Disciplined in Sophisticated Defense and Insurance Litigation

A Partner at Butler, Fay E. Ryan devotes her Tampa practice to Third-Party Coverage and Extra-Contractual matters. Within these practice areas, her numerous claims deal with construction defect, auto accidents, slip-and-falls, products liability, defamation, and more. Fay has experience analyzing virtually all types of liability policies, including CGL, Excess and Umbrella, OCIP, Commercial Auto, Personal Lines, E & O, Environmental, and Reinsurance.  In addition to providing coverage advice, Fay advises clients on good faith claims handling, including settlement in multi-claimant situations.  Fay has tried over fifty jury trials and approximately thirty non-jury trials .

Fay graduated cum laude from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  She received her Doctor of Jurisprudence, cum laude, from the University of Florida College of Law. During law school, Fay earned the American Jurisprudence Award in Contracts, Estates and Trusts, English Legal History, and Legal Drafting. She is also a member of the Order of the Coif, an honor society for law school graduates who were in the top ten percent of their graduating class.

Since becoming a lawyer, Fay has contributed to the Defense Research Institute’s multi-state compendium (Florida chapter). She has also been published in Mealey’s Litigation Report: Bad Faith, and DRI’s: For The Defense magazine.


  • Florida


  • Boston College
    Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude
  • University of Florida
    Doctor of Jurisprudence, Order of the Coif


  • The Florida Bar


  • Florida Courts (Middle District)
  • Florida Courts (Southern District)
  • Florida Federal Courts

For more information regarding these cases, please contact Fay Ryan.

Representative Cases Litigated to Conclusion:

Endurance v. UCE: “Statutory employee” under Workers Compensation scheme is treated as actual employee under both Employer’s Liability and Workers’ Compensation exclusions, without regard to whether WC coverage secured. Summary Judgment that GC’s policy does not cover claim of injured roofer hired by subcontractor.

Steadfast v. Celebration Source, et al: Documents forming part of application for surplus lines policy can be considered part of policy under common law principles of contractual interpretation, even though §627. 419 does not apply to surplus lines. Summary judgment that insurer owes no duty to defend BI lawsuit where accident occurred on a recreational apparatus not listed by insured on Equipment Schedule.   

Lloyds v. Scottsdale and Sands Harbor, et al : Denial of opposing insurer’s motion for summary judgment seeking declaration that defendant insurer was primary and plaintiff excess; court holds both insurers owe a co-primary duty to defend on a pro rata basis.

PCIC v. A & M Fox Roofing, Inc., et al: Summary judgment for insurer under “ongoing ops” exclusion endorsement to CGL policy; roof leaked during insured’s roof replacement job.

Myers v. Foremost, et al: Dismissal of UM claim with Prejudice, where policyholder who did not understand that she was rejecting UM admits she did not read UM rejection form before signing it.

SNIC v. West, et al,: Summary judgment for insurer under Named Driver Exclusion Endorsement; no coverage for wrongful death and serious BI claims arising out of excluded driver’s use of Insured Vehicle.

American Economy Ins. Co. v. Traylor Wolfe Architects, Inc., et al:  Summary judgment for insurer under Business Auto policy; court agrees with insurer that business owner was engaged in personal use at time of accident.

The Ohio Casualty Insurance Company v. Garden Of Eat’n Of Tampa, Inc., et al : Summary judgment under Employer’s Liability exclusion to CGL policy; court finds that accident still arises out of employment where employee trips in parking lot on way to car at end of shift.

MCC v. Clean Seas Company, Inc., et al : Court prevents retailer from aggregating multiple customers’ claims into one “Superclaim” against distributer/policyholder in an attempt to avoid the “per claim” deductible; court also finds that economic losses resulting from damage to insured’s product, are not “Property Damage” under CGL policy.

Coachmen Industries, Inc. v. Royal Surplus Lines Ins. Co.: Dismissal of Bad Faith and Abuse of Process claims with Prejudice; only Malicious Prosecution claim allowed to proceed.

Gorthy v. General Manufactured Housing, et al: Defense verdict for mobile home manufacturer sued on theories of strict liability, negligent construction, and negligent installation of mobile home.  Plaintiffs were allegedly injured by mold exposure caused by water intrusion.

October 27, 2014 PUBLICATIONThree Is A Crowd: Revisiting The Third Party Beneficiary Doctrine

This article examines the third party beneficiary doctrine in conjunction with the approaches courts follow with regard to the collection of an excess judgment from a liability insurer.

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December 09, 2010 PUBLICATIONSplitting The Baby: The Insurer's Duty To Notify The Insured Of The Need For An Allocated Verdict

This is one of a series of articles originally published in Mealey's Litigation Report: Insurance Bad Faith, Vol. 24, #15 (December 9, 2010). © 2010  

[Editor's Note: Fay E. Ryan is a partner the Tampa office of Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP, which also has offices in Chicago, Charlotte, Mobile, Tallahassee and Miami. She is an experienced trial attorney in the firm's Extra-Contractual, Third-Party Coverage, and Liability Departments. Kimberly N. Gorak is a senior associate in the Tampa office of Butler , also practicing in the firm's Extra-Contractual, Third-Party Coverage, and Liability Departments. Any commentary or opinions do not reflect the opinions of Butler or Mealey's. Copyright © 2010 by Fay E. Ryan and Kimberly N. Gorak. Responses are welcome .]

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January 28, 2010 PUBLICATIONA Look Back At Some Of 2009s Significant Bad Faith Decisions

This is one of a series of articles originally published in Mealey's Litigation Report: Insurance Bad Faith, Vol. 23, #18 (January 28, 2010). © 2010

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October 17, 2001 PUBLICATIONJustices: Please Take This Case!

Two recent state court decisions jeopardize the right of insurers to consult legal counsel when considering whether to pay or deny the claim of a policyholder. The Arizona and Ohio state supreme courts have issued opinions eroding, even abrogating, the attorney client and work product privileges. In one of these decisions, Boone v. Vanliner, 744 N.E.2d 154 (Ohio 2001), the insurer has petitioned the United States Supreme Court to issue the writ of certiorari, hear the case and reverse the Ohio Supreme Court. The undersigned urges the United States Supreme Court to take the Vanliner case for the reasons stated below.

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Blog Posts

February 16, 2017 BLOG POSTSurplus Insurers, Too, Can Rely on the Application to Interpret Policy

Section 627.419 of the Florida Statutes provides that “[e]very insurance contract shall be construed according to the entirety of its terms and conditions as set forth in the policy and as amplified, extended, or modified by any application therefor or any rider or endorsement thereto.”  This statute has not applied to surplus lines insurers since the “Zota-fix” legislation of 2009, which generally exempted surplus lines insurers from Chapter 627.

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February 10, 2015 BLOG POSTDoes Florida's statutory duty to disclose insurance information apply to out-of-state policies?

One of the most common questions I get from insurers of out-of-state policyholders is whether they are required to honor a Florida claimant’s request for disclosure of insurance information under Florida Statute 627.4137. If the applicable policy was not delivered in Florida or issued for delivery in Florida, the short answer is “No.” Nonetheless, sometimes an insurer can best protect both its insured and itself by voluntarily providing at least some of the information outlined in the statute.

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August 16, 2019 EVENT558 - Kiss, Marry, or Kill?

A panel discussion on the efficacy of the pre-suit "Notice and Opportunity to Repair" process under Florida Statute 558.004.

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October 10, 2017 EVENTFALL CLAIMS EDUCATIONAL SEMINAR - Third-Party Liability Coverage in Florida

Fay Ryan and Yonit Rosengarten from Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig presented in Sarasota, FL at the FCCI Fall Claims Educational Seminar on the topic of "Third-Party Liability Coverage in Florida".

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June 26, 2014 EVENT2014 RIMKUS CE Seminar

Protecting the Insured from Exposure in the Multiple Claimant Context

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November 06, 2013 EVENT2013 CLM Northern Florida Chapter Educational Event

Fay Ryan spoke at the 2013 CLM Northern Florida Chapter Educational Event on November 6, 2013.  Fay's topic was "Premises Liability."

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March 08, 2018 NEWSInternational Women's Day

"Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence."

-Sheryl Sanberg

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