|Professional Liability Litigation; Commercial and Business Litigation; Construction Litigation for Surety Companies, Building Material Suppliers, Architects and Engineers, General Contractors; Fidelity/Crime Claim Investigations and Litigation; Computer Fraud and Cyber-Liability Claims Investigations and Litigation; Directors and Officers Liability; Insurance Coverage and Litigation.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
||New York: (212) 221-6900
New Jersey: (201) 633-3630
Connecticut: (203) 328-1200
||New York: (212) 221-6989
New Jersey: (201) 633-3631
Connecticut: (203) 328-1212
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Bill Winget co-founded Winget, Spadafora & Schwartzberg, LLP in 1993. In a career spanning more than three decades, Bill's work has expanded to focus on a number of distinct practice areas that, despite their outward differences, routinely present common legal issues and analogous controversies that demand the same skills, experience and insight from counsel. Bill's practice areas include: i) professional liability defense of large businesses providing third-party administrator, computerized bill review and forensic investigation services; ii) commercial and business litigation for corporate clients, particularly in dealing with successor liability, non-compete and fiduciary obligations, and M&A-related contract disputes; iii) defense of architects, engineers, life insurance agents, attorneys and other licensed professionals; iv) the investigation, adjustment and litigation of complex claims under Crime Insurance policies, with increased focus on computer fraud coverage and losses attributed to unauthorized penetration of computer systems; v) representation of surety companies and their principals in all phases of construction litigation and related negotiations; vi) representation of general contractors and building material suppliers in all phases of construction and products liability litigation; and vii) Directors and Officers insurance coverage.
Mr. Winget received his B.A. in English from Georgetown University in 1981 and M.A. in history in 1982. He received his J.D. in 1986 from St. John's University School of Law, where he was named to the Moot Court Senior Board.
Mr. Winget is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, in addition to the federal courts in those states. He is also admitted to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he recently acted as the fidelity insurer's co-counsel on a landmark decision upholding a declination of computer fraud coverage. He is a member of the American, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Bar Associations, and of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society.
Representative Results in Recent Cases (WSS briefs and judicial decisions on request)
Construction, Architects & Engineers, Suretyship:
- United States District Court, SDNY (2017) - Dismisses action against General Contractor represented by WSS based on lack of personal jurisdiction in New York.
- New Jersey Superior Court (2015) - Refuses to allow an amended complaint asserting claims against architectural firm represented by WSS for defective design of windows at multi-story residential complex, agreeing with WSS opposition that plaintiff condominium board lacked standing to pursue such claims; further declined to allow amendment for class action claims on behalf of all unit owners against architectural firm.
- New Jersey Superior Court (2014-15)- Holds in response to WSS motion that causes of action grounded on breach of warranty and strict liability are not available under New Jersey law against architects, dismisses corresponding claims against architectural firm represented by WSS; subsequently grants WSS motion to dismiss remaining claims against architectural firm due to plaintiff's failure to file required affidavit of merit.
- New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division (2014) - Grants motion to dismiss all claims against surety represented by WSS on the grounds that plaintiff, a factor that allegedly had extended credit to surety's principal, had not adequately pled basis for any recovery.
- New York Supreme Court (2012) - Granted WSS summary judgment motion to dismiss all cross-claims against surety that had bonded structural steel contractor on $450 million construction project, finding that "takeover agreement" entered into by surety after principal's default did not confer third-party beneficiary status or otherwise give other contractors right to sue surety for delay damages (three separate decisions issued in favor of surety on WSS motions); decisions enabled WSS to avoid trial and negotiate settlements of all remaining claims against surety for less than 1% of total amounts demanded.
Fidelity and Cyber Insurance Claim Investigations and Litigation:
- Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (2016) - Reverses Texas District Court and upholds insurer's declination of computer fraud coverage where loss did not result "directly" from use of computer (WSS acted as co-counsel for insurer).
- U.S. District Court, SD Texas (2015) - Holds that fidelity insurer represented by WSS is exempt from 18% interest penalty and attorneys' fees imposed by "Prompt Payment of Claims" subchapter of Texas Insurance Code by virtue of "fidelity bond" exception (pro hac vice admission, with WSS Houston office)(earlier decision by the same court requiring insurer to pay claim subsequently reversed by 5th Circuit, but favorable ruling stands holding statutory interest and attorneys' fees do not apply to fidelity insurers).
- Monterrey, Mexico; Bogota, Colombia; San Antonio, Texas; Grosse Pointe, Michigan; New York, New York; Boston, Massachusetts, et al. (2015-17) - Representing insurers to investigate and resolve complex fidelity insurance claims involving cyber-crime and other forms of illicit activity at various locations in the United States and Latin America.
Commercial and Business Litigation:
- New York Appellate Division (2016) - Upholds causes of action asserted by WSS corporate client against a competitor for aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with contract.
- New York Supreme Court (2015) - Dismisses all counterclaims against WSS corporate client for unfair competition and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage; upholds client's causes of action for aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with contract.
- American Arbitration Association/New York Supreme Court (2014) - After a multi-day hearing, AAA Panel awards $1.6 million to WSS corporate client whose former executive breached fiduciary duties and diverted company revenues; award confirmed by order of New York Supreme Court over defense opposition.
- New York Supreme Court (2012) - In a lengthy written decision, Court grants preliminary injunction on WSS motion barring former president of corporate client from affiliating with competitors or otherwise competing with client.
Professional Liability - Third Party Administrators:
- New Jersey Superior Court (2017) - Grants WSS Motion to Dismiss class action claims against third-party administrator under NJ Consumer Fraud Act and New Jersey Truth in Consumer Contract, Notice and Warranty Act, finding as a matter of law that TPA administering worker's compensation claims should not be exposed to claims and monetary damages under New Jersey consumer protection statutes; also grants WSS motion to dismiss cause of action for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
- New Jersey Superior Court (2017) - Granted in part WSS motion to dismiss on behalf of third-party administrator for state insurance fund, rejecting causes of action based on alleged breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and contractual indemnification.
- New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division (2016) - Grants WSS motion to dismiss separate causes of action against third-party administrator based on alleged breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing and alleged entitlement to declaratory judgment.
- Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida (2016-17) - Successfully prosecuted complex suit on behalf of retail life insurance agency whose commissions were diverted by general agent to satisfy unrelated corporate obligations, ultimately requiring a restructuring of the general agency and negotiations with seven separate life insurers to secure client's ongoing revenue stream (pro hac vice admission, with WSS Miami office).
- California Court of Appeal, Second District (2011) - Granted emergency writ of mandate on a petition filed by WSS to block highly prejudicial trial court orders that would have compelled the WSS client, an insurance agency, to produce tens of thousands of pages of confidential materials and respond to complex interrogatories, while at the same time authorizing plaintiffs to circulate a so-called "Colonial Life" letter seeking information from non-parties that was highly inflammatory and otherwise prejudicial to the client insurance agency (pro hac vice admission, with WSS Los Angeles office).
- “Social Engineering and Insurance: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (July, 2016).
- “Notes from the Battlefield: A Survey of Recent Decisions Impacting the Private Equity Industry” (Annually, 2013-16).
- “When the Mega-Client Gets Mad: Liability of Life Insurance Agents Serving High Net Worth Customers,” 2011
- “Private Equity & Insurance”, 2011.
- “Options Backdating – Defense Strategies, Investigations and Professional Liability Coverage,” 2007
- “Truth or Consequences – A Practical Guide to Rescission of Director’s & Officer’s Policies and Selected D&O Claims Handling Issues”, 2007.
- “D&O Underwriting & Claims In A Difficult Economic Climate”, 2007.