Category archive: Illinois

Allstate Faces Difficult Illinois Discovery Rulings

Summary: Allstate insured Valentine and Christina Zagorski’s home suffered a fire loss. Allstate’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) assisted with the investigation of what was ultimately concluded to be an arson fire. Allstate’s retained counsel took an Examination Under Oath (EUO), and otherwise assisted with the claims handling before the claim was denied. After the denial,…

Against Public Policy But Not Vexatious and Unreasonable

Summary: The Hadarys were involved in an automobile accident with Carlos Velez, a rental car driver. Both the Hadarys and Velez had automobile insurance at the time of the accident. Velez declined to purchase the supplemental liability insurance offered by Hertz at the time of the rental, and his insurance policy limit was too low…

Tall Task to Prove Excess Insurer Breached its Duties to Insured

Summary: Kevin Fox won a $15.5 million jury verdict (including $6.2 million in punitive damages) against Will County detectives. After the verdict, the parties agreed to a settlement in which Fox was assigned any claims the detectives had against the county’s insurance companies. Fox filed this suit seeking a declaratory judgment that AAIC, the insurer,…

Insurer Found to Be Reasonable in Disclaiming Coverage Even Though Illinois Appeals Court Found Coverage for UIM Benefits

Summary: Automobile insurer brought a declaratory judgment action against insureds and automobile rental company seeking to disclaim liability for underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits arising out of a collision between the insureds’ vehicle and a rental vehicle. Insureds filed counterclaims for breach of insurance policy and vexatious refusal to pay and the rental company filed counterclaims…

No Penalty for Wrong Coverage Decisions

Summary:  The Trust owned a building in Galena, Illinois which was leased to an architect and artist. When the Trust sold the real estate, it removed and destroyed artwork and other personal items without the artist’s permission. He filed suit in federal court under multiple theories for wrongfully evicting him without proper notice and the…

A $1.275 Million Ouch? What Can Happen When an Omnibus Insured Slips Through the Fingers of Allstate’s Good Hands

Summary: Hamiti borrowed Skenderi’s truck and hit motorcyclist Kirk resulting in a leg amputation. Allstate, Skenderi’s insurer, failed to obtain a release for Hamiti when it settled on behalf of Skenderi for Allstate’s policy limits. The Appellate Court in Illinois reversed and remanded the trial court’s award of partial summary judgment in favor of Allstate….

Aggressive Discovery Tactics Support Fraud Claim Against Property Insurer

Summary:  Insured owners of a shopping mall brought a fraud claim against CGL Insurer after the insurer denied coverage and filed a declaratory judgment suit in which they aggressively went after the insured. General Ins. Co. of America v. Clark Mall Corp.,738 Fed. Supp.2d 864 (N.D. IL 2010) General Ins. Co. of America (“GICA”) filed…

Court Takes Insurer’s Side When Coverage Defense is Bona Fide

West Bend Mut. Ins. v. Norton, 940 N.E.2d 1176 (Ill. App. 3 Dist. 2010) An Illinois Appellate Court recently upheld summary judgment in favor of an insurer on the insured’s vexatious refusal to settle claim.  The insured driver, Wanda Norton, was involved in a vehicle collision with Karyn Patterson.  Norton was insured by West Bend…

Is Good Faith Only A Phone Call Away?: The Seventh Circuit Discusses an Insurer’s Duty to the Insured When There Is a “Non-Trivial” Probability of an Excess Judgment

Summary: The Seventh Circuit held an insurer, who controlled the defense of a lawsuit, had a duty of good faith to notify its insured of the “non-trivial probability” of a judgment in excess of the policy limit. R.G. Wegman Construction v Admiral Insurance Imagine this scenario.  During his deposition plaintiff testifies extensively regarding a back…

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