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ERIC W. 
MOCH

Partner

emoch@heplerbroom.com

312-205-7712

Chicago, IL

 

Areas of Practice

  • Personal injury defense
  • Defense of municipalities and professionals
  • Insurance litigation with a special emphasis on first and third party coverage
  • Contractual indemnity
  • Bad faith defense and insurance fraud, including organized activity, staged and caused losses and medical fraud.

Education

  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D., 1997
  • University of Dayton, B.A., 1994

Admissions

  • Illinois Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Practice Description


Eric W. Moch focuses his practice in the area of insurance law, including:

  • Personal injury defense
  • Defense of municipalities and professionals
  • Insurance litigation with a special emphasis on first and third party coverage
  • Contractual indemnity
  • Bad faith defense and insurance fraud, including organized activity, staged and caused losses and medical fraud.

Mr. Moch counsels and represents national insurers, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, attorneys and individuals in a variety of matters and litigated disputes. He has extensive civil litigation experience in Illinois state and federal courts, including in excess of 30 jury verdicts and several published appeals.

Mr. Moch has also held numerous claims roles in the insurance industry, including the evaluation of legal malpractice claims and the investigation of fraudulent claims across a wide range of insurance lines.

Professional Association and Involvement


  • National Board of Directors for National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators (NSPII)
  • President and newsletter editor for the Illinois chapter of NSPII
  • Board of Directors of Family Counseling Service of AuroraI

 Awards/Distinctions


  • Illinois Leading Lawyer (2017)

 Appellate Arguments


Supreme Court of Illinois. Argued before the Illinois Supreme Court on March 15, 2017. Represented Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha Corporation, and the Eta Nu chapter at Northern Illinois University in Bogenberger v. Pi Kappa Alpha, et. al., Docket Nos. 120951,120967 & 120986. Case arose from the alcohol-related death of a student during a social event at the Eta Nu chapter house in November 2012. At issue in the case is the state of social host liability law in Illinois, as well as the scope of the Hazing Act. Video of the argument can be viewed here. (Moch’s argument seeking affirmation of the dismissal with prejudice of the fraternity and corporation begins at the 40:00 mark of the video.)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Argued before a three-justice panel of the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit on January 11, 2017. Represented Church Mutual Insurance Company in Olivet Baptist Church v Church Mutual Insurance Co.,16-1689, a breach of contract and statutory bad faith case. Won summary judgment for Church Mutual on all counts, and appellate court affirmed summary judgment on January 13, 2017, just two days after argument. Audio of the argument can be heard here. (Moch’s argument seeking affirmation of the summary judgment begins at the 10:00 mark of the recording.)

Representative Cases


Jury Verdicts: Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois

Hilario-Sotero v Wozniak, 15 L 2910 (jury trial, 2017)
Fox, et. al. v. Berryman, 14 M1 300835 (jury trial, 2016)

Solo trial attorney in defense of bodily injury cases in which plaintiffs alleged permanent neck and back injuries and sought six-figure jury verdicts in excess of applicable policy limits. Both cases involved suspicious chiropractic and diagnostic care which in some instances was never provided, despite being billed. Jury returned verdicts in favor of plaintiffs in each case but awarded just a fraction of medical bills; both verdicts were well below settlement authority.

State Farm v. Johnson and Nichols, 14 CH 13543 (bench trial, 2016). Solo trial attorney in chancery declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that State Farm owed no coverage in an uninsured motorist claim because the insured claimants breached the Concealment or Fraud provision of the applicable policy by lying about material facts. The Court entered judgment in favor of State Farm on all counts.

Ponce v. Schnell, 09 L 015581 (Jury trial in 2012)
Avila v. Zubia, 09 L 6076 (Jury trial in 2012)
Medina v Wenc, 09 L 5046 (Jury trial in 2013)

Solo trial attorney in the defense of three bodily injury cases in which each plaintiff alleged significant permanent injuries and sought six-figure jury verdicts well in excess of applicable policy limits. Each case involved suspicious medical care, including multiple epidural injections to spinal discs. Negligence was admitted in all three cases and in each case the plaintiff demanded full policy limits in settlement of the case. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in each case but awarded just a fraction of medical bills; all three verdicts were well below policy limits.

Watt v. State Farm, 04 L 3377 (Jury trial in 2007). Solo trial attorney in defense of insurer in a breach of contract and statutory bad faith lawsuit arising from the denial of a fire claim on the basis of fraud and intentional acts policy defenses. Plaintiff sought half a million dollars in damages; the jury returned a verdict in favor of State Farm.

Recent Speaking Engagements


“Updates & Trends: Medical Fraud, Bad Faith and Legal Decisions,” Illinois chapter, International Association of Special Investigations Units (Woodridge IL, March 2017).

Moderator - Claims Managers Roundtable, National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators national seminar (Bloomingdale IL, 2016).

Panelist - Medical Fraud Roundtable, 2nd Annual National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators Midwest Medical Fraud Symposium (Indianapolis IN, 2016).

“Fire Investigation for the Insurance Professional: SIU Perspectives,” International Association of Arson Investigators Joint Training Seminar (Orland Park IL, 2016).

Panelist on legal roundtables, National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators national seminars. Louisville, Kentucky, November, 2015 and St. Louis, Missouri, 2014.

Faculty member and speaker, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel Deposition Academy. Naperville, Illinois, October, 2015. 

Speaker, “The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Media in Candidate Screening”, Network of Nonprofit Search Consultants annual conference. Chicago, Illinois, October, 2014.

Speaker, “Defending the Investigation in Civil Litigation: Do’s and Don’ts for Investigators”, Sixth Annual Fire & Arson Investigation Conference, Will, Cook and Grundy County Fire Investigation Task Force. Joliet, Illinois, March 2014. 

Seminar host and speaker, “Making Sure the Law Doesn’t Derail the Mission: Legal Compliance and Liability for Not-for-Profit Organizations”, Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, December, 2012

Speaker, “Bad Faith Trends and Strategies”, NSPII Advanced Insurance Fraud Seminar. Downers Grove, Illinois, March, 2012.

Summary Dismissals: Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois


Bogenberger v. Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity, et. al., 13 L 1616. Obtained dismissal of plaintiff’s Complaint with prejudice on behalf of the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity in a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit arising from the death of a college student at Northern Illinois University in 2012. The case is on appeal.

Piser v. State Farm, 08 L 9784. Obtained dismissal of plaintiff’s Complaint with prejudice in a breach of contract and statutory bad faith lawsuit arising from the denial of a claim on the basis of the insured’s failure to cooperate in the investigation of a stolen custom motorcycle claim. The dismissal was affirmed on appeal (405 Ill.App.3d 341(2010)).

Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Lukacs, 11 CH 25269. Obtained summary judgment in favor of insurer in a declaratory judgment action. Plaintiff alleged significant permanent injuries and almost a million dollars in damages as a result of being struck by an underinsured motorist while working as a delivery driver. Argued successfully that the claimant did not satisfy the definition of an insured under the underinsured motorist provision of the applicable policy. The summary judgment was affirmed on appeal (2013 IL App (1st) 130664-U (2103)).

Vastis v. State Farm, 11 M1 123784. Obtained summary judgment in favor of insurer in a breach of contract and statutory bad faith lawsuit arising from the denial of a stolen vehicle claim on the basis of fraud and intentional acts policy defenses. Plaintiff did not appeal the dismissal.

Brewer v. City of Harvey, 06 L 50892. Obtained summary judgment on behalf of the City of Harvey in a multiple-count civil rights lawsuit in which plaintiffs alleged that The City committed an unconstitutional taking of their land during the enforcement of public nuisance ordinances. The summary judgment was affirmed on appeal (236 Ill.2d 502 (2010)).