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Pretzel & Stouffer is at the forefront of insurance coverage law. Our respected attorneys have counseled clients on a wide range of insurance coverage issues, and we are one of the most active coverage firms in the state and federal courts of Illinois and elsewhere.

We represent insurers, excess insurers and reinsurers related to many types of insurance policies including commercial general liability, errors and omissions, employment practices liability, automobile, directors and officers, toxic tort, business interruption, cyber risks and data security, worker compensation and environmental, among others. We assist our clients by providing clear and concise insurance coverage opinions, and we pursue and defend litigation if that becomes necessary.

We have also successfully defended industry clients with challenging regulatory matters involving the Illinois Department of Insurance, as well as complex, multi-state matters with upwards of $50 million at stake.

Additionally, our clients frequently engage us to draft policy language and they regularly seek counsel from us regarding risk control and policy exposure. We also specialize and have experience with insurance recovery in high-value, first-party property and liability claims.

For each matter, we deploy a methodical, pre-litigation analysis and partner with our clients to develop a case management strategy to secure the most favorable disposition whether it be through informal settlement, arbitration, mediation or litigation.

Our attorneys are among the most creative thinkers and often set precedent with novel arguments that create favorable law for the industry. We partner with our clients’ insureds to shift risk by target tendering and examining all possible avenues toward recovering proceeds through contribution and allocation.

Over the years, we have represented many different industries on insurance matters, including Agribusiness; Aviation; Ambulatory Services; Builders’ Risk; Construction; Financial Institutions; Franchisor/Franchisee; Green Energy; Jewelers; Legal Services; Life; Maritime, Admiralty and Transportation; Medical Negligence and Healthcare; Food Service Industry; and Real Estate.

We are known to be on the cutting edge of insurance coverage law. It is with this prominence and experience that we provide our clients with unparalleled service.

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Related News & Results

Robert Chemers and Dave Larson won in the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, when the Court affirmed the summary judgment entered in Sangamon County

Robert Chemers and Dave Larson won in the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, when the Court affirmed the summary judgment entered in Sangamon County for their insurer client. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment that our insurer client did not have a duty to defend the insured architecture firm for no less than 23 pending ...

May 2024

Victory for Trustee In Litigation Over Asset Distribution from Multi-Million Dollar Trust

Jim Sipchen, John Scheid, Matt Tibble, and Kelly Franklin recently secured a victory in the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County on behalf of a trustee of a multi-million-dollar trust in a dispute involving distributions made to the trust beneficiaries. A beneficiary had challenged the trustee’s distributions claiming that he was underpaid, ...

February 2024

Robert Chemers and David Larson won an affirmance in the Appellate Court, First District.

Robert Chemers and David Larson won an affirmance in the Appellate Court, First District, of the summary judgment entered by the circuit court for their insurer client in a coverage dispute with a plaintiff insurer over whether the plaintiff insurer’s named insured was an additional insured on the policy issued by our insurer client to ...

November 2023

Robert Chemers and Rich Burgland win a summary judgment for a professional liability insurer

Robert Chemers and Rich Burgland won a summary judgment for a professional liability insurer that it had no duty to defend its insured personal injury attorney who along with his employee, who had been an officer of an existing business, allegedly surreptitiously obtained confidential information and trade secrets from the existing business which they used ...

March 2023

Robert Chemers obtained a judgment for an insurer client in federal court in southern Illinois

Robert Chemers obtained a judgment for an insurer client in federal court in southern Illinois that there is no duty to defend an underlying BIPA class action complaint where the allegations fell within the “Recording & Distribution of Material and Information in Violation of Law” endorsement exclusion which exclusion included a specific reference to the ...

September 2022

Team victory in a challenge motion regarding 735 ILCS 5/2-1303

Robert Chemers led a team including Ed Ruff and John Scheid in a challenge to 735 ILCS 5/2-1303, the amendment to the Code adding pre-judgment interest effective July 1, 2021. The challenge motion was brought in a medical malpractice case pending in Cook County, and on May 27, 2022 the Circuit Court declared the statutory ...

May 2022

Robert Chemers and Dave Larson obtain summary judgment for an insurer client

Robert Chemers and Dave Larson obtained summary judgment for an insurer client against its Insured, which Insured was defended by the carrier through personal counsel under reservation, no settlement occurred, and the Insured tried the underlying business tort case (conversion, detinue, and two tortious interference claims) and lost with an adverse judgment entered for $8.3M, ...

May 2022

COVID-19: Dismissal with Prejudice Obtained on Behalf of Insurance Broker

Richard M. Waris, Brendan J. Nelligan, and Quinn P. Donnelly obtained the dismissal with prejudice of a complaint filed against an insurance broker alleging that the broker was negligent in procuring coverage and negligently misrepresented the scope of the coverage procured, when the insured was denied coverage for economic losses they allegedly sustained as a ...

June 2021

Pretzel & Stouffer shareholders Robert Chemers, Matthew Egan, Edward Ruff, and Richard Waris named as Super Lawyers in Illinois for 2020

  Robert Chemers – Insurance Coverage and Appellate Matt Egan – Civil Litigation, Professional Liability, and Employment Law Ed Ruff – Class Action Mass Torts,  Products Liability, Medical Malpractice, and Business Litigation Richard Waris – Business Litigation and Professional Liability We congratulate Robert, Matt, Ed, and Dick for again being recognized for their outstanding legal ...

March 2020 | Firm News

Significant Victory for Insurers by Pretzel & Stouffer Before Illinois Supreme Court

  In a significant victory for the insurance industry, Pretzel & Stouffer attorneys, Robert Chemers and Jonathan Federman, prevailed today for an insurer in the Supreme Court of Illinois. The court issued its opinion this morning reversing the trial court and the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, and directing the trial court to enter judgment ...

January 2020

Court Grants Summary Judgment for Pretzel Client Over No Duty to Defend or Indemnify

  Pretzel & Stouffer attorneys, Rich Burgland, Robert Chemers, and Paula Villela, obtained a summary judgment for their insurer client that it had no duty to defend or indemnify the insured for various motions for sanctions and attorneys’ fees and the resultant judgment against the insured for more than $1.1 million in fees, costs and ...

January 2020

Bennett Hosts Interactive Webinar Regarding Tort Liability for Drowning

  Shareholder, David Bennett, recently hosted an interactive webinar titled, Tort Liability for Drowning: Wrongful Death, Personal Injury, Defenses.  David taught strategies to defend drowning and swimming injury cases.  His co-faculty member for this 90 minute webinar was plaintiff’s attorney Douglas J. McCarron, partner at The Haggard Law Firm, Corel Gables, Florida.  Access the course ...

November 2019 | Firm News

Wisconsin Motion for Judgment Victory Against Pro Se Plaintiff

Robert Chemers and Jonathan Federman, recently obtained a summary judgment in a 39-page Order for an Illinois professional liability insurer in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. The pro se plaintiff filed a direct action suit against the insurer and several attorneys and law firms. The Court held, among other things, that the insurer did not insure any ...

October 2019

Robert Chemers and Scott Howie Secure Appellate Dismissal

Pretzel & Stouffer partners, Robert Chemers and Scott Howie, succeeded in having an adversary’s appeal dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction in the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District. In a declaratory judgment action, the circuit court entered judgment for the firm’s client, an insurer, holding that it had no duty to defend its insured ...

September 2019

Appellate Victory Secured for Insurance Company

Pretzel & Stouffer attorneys Richard Waris, Jim Sipchen, Quinn Donnelly, and Scott Howie obtained an affirmance in the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, of the dismissal of an action against several defendants, including an insurance company and another law firm. The appeal concerned the alleged settlement of a previous tort action during the trial of ...

July 2019

Summary Judgment Victory for Insurance Carrier

Robert Chemers, Rich Burgland, and Paula Villela, recently secured summary judgment for their client, a liability insurance carrier, which was found to have no duty to defend a general contractor in an action alleging construction defects and conversion of the claimant’s property. The underlying claimant brought an action against the general contractor for negligence in ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Win in Mississippi Supreme Court

Robert Chemers and Rich Burgland obtained a major victory for their insurer client in the Mississippi Supreme Court. With the help of local counsel, Dorrance Aultman, Robert and Rich successfully defended an appeal by two claimants. The claimants sought coverage for a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of the death of their adult son who ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Win Appeal on Behalf of Insurer

Brendan Nelligan and Dave Larson, recently won an appeal in the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, which affirmed an order of summary judgment in a declaratory judgment action brought on behalf of Pretzel’s client, an insurance company. The appellate court adopted Pretzel’s argument that their insurer client owed no duty to defend or indemnify an ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Two Summary Judgments in One Day for Insurers

Two motions for summary judgment granted for two clients in two counties on one day.  Donald Eckler, Matthew Ligda, and Jonathan Federman obtained summary judgment for two insurers on a claim of bad faith in one case and an alleged violation of the Consumer Fraud Act in another. The bad faith case arose out of ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment for Insurance Producer

Richard Waris, Brendan Nelligan, and Matthew Ligda, successfully defended an insurance producer against a claim for negligent procurement of insurance brought in federal court by a minor-league hockey player who lost an eye during a game. In 2014, the injured player sued the league and obtained an $800,000 judgment. Thereafter, the player brought a declaratory ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment for Insurer

David Bennett and Rich Burgland recently obtained summary judgment in favor of their insurer client. The court found that their client had no duty to defend an underlying lawsuit seeking damage to residential apartment units from the insured’s allegedly faulty roof work. The court agreed with Dave’s and Rich’s arguments that both counts against the ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Submit Amicus Brief in Support of Insurance Producers

Following the submission of an amicus brief prepared by Pretzel & Stouffer partners, Richard Waris, Matthew Egan, and Brendan Nelligan, on behalf of the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois, the Illinois Supreme Court recently entered a very important victory for insurance producers and insurers in American Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Krop, 2018 IL 122556. ...

July 2019 | Firm News

Robert Chemers Authors Chapter of IICLE on Insurance Coverage for Environmental Claims

Pretzel & Stouffer partner, Robert Chemers, is once again the author of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education – (IICLE) chapter on Insurance Coverage for Environmental Claims in the 2019 Edition of Environmental Law in Corporate and Real Estate Transactions. The chapter addresses the fundamentals of environmental coverage as well as policy defenses, policy ...

July 2019 | Firm News

Seventh Circuit Reversal in favor of insurance carrier

Robert Marc Chemers won a significant appeal in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 7th Circuit held that the insured’s 21-month delay in notifying his carrier of the accident was “inexcusable.” State Auto Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Brumit Serv’s, Inc., 877 F.3d 355 (7th Cir. 2017). The insured, an owner of a ...

January 2018 | Firm News

Spoliation Claim Against Insurer Dismissed Under Statue of Limitations

Richard Waris, Brendan Nelligan, and Donald Patrick Eckler recently secured a significant victory for an insurance client that was directly sued for spoliation and, in the process, made new law regarding the applicable statute of limitations for such claims. The underlying dispute arose out of an automobile accident in which the client’s insured is alleged to have caused ...

February 2016 | Firm News