Johnson & Bell Shareholders, David M. Macksey and Garrett L. Boehm, Jr., secured a win in the Illinois Appellate Court First Judicial District for an insurance company and its insured parties in a difficult and complicated UIM insurance coverage case. Johnson & Bell’s clients were at risk for a $2 million award, but as a result of this Rule 23 Order, which affirmed a previously obtained summary judgment order entered by Judge Mikva in the Circuit Court, Johnson & Bell’s clients will pay nothing.
In this dispute, the plaintiff widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against our clients (subsequently amended as a declaratory judgment complaint) alleging that her husband, a long-haul truck driver, was killed in a collision with an uninsured motorist in Illinois. He was an independent truck driver working for a trucking company. The truck driver’s widow sought UIM benefits in the amount of $2M from Johnson & Bell’s clients on the basis that there was no proper or timely rejection of the higher UIM limits as required under either Illinois or Kansas law (where the vehicle was garaged and where the truck driver lived). Johnson & Bell argued that the higher limits had been rejected, in writing and within the proper timeframe.
The case in the trial court was extremely hard fought with multiple motions for summary judgment filed under Illinois and then Kansas law. After Johnson & Bell won in Chancery court, it offered the plaintiff $200,000 to settle the matter. Plaintiff refused the offer, convinced they would win on appeal.
Macksey and Boehm, both members of the Appellate practice at Johnson & Bell, handled the appeal. Glenn F. Fencl, a shareholder in the firm’s Insurance practice, obtained the summary judgment order from Judge Mikva.