trigger to first party property loss claims)

    Soderburg v. Unitrin Preferred Ins. Co., 2018 WL 3862330 (Conn. Super. 2018)(Judgment in favor of insurer in matter of first impression which addressed interplay of appropriate coverage trigger for first party property losses in relation to Policy’s suit limitation provision)

    Betancourt v. Florida Ins. Guar. Ass’n., Inc., 153 So.3d 936 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014)(Judgment in favor of defense in confirmed sinkhole in matter of first impression concerning interplay of Florida’s sinkhole and guaranty fund statutes)

    Roberts v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 264 F.Supp. 3d 394 (D.Conn. 2017)(Judgment on bad faith and unfair insurance practices counts in a foundation lawsuit in a matter of first impression which established good-faith nature of coverage denial in bonafide coverage dispute)