John E. Heintz

Biography

John Heintz is a partner in Blank Rome’s policyholder-only insurance recovery practice, formerly the insurance practice of Dickstein Shapiro LLP. He is a veteran in the fields of corporate insurance coverage and complex litigation. With more than 40 years of experience, John has recovered billions of dollars in coverage for his clients. He has handled major cases in every area of insurance coverage, including several that rank among the largest in coverage litigation history. Many of his cases have involved issues of first impression, resulting in landmark trial and appellate rulings for his clients at the state and federal levels. John’s grasp of the legal issues and his ability to direct large-scale litigation have earned him praise from clients and opponents alike.

He has represented numerous clients in the chemical, petrochemical, petroleum, auto, hotel, and technology industries, in securing coverage for asbestos, lead, public nuisance, environmental contamination, professional liability, class-action employment discrimination, directors and officers liabilities, political risk, and medical product liability claims.

John has also represented clients in securing coverage for property and business interruption losses arising out of the 9/11 attacks, hurricanes, and other catastrophic events. He has litigated and secured favorable resolutions of insurance coverage disputes and related bankruptcy issues arising in several asbestos-related bankruptcies. He has tried numerous cases and argued before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Circuits and numerous state appellate courts, U.S. district courts, and state trial courts across the country.

According to Chambers USA, “The ‘very talented and insightful’ John Heintz is well regarded across the insurance market for his significant experience handling a range of complex coverage litigation. Acknowledged as a ‘true leader of the policyholder Bar.’”

Outside the Firm

He is an avid, lifelong sailor, who has sailed offshore to his favorite cruising grounds in New England, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, and continues to race his Harbor 20 on the Chesapeake.

Experience

  • Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company v. Travelers Indemnity Company

    • Representation of 3M resulting in landmark decision with respect to insurance coverage for Superfund claims in case of first impression certified from the Minnesota District court to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

  • Armstrong World Industries v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co.

    • Representation of Armstrong World Industries with respect to coverage for asbestos bodily injury and property damage claims through a seven phase, 220-day trial involving five policyholders and approximately 45 insurers resulting in landmark decision affirmed on appeal.

  • Pittston Company Ultramar America Limited v. Allianz Insurance Company

    • Representation of Ultramar in a successful appeal from an adverse ruling of the District Court of New Jersey on the "known loss/loss in progress" defense, resulting in a landmark ruling.

  • Texaco A/S (Denmark) v. Commercial Insurance Co. of Newark, NJ

    • Representation of Texaco on a successful appeal from an adverse ruling of the Southern District of New York resulting in a landmark decision establishing futility as a defense to late notice. 

  • Four Star Oil and Gas, et al. v. Associated Indemnity Corp., et al.

    • Representation of Texaco in securing coverage of environmental liabilities at more than 1,000 sites under 700 policies issued by 70 insurers.

  • World Omni Financial Corp. v. Ace Capital Re Inc.
    • Representation of World Omni Financial Corp. to establish right to sue reinsurer of insured’s captive directly.

  • In re J.T. Thorpe, Inc.

    • Representation of debtor in a successful resolution of a 524(g) asbestos bankruptcy including resolution of all disputed insurance coverage.

  • In re Combustion Engineering, Inc.

    • Representation of Future Claimants’ Representative in a successful resolution of a 524(g) asbestos bankruptcy including resolution of disputed insurance coverage.

  • Representation of Host Marriott to secure coverage for property damage and business interruption losses due to the destruction of the World Trade Center Marriott and substantial damage to the Marriott World Financial Center hotels on 9/11.

  • American Casualty Co. of Reading v. Morris Gelb, et al.

    • Representation of former directors and officers of Lyondell Chemical Co. in securing insurance coverage for the costs of defending a lawsuit filed by the creditors’ committee in In re Lyondell Basell regarding alleged wrongful acts relating to the debtors’ pre-bankruptcy merger.

  • Louisiana Generating, LLC and NRG Energy, Inc. v. Illinois Union Insurance Company

    • Representation of NRG and LaGen to secure defense and indemnity coverage for EPA Clean Air Act suit, obtained landmark ruling that insurer was obligated to defend, which was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit.

News & Views

See all News and Views

Recognitions

John has been widely recognized as a leading lawyer in the insurance coverage area, as noted by his rankings and recognitions listed below. Chambers USA ranks John as one of the top 13 leading insurance coverage attorneys in the country, stating that “he is known to peers as ‘one of the best lawyers in this field,’” and noting that “he is described as ‘an outstanding performer with an outstanding reputation.’” John and his co-authors were also selected as Burton Award winners for the 2010 “Distinguished Law Firm Category” for their article “Insurance Coverage for Climate Change Suits: The Battle Has Begun,” which was published in The Environmental Claims Journal in March 2009.

  • 2018, Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Washington, D.C., listed in Best Lawyers in America©
  • 2014–2018, Insurance Law and Litigation – Insurance, listed in Best Lawyers in America©
  • 2009–2017, Insurance: Policyholder, Band One and Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Policyholder, in Chambers USA
  • 2017, listed in Who’s Who Legal – Insurance & Reinsurance
  • 2014–2017, “Leading Lawyer” in “Insurance: Advice to Policyholders,” listed in Legal 500
  • 2014–2017, listed in Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers
  • 2013–2016, listed in Benchmark Litigation
  • 2015, listed in Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll
  • 2015, listed in Who’s Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance
  • 2013, listed in “International Who’s Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers” by Who’s Who Legal
  • Listed in Expert Guides
  • Listed in Super Lawyers
  • Listed in Lawdragon
  • Listed in Law360

A description of the standard or methodology on which the accolades are based can be found here.

Affiliations

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
Professional Activities

John is a member of the American Bar Association Section on Litigation as well as a charter member of the section’s Insurance Coverage Committee. John sits on the board of directors for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. He is a member of the board of trustees for The Legal Aid Society of Washington. He has also litigated numerous pro bono cases, including matters involving insurance red-lining and FHA-ADA compliance. John was recently awarded the 2017 Civil Rights Award by the Equal Rights Center.

Credentials

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. District Court - District of Columbia
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Education

  • Cornell University, BA
  • New York University School of Law, JD
  • Princeton University, MPA