Daniel P. Scapellati: Lawyer with Halloran & Sage LLP

Daniel P. Scapellati

Partner
Hartford,  CT  U.S.A.
Phone860-297-4622

Peer Rating
 4.4/5.0
BV® Distinguished

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews
 

Practice Areas

  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Appellate
  • Insurance
 
University Villanova University, B.S., 1979
 
Law SchoolUniversity of Bridgeport School of Law, J.D., 1982
 
Admitted1982, Connecticut; 1989, District of Connecticut; 1994, Southern District of New York; 1997, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
 
Memberships 

Associations

American Bar Association - TIPS Insurance
Coverage Litigation Committee
Defense Research Institute
Connecticut Defense Lawyer's Association
Federation of Defense and Corporate
Counsel (Elected Member)
Claims and Litigation Management Alliance

 
BornHartford, Connecticut, August 18, 1957
 
Biography

Dan Scapellati has practiced with the firm's Insurance Law Practice Group since joining the firm in 1990. He has considerable insurance coverage and bad faith litigation experience, and he has successfully represented the firm's insurance company clients before both state and federal trial and appellate courts. Dan's expertise includes litigation of property and other first party coverage and bad faith matters, fraud investigations, regulatory matters and litigation of third party insurance coverage and extra-contractual issues.

Working closely with other members of the Insurance Coverage Practice Group, Dan and his colleagues have been responsible for several decisions which directly have shaped the law on significant insurance coverage issues. For instance, in Amica Mutual Ins. Co. v. Franklin, 147 F.3d 233 (2d Cir. 1998), a case where the firm's insurer-client was confronted with potential exposure amounting to $3.5 million, the firm obtained a favorable ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which construed, for the first time under Connecticut law, the regular use exclusion in an automobile liability policy. In Hertz Corp. v. Federal Ins. Co., 245 Conn. 374, 713 A.2d 820 (1998), the coverage team obtained from the Connecticut Supreme Court an important and detailed discussion of the relationship between the coverage obligations of a self-insured lessor of a motor vehicle and a lessee's personal automobile carrier.

Dan received his BS from Villanova University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Bridgeport in 1982 and is admitted to practice in Connecticut, the District of Connecticut, the Southern District of New York and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Before joining Halloran & Sage, Dan served for seven years as staff counsel to the Connecticut Supreme and Appellate Courts. He is an experienced appellate litigator, and a member of the firm's Appellate Department. Dan has successfully prosecuted and defended over sixty appeals on behalf of insurance carriers before the Connecticut Supreme and Appellate Courts, as well as before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Dan is an elected member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel as well as a member of the Claims and Litigation Managment Alliance, the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association and the Insurance Law Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association. He is also a member of both the Defense Research Institute and the Connecticut Defense Lawyer's Association. He has lectured and co-authored articles on insurance coverage and appellate matters. Since 2009 he has been selected by Super Lawyers in the areas of Insurance Coverage and Appellate Law. In addition to his other responsibilities, he currently serves as Chairman of Halloran & Sage's Hiring Committee.

Publication
Damages For Breach of an Insurer's Duty To Defend - Are They Capped At Policy Limits?
Insurance Law Update, 03/11/2013

News/Events
Firm Attorneys Included in Super Lawyers and Rising Stars 2012 List

 
Reported CasesRepresentative Matter: H & S Prevails in Insurance Coverage Case Presenting Issue of First Impression; In Brown v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 150 Conn. 405 (2014), the plaintiff, Ralston Brown, sought to recover policy proceeds under his homeowner's policy of insurance after his house was damaged by a fire that occurred on April 21, 2006. However, Brown's policy had been canceled prior to the date of loss for non-payment of premium. On April 22, 2006, the day after the fire, after discovering the cancelation notice in the debris left after the fire, Brown forwarded the missing insurance payment to State Farm and his account was credited on that day. The trial court found that this payment resulted in the reinstatement of the plaintiff's policy effective the day after the fire. On appeal, Brown argued that because State Farm accepted his post-loss premium payment, his coverage was reinstated retroactive to the April 6, 2006 cancelation date. Brown further argued that State Farm misapplied his premium payments as between his homeowner's policy and a business policy and for that reason, the cancelation was improper. The Appellate Court rejected these arguments. In finding in favor of State Farm, the Appellate Court ruled, as a matter of first impression, that Brown's post-loss premium payment reinstated the policy prospectively only. Relying on the policy language as well as public policy, the Court stated that [a] loss that has already occurred is not fortuitous - and is thus not insurable. The Court continued, stating that [w]ithout such a rule, one could allow his coverage to lapse by not paying his premiums timely and then, upon suffering a loss, force his insurer to 'buy a claim' by quickly making the missed premium payments to reinstate his lapsed coverage retroactively. Adhering to the majority rule, the Court found that State Farm did not waive its right to deny coverage for the fire loss due to its acceptance of the post-loss payment. With respect to Brown's argument that the policy was improperly canceled, the Court concluded that the trial court did not clearly err in finding that the policy was properly canceled for non-payment of premium. Arrowood Indem. Co. v. King, 304 Conn. 179, 39 A.3d 712, 2012 WL 896379, Conn., March 27, 2012 (NO. 18658) Arrowood Indem. Co. v. King, 605 F.3d 62, 2010 WL 1960126, C.A.2 (Conn.), May 18, 2010 (NO. 07-5249-CV(L)) Empire Fire & Marine Ins. v. Lang, 655 F. Supp.2d 150, 2009 WL 2981969, D.Conn., September 15, 2009 (NO. 3:07CV1325(SRU))H & S Obtains Favorable Summary Judgment Ruling in Umbrella Coverage Case; Halloran & Sage's Insurance Coverage Group obtained a favorable summary judgment ruling in federal district court that the umbrella coverage part of a policy that was issued by Patriot General Insurance Company did not provide liability coverage in connection with an automobile-motorcycle accident which unfortunately resulted in a fatality. In Winchester Industries, Inc., et al. v. Sentry Insurance, A Mutual Company, et al., No. 3:06-CV-858 (AHN), Winchester Industries, Inc., and its president, John Devanney, sought coverage under the umbrella in connection with a wrongful death action that had been brought against Winchester Industries and Devanney by the estate of the deceased motorcycle operator. The umbrella provided $2 million dollars of coverage and the schedule of underlying policies listed a Patriot General commercial automobile policy with limits of $500,000. Covered autos under that commercial auto policy were designated as symbols 08 and 09, or hired and nonowned, respectively. The vehicle operated by Devanney at the time of the accident, however, was a vehicle that was owned by Winchester Industries which Devanney had insured under a personal auto policy issued to him by United Services Automobile Association (USAA). Prior to the accident, Winchester Industries never disclosed to Patriot General that the corporation owned any vehicles. The Patriot General policy contained an exclusion which provided that the umbrella coverage did not apply if underlying insurance at the limits shown in the declarations -- $500,000 -- was not available to the insured. Here, because the accident occurred when Devanney was operating a vehicle owned by Winchester Industries, the underlying Patriot General policy did not provide any coverage. Consequently, the only underlying insurance available to the insured was the USAA policy which provided $100,000 in limits. After removing the case to federal court, Patriot General moved for summary judgment based on the exclusion referenced above. United States District Court Judge Alan Nevas found that the policy language was clear and unambiguous, and he granted summary judgment in favor of Patriot General. In ruling in favor of Patriot General, Judge Nevas rejected the insureds' reasonable expectations argument, holding that while a court may consider the reasonable expectations of an insured where the court finds the policy ambiguous, the Patriot General policy was not ambiguous. Moreover, citing Western World Ins. Co. v. Stack Oil, Inc., 922 F.2d 118, 122-23 (2d Cir. 1990), the court stated that insureds are expected to know the terms and conditions of their own policies, and if these insureds had reviewed their policy, they would have known that the vehicle owned by the corporation was not insured. As such, Judge Nevas rendered judgment in favor of Patriot General on the insureds' breach of contract cause of action. National Pub. Co., Inc. v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 287 Conn. 664, 949 A.2d 1203, 2008 WL 2584607, Conn., July 08, 2008 (NO. SC 17647) Winchester Industries, Inc. v. Sentry Ins., 536 F.Supp.2d 203, 2008 WL 350482, D.Conn., February 07, 2008 (NO. 3:06-CV-858AHN) Universal Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Paradis, 285 Conn.342, 940 A.2d 730, 2008 WL 215867, Conn., February 05, 2008 (NO. 17756, 17757) Truck Insurance Exchange v. Cherrie Spada and Truck Insurance Exchange v. Joseph Mager; Halloran & Sage recently obtained a pair of favorable summary judgment rulings in Federal Court barring coverage under homeowners' policies on the basis that the conduct alleged in the underlying complaint was essentially intentional tortious conduct and did not constitute an occurrence under the defendant/insured's policy. On this basis, the courts ruled that the insured was not obligated to defend or indemnify the insured. Truck Insurance Exchange v. Cherrie Spada, 2007 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 51079 (D. Conn. July 10, 2007). This declaratory judgment action arose out of a bar fight in which the insured, Cherrie Spada, punched the plaintiff, Alison Yering, in the nose. The insured, a stay at home mom, was pro se in the lawsuit. On summary judgment, Judge Covello reasoned that plaintiff Yering's intentional tort claims did not constitute an occurrence that would trigger coverage under the policy. Judge Covello reasoned further that, although the plaintiff had labeled one of her claims negligent infliction of emotional distress, the facts for the negligence claim were the same as for the intentional tort claims, and as a result, the actions did not constitute an occurrence under the policy. Truck Insurance Exchange v. Joseph Mager et al., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78341 (D. Conn. Oct. 22, 2007). This declaratory judgment action arose out of an incident of domestic violence in which the insured beat the victim from room to room in his house and threatened to kill her by holding a loaded shotgun to her head. The insured subsequently died and the plaintiff/victim sued the insured's estate. On summary judgment, Judge Eginton ruled that the facts alleged in the underlying complaint were indisputably intentional and did not fall into the policy's definition of occurrence, thus coverage was barred. Judge Eginton ruled further that, even if the plaintiff could maintain that the insured's conduct constituted an occurrence, it would be excluded under the physical abuse exclusion of the subject policy. Royal Indemnity Co. v. King, No. 3:03-cv-2178, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72654 (D. Conn., Sept. 28, 2007) (Underhill, J.). The plaintiff insurers, who provided homeowners and umbrella coverage, respectively, to the defendant insureds, brought a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration from the Court that they had no duty to defend or indemnify the defendant insureds in an underlying tort case brought against the insureds arising from an ATV accident near the insureds' property in a private homeowners development in Greenwich, Connecticut. The accident allegedly caused a teenage boy, visiting the insureds' home, to sustain a traumatic brain injury. The injured boy's suit against the insureds created exposure to the plaintiff insurers in excess of the $5.5 million coverage limits provided under the two policies. However, the plaintiff insurers asserted that (1) there was no coverage under the homeowners policy because the accident did not occur on an insured location; and (2) there was no coverage under the umbrella policy because the insureds had not declared the subject ATV in the policy declarations, as required under the policy. Presented with seven motions for summary judgment raising several complex ancillary issues by and between the parties, which also included the insurance broker and an excess carrier, the Court found in favor of the plaintiff insurers on all claims raised by and against them in the motions. The plaintiff insurers were represented by Daniel Scapellati of Halloran & Sage's insurance coverage group. Carford v. Empire Fire and Marine Ins. Co., 94 Conn.App. 41, 891 A.2d 55, 2006 WL 435587, Conn.App., February 28, 2006 (NO. 25355) Nichols v. Subway Restaurant, 98 Conn. App. 837, 912 A.2d 1037 (2006); Appellate Court Enforces Unambiguous Insurance Policy Provision; The Connecticut Appellate Court recently affirmed judgment in favor of State Farm Insurance Company, finding that policy language relied upon by State Farm unambiguously reduced available uninsured motorist coverage limits by amounts paid under the policy's liability coverage. The Court, in a unanimous opinion, also held that the policy language was congruent with applicable Insurance Department regulations. Bepko v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co., 2005 WL 3619253 (D. Conn. November 10, 2005) (Dorsey, J.); The United States District Court dismissed bad faith and statutory unfair insurance and trade practices claims against a professional liability carrier, finding that even under the liberal federal pleading standards, the plaintiff's complaint failed to state legally sufficient claims. Deprey v. Continental Cas., 39 Conn. L. Rptr. 231, 2005 WL 1156841 (Conn. Super. Ct. April 22, 2005) (Berger, J.); Workers Compensation Death Benefit Offsets Uninsured Motorist Coverage Limits; The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant, a personal auto insurance carrier, finding that the workers' compensation death benefit paid to a surviving dependent offset all available uninsured motorist coverage under the employee's personal auto policy. Gomes v. Massachusetts Bay Ins. Co., 87 Conn.App. 416, 866 A.2d 704, 2005 WL 309959, Conn.App., February 15, 2005 (NO. 24409) Blardo v. General Sec. Indemn. Co. of Arizona, 2004 WL 2361799 (Conn. Super. Ct. September 28, 2004)(Shapiro, J.); Commercial Construction Dispute Does Not Trigger Liability Coverage; The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of a commercial liability carrier, finding the carrier had no duty to defend its insured in a suit which alleged negligence against the insured, but actually constituted a commercial contract dispute, asserted under various theories of liability. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Sayles 289 F.3d 181, 2002 WL 832014, C.A.2 (Conn.), May 02, 2002 (NO. 01-7186) General Acc. Ins. Co. of America v. Powers, Bolles, Houlihan and Hartline Inc., 251 Conn. 56, 738 A.2d 168, 1999 WL 828731, Conn., October 19, 1999 (NO.SC 16060 Western World Ins. Co. v. Peters, 182 F.3d 902, 1999 WL 464975, Unpublished Disposition, C.A.2 (Conn.), June 21, 1999 (NO. 98-9130) U.S. Fidelity and Guar. Co. v. Hutchinson, 244 Conn. 513, 710 A.2d 1343, 1998 WL 175041, Conn., April 21, 1998 (NO. 15790) Hertz Corp. v. Federal Ins. Co., 245 Conn. 374, 713 A.2d 820 (1998); The coverage team obtained from the Connecticut Supreme Court an important and detailed discussion of the relationship between the coverage obligations of a self-insured lessor of a motor vehicle and a lessee's personal automobile carrier. Amica Mutual Ins. Co. v. Franklin, 147 F.3d 233 (2d Cir. 1998); A case where the Firm's insurer-client was confronted with potential exposure amounting to $3.5 million, the Firm obtained a favorable ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which construed, for the first time under Connecticut law, the regular use exclamation in an automobile liability policy. Farrell v. Royal Ins. Co. of America, 989 F.Supp. 159, 1997 WL 805287, D.Conn., March 31, 1997 (NO. 394CV32 JBA) Hansen v. Ohio Cas. Ins. Co., 239 Conn. 537, 687 A.2d 1262, 1996 WL 733092, Conn., December 31, 1996 (NO. 15535) O'Brien v. U.S. Fidelity and Guar. Co., 235 Conn. 837, 669 A.2d 1221, 1996 WL 33085, Conn., January 30, 1996 (NO. 15151) Williams v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 229 Conn. 359, 641 A.2d 783, 1994 WL 192363, Conn., May 17, 1994 (NO. 14722) Boyce v. State Farm Ins. Co., 34 Conn.App.40,640 A.2d 135, 1994 WL 111950, Conn.App., April 05, 1994 (NO. 12280) Reddy v. New Hampshire Ins. Co., 28 Conn.App. 145, 612 A.2d 64, 1992 WL 155847, Conn.App., June 16, 1992 (NO. 9808) Lees v. Middlesex Ins. Co., 219 Conn. 644, 594 A.2d 952, 1991 WL 134902, Conn., July 23, 1991 (NO. 14153) Forsberg v. New Hampshire Ins. Co., 24 Conn.App. 655, 591 A.2d 147, 1991 WL 8259, Conn.App., May 21, 1991 (NO. 9327) Saad v. Colonial Penn Ins. Co., 32 Conn.App. 190, 628 A.2d 623, 1993 WL 278670, Conn.App., July, 1993 (NO. 11231)
 
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Office Information

Daniel P. Scapellati

225 Asylum Street
HartfordCT 06103




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