Ryan S. Smethurst represents commercial and captive insurers in insurance coverage litigation and claims disputes arising out of some of the country's most high-profile mass torts, including the City of New York's rescue, recovery and debris removal operation at Ground Zero on and after 9/11; childhood sexual abuse cases against Roman Catholic, Episcopal and youth organizations nationwide; and complex federal and state environmental claims and asbestos litigation. In this facet of his practice, Ryan has worked with claims professionals, actuaries, brokers, insurance archaeologists, environmental scientists, statisticians, pulmonologists and other medical professionals, lobbyists and public relations specialists to present clients' positions to juries, judges, arbitrators and the media, and during negotiations.
In addition to his insurance litigation practice, Ryan counsels commercial insurance carriers, captive insurers, policyholders, and other insurance market participants regarding insurance claims and placements, policy and reinsurance agreement wordings, reinsurance presentations and allocation disputes, insurance issues arising in mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions, and government investigations. Ryan has experience with multiple lines of commercial insurance products, including comprehensive general liability, directors and officers, errors and omissions, employment practices, crime, pollution legal liability, marine, property (including time element coverages such as business interruption) and manuscripted coverages, as well as with treaty and facultative reinsurance agreements.
Ryan also has litigated a variety of commercial disputes in federal and state courts. In this capacity, he has represented Citigroup, Computer Sciences Corporation, DaVita, McDonalds, Under Armour, Verizon, an electrical component manufacturer, a defense contractor, a poultry producer and wholesaler, and numerous other clients. In addition, Ryan litigates child custody and immigration matters on a pro bono basis and won asylum for an Ethiopian man imprisoned and tortured for opposing the country's ruling party.