Robert J. Gilbert

Managing Member
P (978) 409-6235
C (978) 479-4907

Areas of Practice & Representative Cases

Insurance Litigation

Mr. Gilbert handles a wide range of insurance matters on behalf of corporate and individual policyholders, including coverage for defective products, construction defects and defective building materials, directors and officers liability insurance, the application of retrospective premium endorsements, workers compensation disputes and first party claims.

  • Successufully represented a major manufacturer of compact discs, phonographic records, cassette tapes and toys in a successful litigation to obtain insurance proceeds from 22 insurers for defense costs and environmental liabilities
  • Successufully represented the trust department of a major regional bank, on behalf of managed trusts, in successful negotiations and litigation to obtain insurance proceeds for defense costs and environmental liabilities
  • Successufully represented a former chemical manufacturer in numerous successful lawsuits to obtain insurance coverage for defense costs, remedial costs, and damages for personal injuries, including insurance proceeds recovered for claims arising from DDT contamination in Santa Monica Bay; Henderson, NV; and the notorious Stringfellow Acid Pits in CA.
  • Obtained insurance proceeds for environmental defense costs or remedial costs for a number of major Massachusetts manufacturers, a county government, a family-owned high- technology business, an electronics manufacturing firm, and a scrap metal recycler
  • Counsel for a multi-national valve and flow control manufacturer to obtain environmental insurance from primary and excess insurers for up to $20 million in cleanup costs, defense costs, attorney's fees and other damages arising out of two state-issued cleanup orders (successfully resolved in Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts).
  • Counsel for a leading uniform supply company to successfully recover nearly $8 million in defense and clean up cost for solvents contamination of groundwater (Massachusetts State Court).
  • Counsel for a multi-national safety mask manufacturer that successfully recovered more than $50 million in asbestos- and silica- related defense and settlement costs (United States District Court for the District of South Carolina).
  • Counsel for a large manufacturer of glass products in an environmental insurance litigation against its comprehensive general liability insurer to recover approximately $1,000,000 in cleanup costs, defense costs, attorney's fees and other damages arising from private, state and federal lawsuits and cleanup orders (United States District Court for the District of Connecticut).
  • Counsel to the successor of an aerospace manufacturing firm to successfully recover more than $2 million in primary and excess coverage for defense and cleanup costs relating to solvent- contaminated soil and groundwater (state and federal court in Massachusetts).
  • Counsel to the successor of one of the largest silverware manufacturers in the country in successful recovery of more than $1 million in primary and excess coverage for cleanup costs, defense costs, attorney's fees and other damages arising out of state-issued cleanup orders (Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts).
  • Counsel for a major midwestern manufacturer to successfully recover several million dollars in defense and environmental cleanup costs arising from five sites in four states (Resolved in Illinois State Court and Indiana State Court).
  • Counsel for a regional gasket manufacturer to successfully recover more than $2 million in primary and excess insurance proceeds for asbestos liabilities (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
  • Counsel for the successor to a major valve manufacturer to recover more than $10 million in asbestos-related defense and settlement costs (pending in Los Angeles, California Superior Court)
  • Successful representation of mutual fund and securities industry companies in obtaining directors and officers liability coverage for claims arising from securities law violations;
  • Trial counsel for an Israeli widow in the successful recovery of $2 million in life insurance proceeds (resolved for above-limits settlement after prevailing on summary judgment in United States District Court for District of Maryland);
  • Counsel to a major tobacco company in a dispute over the application of a retrospective premium endorsement to long-tail environmental and product liability claims;
  • Successful recovery of more than $600,000 in disability insurance benefits (resolved after Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision upholding trial verdict in client's favor)
  • Successful litigation on behalf of a Massachusetts produce company to obtain return premiums under retrospectively-rated workers compensation policies;
  • Successful representation of businesses and individuals to recover insurance proceeds arising out of the failure of roofing and construction products
  • Successful representation of businesses and individuals in a variety of first-party and third- party claims.

Real Estate, Business and Products Liability Litigation

Mr. Gilbert represents purchasers and sellers of property, real estate developers and investors, banks and other business enterprises in civil litigation matters

  • Successfully defended a major distributor of tobacco products against a $1.2 billion products liability/Chapter 93A suit brought by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to recover Medicaid expenditures for smoking-related illnesses and nearly 50 personal injury suits alleging smoking-related illnesses (Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts).
  • Representation of Northern New England's largest marble and granite fabricator in numerous successful corporate, shareholder and non-competition litigations (Superior Court for the State of New Hampshire.)
  • Successfully defended a Chapter 93A/products liability action against a manufacturer of agricultural growth agents (voluntarily dismissed with prejudice for zero damages upon presentation of FIFRA preemption defense).
  • Successfully defended non-profit clubs and organizations in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases (state and federal courts in Massachusetts).
  • Corporate counsel in numerous shareholder and partnership disputes involving equity stakes, freeze outs and Chapter 93A issues for various software, consumer, real estate, bio-technology and financial services companies
  • Successful defense of a large class-action lawsuit brought against a Southern California developer, in which the trial judge ordered the name plaintiffs to pay 100% of the attorney's fees incurred by the client.
  • Assisted a consortium of insurers in their successful Constitutional challenge in the California Supreme Court to portions of Proposition 103, a voter-passed initiative which would have imposed confiscatory rate-setting standards on automobile, casualty and other insurers in California.
  • Litigated a dispute in which the client (a commercial landlord) was awarded 95% of its requested damages as well as attorney's fees against the Resolution Trust Corporation.
  • Successfully defended the general partner of a commercial property management firm with respect to various securities claims brought by a limited partner.
  • Brought a successful rescission action on behalf of a realty development firm.

Labor and Employment

Mr. Gilbert represents both employers and employees in state and federal court and administrative agencies on a wide range of issues, including:

  • Successful representation in a major early retirement ERISA action by a class of employees, arising from the sale of a business unit of a major Massachusetts life insurer (United States District court for the district of Massachusetts).
  • Successful representation in a case of first impression involving compliance with state and federal labor standards in the construction of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project in Boston, Massachusetts (successfully resolved for double damages in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts).
  • Successful resolution of a case of first impression involving the application of the Americans With Disabilities Act to work-induced mental illness (successfully resolved in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire).
  • Numerous cases at the MCAD and EEOC and in various state and federal courts addressing discrimination based on gender, race, disability, religion and ethnicity.

Criminal Law Experience

Mr. Gilbert has served as an Essex County Bar Advocate to represent indigent defendants in the criminal courts of Massachusetts.

  • Contributing editor, The Law of Hazardous Waste: Management, Cleanup, Liability and Litigation
  • The Use of Environmental Insurance in Real Estate Transactions, published by the American Bar Association
  • Has presented various lectures on issues of environmental insurance coverage for Executive Enterprises and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., and has designed and presented insurance litigation training programs for CLE programs throughout the United States.