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Appellate Court Upholds Statute of Limitations Ruling

Anthony Tunney and Robert Elworth recently secured an appellate affirmation of their underlying MSJ win on statute of limitations (SOL) grounds.

Tunney and Elworth defended an insurance broker against allegations of professional negligence and breach of contract arising out of plaintiff’s uninsured losses from a 2011 fire. Plaintiff filed suit in 2013, alleging the broker failed to procure sufficient business personal property coverage for its facility in Kankakee. Tunney and Elworth argued that the two-year insurance producer statute of limitations set forth in 735 ILCS 5/13-214.4 governed. Coupled with the admissions they secured from the plaintiff (i.e. that plaintiff received a copy of the policy with the allegedly sub-par BPP limits in July 2010), they argued that the two-year SOL on any cause of action expired in 2012—before the suit was filed. The judge agreed and granted summary judgement.

The plaintiff-insured appealed to the Third District, who affirmed the original ruling. The court held that the plaintiff was charged with the knowledge of the contents of his policy for SOL purposes (including the allegedly insufficient business personal property limits) as of the date he admittedly received that policy in 2010. Because plaintiff failed to bring any cause of action within two years of his 2010 receipt of the policy, the Third District held that all claims were time-barred.

The ruling was reported on by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. The full decision is available here