Our Subrogation Practice Group is results-directed and competitively-priced. The Practice Group attorneys have extensive legal experience and technical knowledge. We are committed to the early and comprehensive development of all facts and circumstantial information. We recognize that a prompt and thorough investigation is essential to a recovery. Our emphasis is to expend the appropriate effort and costs, where reasonable and cost-effective, at the earliest possible time, to maximize and expedite recoveries.
Our Subrogation Practice Group offers options to our clients with respect to fees and alternative billing programs. We are flexible and work to understand each client’s need in terms of their procedures, recovery expectations and handling requirements. It is our practice and experience to tailor a subrogation program that is right for each client.
We offer prompt and on-site attorney involvement in cause and origin investigations. With technical backgrounds and training, our attorneys have the ability to comprehend complex causation issues and, with that understanding, fashion meaningful theories of recovery, particularly when it comes to dealing with experts and their opinions. We pride ourselves in being able to locate the right expert for each particular situation. Some significant matters where the Subrogation Practice Group has been involved include:
- Obtained a recovery in excess of $1 million against a bank after the theft of the insured’s jewelry in a bank safe deposit box. Our team appealed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Bank, based upon a purported exculpatory provision in the safe deposit agreement. Our team refused to accept the trial court’s decision and won a decision on appeal for our client. The appellate court overturned the grant of judgment to the Bank and granted judgment to our client. The Bank appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court, arguing that the contract exculpated the Bank from all liability for loss of or damage to contents of box. The Supreme Court agreed with our position and affirmed judgment in our client’s favor. The decision remains a seminal case for subrogation cases involving safe deposits;
- Recovered a plumbing contractor’s policy limits ($1 million) during mediation and within one year of filing suit, after all attempts at pre-suit resolution were rejected by the contractor’s liability insurer. Our team welcomed a short, yet intensive, discovery schedule, wherein our attorneys were able to convince the Court to compel production of the opposing attorney’s reports because those reports were provided to the defendant’s testifying expert. The case was settled at mediation shortly after the Court’s order to compel, but before the reports were actually produced;
- Obtained a $3 million recovery on behalf of our client, which represented the defendant/roofing contractor’s primary and excess liability policy limits. A recovery was achieved because our team refused to accept a city official’s decision to tear down a fire scene before completion of the scene exam. Within hours of the assignment, our attorneys successfully stopped efforts to spoliate the scene, and coordinated a thorough examination of the scene with notice to all interested parties. With the utilization of private and public investigators our team was able to establish the origin and cause of the fire and settle the case shortly after litigation ensued;
- Recovered $1.9 million for our client against the distributor of a Chinese manufactured Christmas tree light. The case settled after two and a half weeks of a jury trial, in which we completed presentment of our case in chief. The settlement was significant because there were no witnesses to the fire and the Christmas light was completely consumed in the fire. On the eve of trial, the distributor (and its liability insurer) rejected all settlement overtures and were adamant that its settlement authority would never exceed $0. Settlement was, nevertheless, achieved after our team elicited testimony from the City Fire Marshal that the Christmas light started the fire and after the Court granted our team’s motion in limine to bar the distributor’s spoliation of evidence defense;
- Our subrogation team, obtained a recovery in excess of $1.4 million arising from a sprinkler pipe break in a Chicago high rise condominium. Settlement was reached after commencement of a jury trial and after the defendant refused to make any settlement offer at mediation. Our subrogation team was able to bar the defendant’s liability expert and a significant portion of the defendant’s damages expert from testifying;
- Our subrogation team was able to recover $950,000 ($50,000 less than the defendant’s $1,000,000 liability policy) against a negligent sub-contractor. Settlement was achieved prior to commencement of litigation. The settlement was significant because the insured and the defendant had entered into an AIA form contract, which included a waiver of subrogation provision, fully enforceable under Illinois law. By exerting increasing pressure upon the defendant’s attorney and shifting focus upon the issue of damages, our team was able to avoid assertion of the AIA contract’s waiver of subrogation;
- Our subrogation team obtained a jury verdict, after a week-long trial, against a contractor for negligently discarding smoking materials, which resulted in a fire. Our team was able to establish the cause of the fire and the defendant’s liability despite the absence of any physical evidence of a smoking material at the scene and the defendant’s adamant denial of smoking in the insured’s home; and,
- Dealt with legal and political complications to effect an early recovery after a major underground tunnel flood.