Hepler Broom, LLC

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 […]

Illinois District Court Applies Bristol-Myers to Class Actions as well as Mass Tort Cases

February 20, 2018

In a recent decision, the Northern District of Illinois held the U.S. Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017) applied to jurisdiction determinations in class actions. In so holding, the court in DeBernardis v. NBTY, Inc. No. 1:17-cv-06125 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 18, 2018) placed […]

What’s in a Name? Missouri’s Constitutional Prohibition Against Negligence-Based Claims Arising out of Alleged Sexual Misconduct of Clergy: Who Exactly Qualifies as Clergy?

February 13, 2018

In the seminal case outlining the contours of permissible civil liability against religious organizations, the Missouri Supreme Court in Gibson v. Brewer made clear that civil courts must not be in the business of analyzing or interpreting religious doctrine and administration. Any such “excessive entanglement” between church and state has the effect of inhibiting religion, […]

Read Your Insurance Policy Carefully: Insured Bound to Terms of Policy Despite Alleged Representations by Insurer’s Agent

February 6, 2018

As we have learned in recent days, we all need to be careful with the things we say, for sometimes those things we say can be used against us. But the life lessons do not end there. We also need to read things carefully, for the things we fail to read can be used against […]

Missouri Appellate Court Finds Ambiguity in Anti-Stacking Provision, Allows Stacking of Limits of Liability in Four Separate Auto Liability Policies

February 1, 2018

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, issued an opinion on Jan. 31, 2018, in Shelter Mutual Insurance Company v. Lester that allowed stacking of full auto liability coverage policy limits on four separate policies. The underlying matter involved bodily injury claims brought by multiple claimants. Each of the auto insurer’s liability policies had applicable […]

Illinois Appellate Court Rejects Request to Re-Write Insurer’s Additional Insured Coverage to Conform with Construction Agreement

January 30, 2018

It is commonplace in construction projects for a contractor to require its subcontractors to purchase liability insurance that protects against certain claims and that includes the contractor as an additional insured. The problem is that many times the policy that the subcontractor purchases does not on its face meet the requirements set forth in the […]

Be Careful What You Say: Insurer Estopped from Asserting Coverage Defenses Based on Agent’s Representations

January 16, 2018

We all say things we regret. But sometimes, those things we say can be used against us. The same goes for insurance companies. So held the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, in its recent unpublished decision in Country Preferred Ins. Co. v. Badri-Monaghan, 2017 IL App (2d) 170134-U. The court started the year with a […]