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Andrew I. Hamelsky Partner

Chair, Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Group
New York, NY | Direct 212.631.4406Fax 212.631.4426
Newark, NJ | Direct 201.368.7206 | Fax 201.368.7240
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For more than 20 years Andrew Hamelsky has been a commercial litigator with experience before state and federal courts and arbitration panels. Andy has helped his clients achieve results by getting to the heart of each case using an aggressive, hands-on and responsive approach. Practicing from the firm’s New York and New Jersey offices, Andy has been applying his result-orientated style in his representation of insurance companies and corporations in both jurisdictions.

Life, Health, Disability and ERISA  

Andy represents life, health and disability insurers, statewide and regionally, in a wide range of matters. He routinely represents clients in a variety of ERISA and non-ERISA matters, including cases stemming from the denial of long-term disability benefits, the denial of life insurance claims, the rescission of policies, beneficiary disputes, interpleader actions and insurance fraud. He has established the law in New York concerning whether a claimant is totally or residually disabled.  

Andy also represents health insurers in a broad range of matters including the effects of tiered and narrowed health plans, out of network coverage disputes, fraud and abuse claims as well as contractual claims stemming from provider and payor agreements. 

Andy is a member of the Defense Research Institute and past vice-chair of the Life, Health and Disability Committee and Webinar Committee. He is also a past chair of the group's Expert Committee. Andy is often invited to speak at industry-related events and has written articles for various publications, including Mealey's Report and DRI.

Commercial Litigation

Andy represents insurance companies, banks, hotel chains, biotech companies, and closely held companies in a variety of commercial disputes arising out of contractual breaches, misappropriation of trade secrets, shareholder disputes, corporate defamation, Lanham Act, tortious interference with contract claims, FINRA disputes, construction issues, defense of personal and property damage claims, as well as other litigated matters. 

Insurance Coverage 

Andy represents major property and casualty insurers, regional insurance companies and third-party administrators. His practice encompasses insurance coverage under commercial general liability policies, excess polices and specialty policies. He has represented his clients in a wide array of coverage matters including issues concerning additional named insured, duty to defend, first party litigation, bad faith claims and coverage opinions.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained a dismissal of claims brought by the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors alleging that a health coverage plan creates unfair business advantage against them. (Assoc. of NJ Chiropractors v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, SOM- L-1211-16) (affirmed upon appeal)

  • Successfully dismissed a claim of first impressions brought against a client for negligent misidentification. (Dwight Morris v. TD Bank, UNN-L-796-15)

  • Obtained a complete dismissal in an action seeking a return of over $800,000 due to allegations of fraudulent conveyances and actual fraud. The Court completely exonerated the clients and dismissed the action without leave to re-plead. (Geo-Group v. Chand, et al., 1:15-cv-01756 (S.D.N.Y July 27, 2016))

  • Obtained a published opinion from the New Jersey Appellate Division granting a protective order in a matter wherein several hospitals were seeking intrusive discovery concerning the creation and implementation of a health plan. (Capital Health System Inc., v. Horizon Healthcare Services Inc., NJ App. Div. A-2913-15 (June 23, 2016))
  • Obtained one of the largest FINRA arbitration recoveries of $12 million on behalf of a wrongfully terminated employee

  • Handled complex premises liability matters, including labor law matters and wrongful detention matters on behalf of numerous corporations
  • Successfully defended a small corporation in a AAA Arbitration, concerning the termination of that company’s Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • Successfully arbitrated a matter concerning construction issues regarding quality of workmanship for a national hotel chain
  • Achieved summary judgment on behalf of animal health care pharmaceutical company concerning a breach of contract matter (Phibro Animal Health U.S. v. Cornerstone AG Products, 2006 WL 3733022 (DNJ 2006)

  • Established principle in New York law that in order to be totally disabled pursuant to an individual disability policy, insured must be unable to perform all of the important duties of "Your Occupation (Simon v. Unum group, 2009 WL 857635 (SDNY 2009); Hershman v. UnumProvident Corp. 660 F. Supp. 2d 527 (SDNY 2009)
  • Successfully represented insurance company in defending a disability action wherein insured did not have an “occupation” under the policy (Scherer v. The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, 2006 WL 1520212 (SDNY 2006)

  • Achieved summary judgment on behalf of an insurer in determining the applicable statute of limitations pursuant to a disability contract (Hodge v. Unum Group, 2010 WL 1286257(EDNY 2010)

  • Represented insurance carriers on rescission actions, including rescissions for fraudulent misrepresentations

  • While representing insurance carriers, worked with the New York Insurance Department and Attorney General’s office concerning fraudulent insurance claims

  • Represented insurance companies in interpleader actions ranging from beneficiary disputes, slayer statutes and exhaustion of policy limits. (New York Life Insurance Company v. Aleandre, 2014 WL 30508 (SDNY 2014)

  • Litigated hundreds of actions on behalf of insurers, concerning the denial of benefits under both individual and group insurance plans

Recognition & Involvement

Andy is a mentor with the New Jersey Law & Education Empowerment Program (NJ LEEP). NJ LEEP was founded in 2006 to empower youth from underserved neighborhoods in northern New Jersey to greater educational achievement through a three-fold focus on skills, habits and exposure. NJ LEEP combines law-related education programming with college access programming. Andy has also participated in the Trial Lawyers Care program, representing victims of the September 11th disaster. Additionally, he served as an attorney for the Marlboro Township Board of Ethics. He was also an advocate for a child with Down Syndrome pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation.

Andy is AV® Preeminent™ rated by the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating system. He was named a "Top Lawyer" by 201 magazine and a 2010 "Super Lawyer" in the New York Metro Region. The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.



Bar and Court Admissions

New Jersey

New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York


Western New England College School of Law, JD, 1994

Washington University, BA, 1991 


American Bar Association; Litigation Section

Defense Research Institute

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