University of Wisconsin, J.D., with honors, 1985
University of Wisconsin, B.A., magna cum laude, 1982
Steve DeGeorge handles insurance, product liability, toxic tort and environmental disputes, and he counsels clients in transactions presenting these issues.
Steve represents policyholders, exclusively, in courts across the country. He is co-chair of the firm's Insurance Coverage Practice Group and co-author of "New Appleman North Carolina Insurance Litigation (2020 ed.)," the definitive treatise on North Carolina insurance litigation. He also counsels businesses relative to their coverage needs and negotiates with insurers for the most favorable coverage terms available.
Steve has represented property owners and alleged "arrangers" at several EPA National Priority List sites. He represents a public chemical company in a series of interrelated state and federal lawsuits, including class actions and MDL litigation, arising from discharges of PFAS and other "emerging compounds."
Steve serves as U.S. coordinating counsel for product liability and toxic tort litigation brought against three international product manufacturers.
Honors & Awards
- Chambers USA, environment, 2022-23
- Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, environmental, 2023
- The Best Lawyers in America, commercial litigation, environmental, insurance, litigation - environmental, 2011-23
- North Carolina Super Lawyers, business litigation, 2012-15; insurance coverage, 2016-23
- North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society, 2021
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
Represents United Policyholders, the nation's leading advocate for policyholder rights, as amicus, in Radiator Specialty Co. v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co., N.C. Court of Appeals, Case No. 19-638. This case of first impression in North Carolina concerns whether a standard CGL policy, once triggered by injury or damage during the policy period, provides coverage for a policyholder's liability in full up to policy limits ("all sums"), rather than some lesser, prorated amount. This is a question of immense importance to policyholders facing long-tail bodily injury and property damage claims in which insurers attempt to limit their coverage obligations.
Represents policyholders in multiple state and federal court lawsuits seeking recovery of COVID-related losses. These cases present unsettled issues of insurance law and implicate hundreds of millions of dollars in potential insurance coverage, including Cato Corp. v. Zurich American Ins. Co., Mecklenburg County, NC Superior Court, Case No. 21-CVS-9525.
Represents policyholder in federal declaratory judgement case involving insurance coverage for losses arising from underlying securities class action litigation and shareholder derivative actions. Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America v. Jeld-Wen Holding Inc., et al., U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, Case No. 3:21-cv-173.
Represents policyholder to secure insurance coverage for class action in Virginia Federal Court. Spendlove v. RapidCourt, LLC, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Case No. 3:18-cv-00856.
Successfully sued to recover losses resulting from underlying claim against client that provides clinical research services in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and clinical device industries. Federal Ins. Co. v. Premier Research Group, U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, Case No. 1:19-cv-01051.
Pursued recovery of environmental cleanup costs incurred by client/policyholder. The Travelers Indemnity Co. v. CommScope Technologies LLC, Cook County, IL Circuit Court, Case No. 18-CH-16550.
Represents pharmaceutical manufacturer in insurance coverage lawsuit related to large number of underlying toxic tort claims. Broadview Investments, LLC v. Continental Casualty Co., U.S. Dist. Court, Middle District of Georgia, Case No. 3:18-cv-00119.
Obtained favorable mediated resolutions of two related lawsuits seeking over $26 million in coverage under all-risk property policies sold to client, the owner of a luxury apartment complex, which included winning crucial choice of law ruling on behalf of client in the North Carolina Business Court. American Realty Advisors v. Lloyd's Underwriters, U.S. Dist. Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, Case No. 5:16-cv-940; SVF Weston Lakeside, LLC v. Lexington Ins. Co., North Carolina Business Court, Case No. 18-CVS-5171.
Secured client's coverage rights relative to underlying catastrophic injury tort action in Texas state court. Carrillo v. Caliber Collision LLC, Nueces County, Texas District Court, Case No. 2019-CCV-61387-2.
Successfully sued insurer to obtain coverage for California toxic tort class action. ScentAir Technologies, LLC v. CNA Financial Corp, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Superior Court, Case No. 20-CVS-5726; 2019 NCBC 58.
Recovered defense costs incurred by client defending underlying construction lawsuit in Florida. Mitsui Sumitomo Ins. Co. v. Travelers Property and Casualty Co., U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, Case No. 1:15-CV-00207.
Secured insurer's agreement to defend client in national class action. In re Domestic Drywall Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (MDL), Case No. 13-MD-2437.
Counseled client on a broad range of domestic and international insurance issues implicated by spinoff of $3 billion business.
Prosecuted coverage action against client's primary, umbrella and excess insurers, seeking coverage for product liability claims in four nationwide class actions in Florida and Arizona. New NGC, Inc. d/b/a National Gypsum Company v. ACE American Insurance Company, et al., U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Case No. 3:10-CV-22.
Prosecuted action to secure coverage for product liability claims against client in Pennsylvania. Global Ground Support, LLC v. National Union Fire Insurance Company, Catawba County, North Carolina Superior Court, Case No. 09CV1507.
Represented international network infrastructure provider in insurance coverage dispute involving major cable television system in Ireland.
Represents pharmaceutical manufacturers in insurance coverage litigation stemming from underlying tort lawsuits claiming that our client's products caused asbestos-related diseases.
Toxic Tort, Product Liability and Environmental
Represents alleged "arrangers," "operators" and "transporters" in many CERCLA and state law environmental cost recovery lawsuits across the United States. These engagements have included National Priority List sites in several states.
Represents public building product manufacturer in defending occupational disease claims nationally.
Serves as national litigation coordinating counsel for defending product liability claims, including asbestos claims, against manufacturers of valves, building products and electric security systems.
Represents public chemical manufacturer in multifaceted legal proceedings involving alleged contamination of air, surface water and groundwater with PFAS and other "emerging compounds." Matter involves multiple federal class actions, MDL litigation and state court litigation against state regulatory agencies.
Represents multinational energy company in negotiating remedial action at EPA NPL Site.
Managed litigation and toxic tort due diligence in $2 billion transaction involving building products manufacturer.
News & Events
- June 6, 2023
- Jan. 20, 2023
- Jan. 12, 2023
- Aug. 23, 2022
- June 2, 2022
- May 17, 2022
- Jan. 14, 2022
- Aug. 26, 2021
- Jan. 15, 2021
- Aug. 20, 2020
- Jan. 22, 2020
- Aug. 15, 2019
- Jan. 28, 2019
- Aug. 15, 2018
- Jan. 30, 2018
- Jan. 29, 2018
- Eight Named “Lawyer of the Year”Aug. 16, 2017
- Jan. 26, 2017
- Jan. 17, 2017
- Dec. 7, 2016
- Eight Attorneys Named "Lawyer of the Year"Aug. 15, 2016
- Jan. 27, 2016
- Aug. 18, 2015
- June 23, 2015
- R. Steven DeGeorge Quoted in NC Lawyers Weekly Article "Clause allows insurer to avoid paying $7M legal bill"June 1, 2015
- Jan. 21, 2015
- Firm Topped North Carolina Rankings in Eight Practice AreasAug. 19, 2014
- Jan. 21, 2014
- Aug. 15, 2013
- June 12, 2013
- Six Shareholders Among State’s Top 100 Attorneys, Two in Top 10Jan. 18, 2013
- Aug. 23, 2012
- Seven Shareholders Among State’s Top 100 Attorneys, Two in Top 10Jan. 23, 2012
- Nov. 1, 2011
- Sept. 1, 2011
- Aug. 9, 2010
- Dec. 31, 2008
- Nov. 21, 2007
Sheraton Charlotte Hotel
555 S. McDowell St., South Tower
Charlotte, NC 28204June 15, 2023
Via webinarSept. 21, 2021
Via webinarApril 21, 2021
Via webinarJan. 29, 2021
North Carolina Bar Center
8000 Weston Parkway
Cary, NC 27513Jan. 31, 2019
Crowne Plaza Resort
1 Resort Drive
Asheville, NC 28806Oct. 18, 2018
Holiday Inn Asheville-Biltmore East
1450 Tunnel Road
Asheville, NC 28805Nov. 17, 2017
Port-au-Prince, HaitiMay 16, 2017
101 N. Tryon Street, Suite 1900
Charlotte, North CarolinaNov. 13, 2015
Hyatt Place Charlotte Downtown
222 South Caldwell Street
Charlotte, North CarolinaApril 8-9, 2014
Courtyard by Marriott Charlotte Airport
2700 Little Rock Road
Charlotte, North Carolina 28214Dec. 20, 2013
Charlotte Marriott SouthPark
2200 Rexford Road
Charlotte, North CarolinaApril 11, 2013
The Double Tree Hotel
2600 Yorkmont Road
Charlotte, North CarolinaNov. 16, 2011
- June 27, 2022Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- 2018North Carolina Insurance Litigation, a LexisNexis Practice Guide
- Court Rules Computer Fraud Insurance Policy Inapplicable to Most Common Form of Computer-Related FraudFeb. 20, 2017Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- Nov. 1, 2016Claims
- Sept. 13, 2016Law360
- May 18, 2015Class Actions Brief Blog
- Jan. 5, 2015Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- Aug. 16, 2013Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- April 19, 2013NCBA Construction Law
- Feb. 17, 2012Westlaw Journal - Insurance Coverage
- Sept. 13, 2011Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- March 30, 2011Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- Chemical Waste Litigation Reporter, Board of Advisors
- American Bar Association, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee; Toxic Torts and Environmental Litigation Committee
- North Carolina Bar Association, Insurance Law Section, Treasurer, 2022-23; CLE Committee, Co-Chair
- Law360, IA General Liability Editorial Advisory Board, 2023
- Project Life Movement, Board of Directors, 2016-present
- Levine Children's Hospital, Board of Ambassadors, 2012-present
- Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, Board of Directors, 2004-12
- Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Visitors Advisory Committee, 2004-10
- Leadership Charlotte, Board of Directors, 1998-2004