Terry M. Cosgrove | OF COUNSEL
Mr. Cosgrove has joined Fisher Kanaris, P.C. from CNA, where he was vice president for claim legal exposure management. In that position, he was responsible for providing legal advice on all large commercial claims. A significant amount of time was spent in successfully resolving complex claims arising out of Hurricane Katrina. He was also asked by the CEO to handle all aspects of the largest loss ever brought under a single policy, which was favorably resolved at mediation. The efforts by Mr. Cosgrove and his professional staff of lawyers during his tenure resulted in excellent results for CNA over a wide variety of general liability and commercial claims.
Prior to his role at CNA, Mr. Cosgrove was in private practice for 31 years. He began his legal career in 1974 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in a general practice firm where he was extensively involved in litigation in both the state and federal courts. Mr. Cosgrove handled personal injury, non-felony criminal defense, class action antitrust and class action civil rights cases. Most notably, he was plaintiffs’ co-lead class counsel for a class of female academic employees and female applicants for non-student academic positions at the University of Minnesota in a Title VII sex discrimination case that culminated in a consent decree applicable to the entire university in which the representative plaintiff received back pay, and the class was entitled to injunctive relief in the form of future hiring goals and career advancement.
In 1979, Mr. Cosgrove joined Peterson & Ross in Chicago where he was heavily involved in the direct defense of product liability claims and the representation of insurers in a variety of litigated coverage disputes. He was also involved in policy drafting and analysis, risk management, claims and underwriting evaluation, auditing and mediation. In his capacity as London Insurers’ counsel for the excess coverage for a majority of the pharmaceutical companies in the United States, Mr. Cosgrove oversaw the reserving and settlement or trial of thousands of drug and medical device product liability lawsuits. He also directly defended product claims involving, for example, vaccines, heart valves and contrast media.
Following the filing by policyholders in the mid-1980’s of coverage actions for pollution claims, Mr. Cosgrove was at the forefront in the effort to develop coverage positions, defend lawsuits and develop settlement programs for environmental and mass tort claims including hazardous waste, toxic torts and lead exposure. In these lawsuits he was on the front lines to establish precedent on many important issues such as: duty to defend, choice of law, forum non conveniens, the fortuity requirement, the meaning of occurrence, the application of the pollution exclusions, the owned property exclusion, trigger of coverage, allocation and contribution issues, “as damages”, after acquired liabilities and lost policy issues. Because the London Insurers had the majority of coverage in many of the large cases, Mr. Cosgrove served as a leader of joint-defense groups, thus assuming primary responsibility for the insurance issues, discovery practice, motions, court hearings and ultimately trial. A representative sample of the cases Mr. Cosgrove worked on includes: Warner v. Waste Management, Velsicol Chemical v. The Travelers, Cooper v. American Mutual, Onan v. American Reinsurance, Wausau v. Mcgraw-Edison, Sara Lee v. National Surety, St. Joe Minerals v. Zurich, NL Industries v. Commercial Union, Sundstrand v. Great American, J.F.R. Salvage v. Transportation, Schaffner v Employers of Wausau, Dana Corp. v. Hartford, Dobrow Services Inc. v. Transportation, Construction Hydraulics v. Continental Casualty, Home Ins. Co. v. Ford, Purdy v. Travelers, Kern County Company et al, (El Paso Energy) v. California Union Insurance Co., and Gould v. Continental Casualty. In the latter case, settlement discussions after the first day of trial led to one of the first policy buy-back agreements between London and its policy holders.
In the late 1990’s Mr. Cosgrove was asked to assume a lead role in the settlement negotiations for several of the largest remaining pollution coverage matters being pursued against the London Insurers. He also moved his practice to Lord Bissell & Brook in 1999 as part of London’s consolidation of counsel. A few examples of important settlements reached between 1999 and 2005 are: Lockheed Martin, NL Industries, El Paso Energy and The State of California. The latter was settled after the State agreed to principal to principal discussions with the governor’s office. A substantial number of other matters were also being pursued for settlement at the time Mr. Cosgrove decided to continue his career at CNA.
Terry has been accepted into the membership of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC). The FDCC is an elite group of civil defense lawyers throughout the country and around the world. Its members are recognized leaders in the legal community who have achieved professional distinction. The FDCC is dedicated to promoting the knowledge, justice, and professionalism of its members as they pursue the course of a balanced judicial system and represent those in need of defense in civil lawsuits. Members are accepted only after undergoing a rigorous selection and review process through which only a small percentage of nominees are approved for membership.
In addition to his trial practice Mr. Cosgrove has successfully argued appeals in various state and federal appellate courts.
J.D., University of Michigan, 1974
B.A., University of Michigan, 1969
Illinois State Bar
United States Courts of Appeal for the Second, Third and Ninth Circuits
Minnesota State Bar
United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois, Central District of Illinois, Eastern District of Michigan, and District of Minnesota
Trial Bar, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Pro hac vice throughout the United States