Hepler Broom, LLC

Illinois Supreme Court has Opportunity to Clarify Fiduciary Duties Owed by Insurance Producers to Clients

April 18, 2018

It used to be in Illinois that an insurance broker could be sued for breach of fiduciary duty for just about any policy-related misdeed. See, e.g., Faulkner v. Gilmore, 251 Ill.App.3d 34 (3d Dist. 1993) (alleging breach of fiduciary duty for a broker’s failure to advise insureds to terminate their master surety agreement.) The fiduciary-duty […]

Distributor of Electrical Conduit Owes a Duty to Wife of Consumer

April 11, 2018

The Madison County Circuit Court recently held that a distributor has a duty of care/duty to warn a secondary exposure plaintiff in the matter of Iben v. A.W. Chesterton Company, et al.   In reaching this conclusion, the Court denied defendant Graybar Electric Company’s Motion for Summary Judgment. Iben is a wrongful-death claim arising from allegations […]

Illinois Appellate Court Permits Insured to Prove Terms of Missing Policies with Specimen Coverage Forms for the Missing Policy Periods

March 28, 2018

Environmental contamination lawsuits frequently involve polluting activities which took place decades ago – long before the advent of computers and before it was possible for businesses to store information in an electronic format. When these lawsuits arise and a claim is tendered to an insurance carrier for defense and indemnity, the parties often struggle to […]

Updated HSR Merger Notification Thresholds: Threshold Tests for Federal Antitrust Review Kicked in 2.28.18

March 21, 2018

On January 29, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published increased reporting thresholds under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (HSR Act). The new thresholds increase last year’s thresholds by approximately 4%. The revised thresholds are effective for all transactions closing on or after February 28, 2018. The revised thresholds will remain in […]

Self-Serving Pleadings for Additional Insureds

March 14, 2018

In a recent decision, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, considered what should and should not be considered by a trial court when making a determination on a motion to stay a declaratory judgment action on insurance coverage pending resolution of the underlying litigation. Pekin Insurance Company v. Johnson-Downs Construction, Inc., 2017 IL App (3d) […]

Three Things Are Certain: Death, Taxes, and Tax Fraud. Be Prepared for Tax Scammers and Fraudulent Returns

March 8, 2018

Every year, as tax season arrives, new and increasingly diabolic scams to pilfer and misuse taxpayer information surface. In prior years, cyber fraudsters targeted unsuspecting individual taxpayers to trick them into revealing their personal information through direct telephone or email scams.  Major data breaches, such as Equifax, which is now known to have included millions […]

Punitive Damages Demand Alone Likely Insufficient to Trigger Independent Counsel

March 6, 2018

Illinois courts have long made clear that when a conflict of interest exists between an insured and its insurer, the insured is entitled to independent counsel of the insured’s own choosing and at the insurer’s reasonable expense. See Maryland Cas. Co. v. Peppers, 64 Ill.2d 187, 193 (1976). What is less clear, however, is when […]

What Does My Business Need To Know About Compliance With The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule?

March 1, 2018

The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (GIR), which was finalized by USEPA in 2016, is a significant reorganization of the regulations applicable to hazardous waste generators. 81 Fed. Reg. 85732 (Nov. 28, 2016). With the GIR, USEPA moved all of the RCRA generator provisions into one section – 40 C.F.R. Part 262. The GIR also […]

When Independent Insurance Producers are Not-So-Independent: Illinois Appellate Court Rejects Insurer Request for Policy Rescission Due to Producer Conduct

February 27, 2018

Independent insurance producers often are thought to be, well, independent from the insurance companies for which they sell policies. Independent producers typically sell insurance policies for a number of carriers, and often work with intermediaries to sell policies for even more carriers, so that they can offer their policyholder clients the insurance product most suitable […]

Standing in Data-Breach Cases – Risk of Future Injury Remains Unsettled: SCOTUS Skirts Apparent Circuit Conflict

February 20, 2018

Today the U.S. Supreme Court denied a cert petition in a matter aimed at resolving whether a plaintiff who alleges a substantial risk of harm in the future has standing under Article III of the Constitution. A ruling in the case, CareFirst v. Attias, would have had major implications for data-breach litigation and in class […]