The Business Litigation Blog

Archive for tag: insurance coverage

Insurance company loses declaratory judgment action and owes a duty to defend

Every lawyer who claims to have experience with insurance coverage litigation knows that there is a difference between the duty to defend and the duty to indemnify.  If the complaint filed against the insured sets forth a covered claim, the insurance company will owe a duty to defend (paying an attorney and the costs of the litigation) even if the facts ultimately show that there is no duty to indemnify (pay a settlement or a judgment if the insured loses the case).  A recent case from the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, American Access Casualty Co v. Novit, et al, recently explained these concepts in a well-reasoned opinion, but might be more interesting for a point of civil procedure.  The insurance company presented two reasons why it did not owe a defense.  The trial court disagreed...

Chicago Porch Collapse Case Finally Comes to Close

It has been ten years since a porch collapse in Lincoln Park caused 13 deaths and 50 injuries. However, litigation has only just now come to a close. The issue that was finally decided upon was whether the accident should be considered (for insurance purposes) one single event or multiple events. Those appealing hoped to increase the judgment from $16.6 million collectively by raising individual policies from $1 million to $2 million. Earlier this year the state appeals court ruled that the cases should be consolidated and treated as a single event. The owner of the building was liable for $600,000 while an insurance provider paid the bulk of the settlement ($16 million). In addition, there were hefty fines for both the building owner and the contractor who built the porch, which according to an architect would ha...

 
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