Hepler Broom, LLC

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 […]

Insurer Seeks Rescission Due to Misrepresentation in an Application for Insurance – Court Rules that an Insurer is Required to not only Ask Questions but also to Investigate Answers

December 21, 2017

Background Virtually all property policies provide an insurer with the right to rescind coverage when there’s evidence that the insured intentionally concealed or misrepresented material facts in their application for insurance. For a misrepresentation to be deemed material, it must have been an untrue fact that would have, if the truth was known, caused the […]

Private Health Insurance Companies Can Seek Double Damages Remedy Under Medicare Secondary Payer Act

December 5, 2017

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit found private health insurers could seek double damages in federal court under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act. In re Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, 685 F.3d 353 (3d Cir. 2012) is believed to be the first appellate case to reach this holding. […]

Madison County Circuit Court Considers Question of Duty, Grants Defendant U.S. Steel Corporation’s Motion for Summary Judgment

November 15, 2017

The Madison County Circuit Court recently granted defendant U.S. Steel Corporation’s Motion for Summary Judgment, in the matter of Taylor v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., a/k/a Buffalo Pumps, Inc., et al., Case No. 15 L 652. This was a wrongful-death case arising from alleged exposure to asbestos on U.S. Steel’s premises. A key question […]

Missouri Courts’ Application of the Pollution Exclusion: A Contrast of Two Very Different Approaches to Insurance Policy Interpretation

November 14, 2017

In its October 31, 2017, opinion in Doe Run Resources Corp. v. American Guarantee & Liability Ins., the Missouri Supreme Court considered whether a general liability policy’s pollution exclusion barred coverage for alleged bodily harm caused by exposure to toxic emissions emanating from Doe Run’s lead production facilities in La Oroya, Peru. The exclusion removed […]