Past Cases

I’ve worked on all different types of insurance cases, but throughout my career I’ve maintained a singular passion for getting my clients the claims they deserve.

  • Insured v. Insurer: Market Value Unrelated to Actual Cash Value

  • Settlement Amount: $650,000

  • Policy Limit Obtained: 100%

  • Reason For Settlement: Market Value Unrelated to Actual Cash Value


Full Insured Value of $650,000 Obtained After Initial Adjustment of $200,000

Insurer had already adjusted the loss of insured’s commercial property for $200,000 despite insured value of $650,000 and total loss to property by fire. This was perhaps because the insured had listed the property for sale for $170,000 prior to the loss. Client retained us and we explained to the out-of-state insurer that under Illinois law, market value is not related to actual cash value, actual cash value being replacement cost minus depreciation, if any. We obtained a replacement cost appraisal which, after deducting for depreciation, equaled the insured value. Insurer agreed and paid out full limit without us having to file suit.

  • Innocent Co-Insured v. Insurer: Domestic Violence Precludes Denial

  • Settlement Amount: $325,000

  • Claim Obtained: 90%

  • Reason For Settlement: Claim Denial Precluded When Loss is Part of Pattern of Domestic Violence

Insurer Paid Claim at Mediation After Litigation Began

Client’s spouse burned down family home in an attempt to harm our client. Victim’s spouse sought our representation to file a claim, and then file suit after denial of the claim. We investigated the facts surrounding the claim and discovered a pattern of domestic abuse. We presented in our complaint the facts and law (which precludes denying claims of innocent co-insureds under circumstance as here where loss is part of pattern of domestic violence). Insurer then requested mediation and the parties reached a confidential settlement.

  • Verdict Amount: $191,362

  • Insurance Benefits Obtained: 100%

  • Reason For Verdict: Change of Premium Due, 18 Days Into 31-Day Grace Period, Created a New Grace Period During Which Insured Died, Making Claim Payable

Life Insurance Benefits Obtained Plus Reasonable Attorney Fees For Bad Faith During Litigation

The life insurance company denied the claim after insured missed his premium payment on his term life insurance policy, and the initial 31-day grace period expired without payment. In Illinois, life insurance policies must contain a provision allowing a 30 day, or one-month, grace period within which to make up a missed payment. If the insured dies within the grace period then the policy remains in effect and the benefits are owed, but the overdue premium is deducted from the insurance benefits. Here, 18 days into the grace period the insurer changed the premium due from a monthly premium to a quarterly premium as was allowed under the policy. We argued that the insurer was then required to give a new 31-day grace period to pay the new premium due, (within which grace period the insured did pass away) and could not enforce the original grace period after changing the premium due. The court agreed and held the insurer breached the contract by failing to recognize a new grace period for the new premium due.

The court also held that because the policy was no longer payable by monthly premium after the insurer withdrew its consent to pay by monthly premiums, and because insurer had not given proper notice of policy forfeiture for policies with a quarterly or less frequent payment basis, Illinois law imposed a six-month non-forfeiture period within which the insurer could not declare the policy forfeit after the defaulted premium payment.

Finally, the court awarded us attorney’s fees as damages for the insurer’s vexatious litigation delays. The insurer appealed the award of attorney’s fees and, unfortunately, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the award, holding that attorney’s fees for vexatious litigation conduct cannot be awarded under Illinois statute but only under the federal rules of procedure.

  • Insured v. Insurer: Arson Exclusion Debunked

  • Settlement Amount: $150,000

  • Policy Limit Obtained: 100%

  • Reason For Settlement: Arson Exclusion Debunked


Full Policy Limit Obtained During Mediate While Litigation Was Ongoing

Homeowner had a home fire under circumstances suggesting arson. Insurance company denied on alternate bases that either homeowner started the fire, or that the vandalism coverage was excluded because house was vacant for more than 60 days. We sued insurer for breach of contract and bad faith, and obtained evidence during litigation that insurer’s claim file suggested homeowner had no motive, that neighbor had a motive, and that home was not vacant as a matter of law because insurer knew homeowner was reconstructing house.

  • Innocent Co-Insured v. Insurer: Domestic Violence Precludes Denial

  • Settlement Amount: $240,000

  • Claim Amount Obtained: 100%

  • Reason For Settlement: Domestic Violence Precluded Denial

Full Claim Obtained Prior to Litigation By Presenting Additional Facts at Examination Under Oath

Husband set home on fire in apparent suicide attempt. Insurer investigated claim with eye toward denial for loss caused by intentional act of insured. We presented facts to insurer showing a pattern of domestic abuse that culminated in the setting of the family home on fire. Illinois law precludes denying a claim for a loss that is part of a pattern of domestic violence towards an innocent co-insured. insurer then paid the claim.

  • Insured v. Insurer: Arson Exclusion Debunked

  • Settlement Amount: $300,000

  • Policy Limit Obtained: 100%

  • Reason For Settlement: Replacement Cost Unrelated to Market Value

do public adjusters really help in fire insurance claim calculation

Settled Case Prior To Litigation: Insurance Company Paid Full Replacement Cost

Homeowner was out of state at the time his home was set on fire by unknown party. The insurance company began investigating homeowner, who then reached out to us to represent his interests during the claim and investigation. Facts showed the home had been purchased at sheriff sale after prior owners had been convicted of criminal conduct. We presented theory to insurance company that criminal associates of prior owner may have set fire, not knowing of the change in ownership. Evidence also showed that special investigator for insurance company had been overzealous in investigation by entering locked property without first obtaining owner’s consent, taking mail addressed to homeowner that was at the locked property without obtaining owner consent, and insurance company lawyer then attempted to question owner at Examination Under Oath about contents of mail. Insurer settled after we provided evidence insured was out of state at the time of loss and its investigator’s bad conduct.

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