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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, of which $6M was punitive damages. In the coverage action, the Cook County Circuit Judge held that the carrier had no duty to defend, which means no duty to indemnify the Insured and no statutory bad faith under Section 155 of the Insurance Code. The Insured incurred more than $1.3M in defense costs, all paid by the insurer, now subject to reimbursement. As an aside, the Insured was represented in the underlying business tort suit by its personal counsel who was later sued for malpractice by the Insured for, among other things, objecting to the insurer’s motion for hearing on summary judgment, arguing that if the Insured knew there might be no coverage it would not have tried the underlying case to verdict and without fully understanding that it could be on the hook to reimburse the carrier for the cost of the defense provided.

May 2022