Johnson & Bell Shareholders, Glenn F. Fencl, William K. McVisk and Genevieve M. LeFevour, received summary judgment in favor of their client in a complex, and hotly contested, breach of contract insurance dispute. By securing summary judgment in this breach of contract case, Johnson & Bell effectively saved its client, a private security company, $1.3 million. The breach of contract allegation arose with regard to the underlying case in which one individual was shot to death and a second individual was rendered a paraplegic in a grocery store’s parking lot. Johnson & Bell’s client was dismissed from the underlying case, having successfully argued that its contract was to only provide security services to protect the store property, not customers in the parking lot from criminal acts of third parties. Ultimately, the remaining parties settled the case for $3.9 million, with $1.3 million of that settlement being paid by the grocery store. Following the settlement, the grocery store sought reimbursement from Johnson & Bell’s client of the $1.3 million it paid for the settlement. The grocery store filed a breach of contract case against Johnson & Bell’s client, alleging that the private security company breached its contractual duties by not procuring insurance with a $2 million per occurrence limit. Johnson & Bell argued that the grocery store was not damaged by the alleged failure to procure $2 million in insurance coverage because the insurer which insured the private security company had not paid anything from its policy covering the security company to settle the case, so the fact that its limits were less than the agreed upon amount had no impact on the amount paid by the grocery store. The court agreed with Johnson & Bell’s argument and granted summary judgment, dismissing all of the grocery store’s arguments to the contrary.
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