Charles Malaret brings experience in insurance and prosecution of substantial claims to his litigation practice. Focusing on complex commercial and policyholder insurance coverage, Charles often serves as lead attorney. He has recovered more than $1 billion for clients, and has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance assets through coverage-in-place agreements. Charles also successfully litigates noninsurance complex commercial matters, which have resulted in favorable multimillion-dollar verdicts, court decisions, and settlements for his clients.
In addition to assisting policyholders with insurance coverage and resolving pending claims, Charles advises clients on ways to obtain, maximize, and preserve their insurance assets. He also helps policyholders analyze risk, obtain proper coverage prior to loss, and obtain the benefits of coverage when a loss occurs.
As lead counsel to manufacturing, chemical, and consumer product companies in insurance coverage disputes, Charles has handled cases involving benzene, asbestos, dioxin, solvents, wood-preserving materials, and alleged contamination of soil, groundwater, and waterways. For pharmaceutical and medical device companies, he has provided advice on alleged product liability claims involving prescription drugs, vaccines, latex gloves, heart valves, and pain pumps.
Charles also counsels companies on insurance issues surrounding mergers, reorganizations, and bankruptcy proceedings to deal effectively with present and future catastrophic liabilities. On multiple occasions, he has been approved as special insurance counsel in bankruptcy proceedings, including in several cases where debtors have sought 524(g) protection under the bankruptcy code for asbestos liabilities.
As part of his complex litigation work in noninsurance matters, he has tried cases throughout California in state and federal courts to verdict. His successes include obtaining a multimillion-dollar judgment in a breach of contract/breach of lease case that was tried in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. He also successfully defended a utility company in a breach of contract and recession case in which the requested damages exceeded $40 million dollars.
Charles has handled cases and insurance claims throughout the United States and in Latin America.
Insurance—Asbestos Coverage Matters
InRe Thorpe Insulation Company: As co-lead counsel and specially appointed coverage counsel, recovered over $600 million in insurance settlements in coverage litigation for an insulator and distributor of products relating to asbestos liabilities and assisted in providing insurance coverage advice during company’s 524(g) bankruptcy reorganization.
InRe J.T. Thorpe, Inc.: As co-lead counsel and specially appointed coverage counsel, recovered over $350 million in insurance settlements for a bankrupt refractory manufacturer relating to asbestos liabilities and assisted in providing insurance coverage advice during company’s 524(g) bankruptcy reorganization.
Negotiated coverage-in-place agreements, policy buy back agreements, and claims settlements on various environmental, asbestos and property damage claims well in excess of $500 million in value for various clients involving claims throughout the United States.
Insurance—Environmental, Toxic Tort Litigation and Medical Device Coverage Matters
As co-lead counsel for a manufacturing company, resolved environmental liabilities at hundreds of sites throughout the United States that resulted in settlements in excess of $100 million.
Lead coverage counsel for water and mold first party property damage claim in excess of $20 million relating to apartment complex.
Lead coverage counsel for a consumer product company resolving environmental claims throughout the United States.
Lead coverage counsel for a paper company resolving a significant environmental claim in Washington.
Lead coverage counsel for an insurance claim for defense and indemnity costs arising from toxic tort action in Maine.
Lead coverage counsel for a company facing liabilities for hundreds of lawsuits seeking damage for solvent benzene exposure.
Lead coverage counsel for an insurance claim for defense and indemnity costs arising from bodily injury claims relating to the sale and distribution of latex gloves.
Lead coverage counsel for an insurance claim for defense and indemnity costs arising from bodily injury claims relating to the sale and distribution of pain pumps used in shoulder surgeries.
Lead coverage counsel for an insurance claim for defense and indemnity costs arising from bodily injury claims of autism relating to sale and distribution of thimerosal for vaccines.
Lead coverage counsel for liabilities arising from alleged backdating of options.
Lead coverage counsel for defense and indemnity liabilities in excess of $100 million arising from civil judgment of securities violations against company and its officers in securities action.
Lead coverage counsel on an Errors & Omissions claim for an energy company in an alleged consulting malpractice claim in excess of $50 million.
Co-lead Counsel for a Fortune 100 Company in employee dishonesty claim arising from client’s operations in Brazil where total losses exceeded $45 million.
Lead coverage counsel for a Fortune 100 Company on political risk/currency inconvertibility claims arising from Latin American country.
New Pacific Rodeo, LLC v. BIBA International, Limited: Successfully tried a breach of lease claim in the United States Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of New York resulting in a favorable bench decision and judgment in excess of $7.5 million for the claim.
Successfully defended a municipal energy company in breach of contract/recession litigation matter requesting in excess of $40 million in damages that resulted in favorable result for client.
Successfully tried a breach of contract claim in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas and established law on policyholder’s rights to dividends from a mutual insurer. The matter resulted in a multi-million dollar recovery for the client, including attorneys’ fees, and was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit in a published ruling,Kimberly-Clark Corporation v. Factory Mutual Insurance Company, 566 F.3d 541 (5th Cir. 2009).
Lead counsel in defending a company in three-week arbitration involving purchase of companies and claims relating thereto. Received favorable arbitration decision and an award of attorneys’ fees.
University of California, Davis School of Law, 1989, J.D.
University of San Francisco, 1986, B.A.
U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California
U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Insurance, Law360 (2020)
Member, State Bar of California
Member, Central, Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of U.S. District Courts of California
Member, Moot Court Board Recipient, National Moot Court Team and American Jurisprudence Award