News: In The Courtroom
May, 2019, Mark Ruda and Paul King secured a dismissal of Plaintiff’s Appeal before the First District Appellate Court of Illinois. The underlying case was dismissed with prejudice in March, 2018 when the Judge held that Plaintiff’s claim was barred by the one-year contractual limitation period.
Mark Ruda achieved a defense result in a tort case. The verdict was $155,000 with $115,000 in bills (rotator cuff surgery), the settlement demand was $290,000 and$360,000 was asked of the jury.
April, 2019, Pete Schoonmaker and Matt Cook secured a defense judgment in a first party claim arising from an alleged lightning strike to an in-ground pool. The Court ruled that the damage to the pool was not the result of a lightning strike but, rather, improper maintenance and resulting damage caused by earth movement.
Pete Schoonmaker and Paul King obtained judgment on behalf of a public library accused of violating plaintiff’s First Amendment and Civil Rights after being arrested shortly after leaving a public library.
Dan Woods achieved a not guilty verdict for an insurance company in a first-party claim involving claimed damages of over $350,000. The Plaintiff homeowner and her experts contended her 4,000 square foot luxury lake house had been severely damaged by high winds and rain, causing damage to the cedar shake roof, natural pine wood siding, and windows and frames on all sides, leading to major interior damage as well. Dan argued the actual storm damage was modest, and that the majority of the claimed damages were either preexisting or the result of wear and tear and improper maintenance, which were not covered by the policy of insurance.
Paul Festenstein obtained a verdict for less than an amount of an arbitration award in a low impact collision case. The key to the victory was Paul’s use of a low impact expert who testified that the speed transferred at impact was less than 3.9 miles per hour.
December, 2018, Mark Ruda achieved a defense result in a tort case when Plaintiff non-suited at trial because his treating doctor (pain management specialist) was barred from testifying and ordered to pay legal fees of $4,300 because of improper conduct related to his discovery deposition.
August, 2018, Scott Gillman achieved judgment on the pleadings in Kankakee County, Illinois for an insurance company client in a declaratory judgment action in which the Court ruled that the insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify an insured in an underlying personal injury action on his landlord policy because both the “workers compensation insurance” and “employment” exclusions applied where the underlying plaintiff alleged that the insured hired him to perform demolition at one of the insured’s rental premises.
June, 2018, Scott Gillman had summary judgment granted in McHenry County for an insurance company client in a declaratory judgment action in which the Court ruled that the insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify a purported additional insured that relied only on an improperly-issued Certificate of Insurance as support that it was an additional insured on a contractor’s policy.
May, 2018, Scott Gillman achieved judgment on the pleadings in Whiteside County, Illinois for an insurer in a declaratory judgment action in which the Court ruled that the insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify an insured insofar as the insured’s alleged act of committing a battery upon another did not constitute an “occurrence”, as defined by the insurance policy.
August, 2016, Mark Ruda had summary judgment in favor of Allstate Insurance Company affirmed on appeal by the First District Appellate Court which confirmed that, in an Uninsured Motorist claim, the insured breached her policy of insurance by failing to execute a HIPAA authorization. The Court ruled that the Rules of the American Arbitration Association do not prohibit compliance with terms of the insurance policy.
Matthew was named to the Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s Emerging Lawyers for the category of Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law.
July, 2014, Scott Gillman achieved dismissal with prejudice in Lake County, IL of subrogation action in which he argued that plaintiff insurance company did not exercise diligence in service of defendant HVAC contractor.
August, 2014, Guy Conti achieved summary judgment in Cook County, IL for the defendant-insurance carrier who was sued after denying a claim based on the vandalism and intentional act exclusion.
September, 2014, Paul Festenstein achieved a favorable settlement (representing less than 1% of the underlying judgment in a putative class action) in a TCPA “conversion” claim, (“Fax Blast” suit) after presenting his expert testimony on the truly di minimus nature of the claimed damages.
Mark Ruda recently tried a number of cases to successful conclusions:
Lapore v. CTA and Mustafa, where, on a re-trial of a case in which the Plaintiff was awarded $260,000, Mr. Ruda was able to hold the verdict against a motorist down to $47,000, which was only $1,000 above what he had offered to settle the case before trial.
Valdez v. Gerfinkle, where Mr. Ruda achieved a not guilty in favor of a motorist alleged to have struck a motorist in a cross-walk.
Tolliver v. Allstate Insurance, where Mr. Ruda achieved a not guilty in favor of an insurer alleged to have engaged in bad faith insurance practices.
Thompson v. Bajramovksi, where plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their case during the cross examination of one of the plaintiffs.
Davis v. Bambulas, where Mr. Ruda achieved a not guilty in favor of a motorist alleged to have been involved in a rear-end collision with the plaintiff.
Guy Conti had summary judgment in favor of Allstate Insurance affirmed on appeal by the First District Appellate Court which upheld the suit limitation period in a homeowner’s policy with respect to a mortgagee claim following a fire.
November, 2014, Scott Gillman achieved summary judgment in Cook County, IL for a client’s snow management business accused of negligent salt spreading in a case involving the slip and fall of a construction worker at an active construction site.
December, 2014, Guy Conti achieved a dismissal with prejudice in Cook County, IL of a case filed against the officer of a fraternity accused of negligence in the death of a member of the fraternity.
Guy Conti achieved summary judgment in Cook County, IL for the defendant-insurance carrier who was sued after denying a claim based on the vandalism and intentional act exclusion.
News: In The Legal Community
February, 2017, Matthew Cook was named to Super Lawyers’ 2017 Illinois Rising Stars List for Insurance Coverage.
September, 2016, Paul Festenstein presented “Determining The Number Of Occurrences: Current Trends” at the Midwest Regional Meeting of PLRB in St. Louis, MO.
November, 2016, Paul Festenstein presented “Determining The Number Of Occurrences: Current Trends” at the Eastern Regional Meeting of PLRB in Richmond, VA.
January, 2014, Guy Conti presented “Identifying, Investigating and Litigating Suspicious Claims” to the Illinois Chapter of CLM in Schaumburg, IL.
February, 2014, Scott Gillman presented “Identifying Medical Provider Fraud” to NAMIC’s National Seminar in St. Augustine, FL.
May, 2014, Guy Conti presented “Litigation 102, Pleadings and Motions” to the Illinois Chapter of CLM in Schaumburg, IL.
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