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Category Archives: Property

Ethan Clark Joins Property Subrogation Practice

Clark is at the forefront of his peers as his understanding of the changing nature of litigation allows him to be a reliable resource to those within the firm. He is often approached to discuss various legal theories and tasked with identifying ways to counter strategies used by opposing counsel.

The Economic Loss Rule

The Economic Loss Rule is a doctrine that prohibits recovery for an economic loss resulting from a wrongful act or an infringement of a right, when unaccompanied by physical property damage or personal injury. Instead, only parties to the contract or contractual beneficiaries may recover economic losses. An economic loss is a financial loss. The… Read More »

Subrogation Recovery Following a Natural Disaster

When property damage or other injuries occur in the context of an Act of God, an insurer should not conclude that subrogation is not possible due to the Act of God defense. Although the Act of God may be a large contributing factor to a particular injury or damage claim, there is potential for subrogation against a party whose human factor contributed to the damages sustained. In reality, subrogation in the context of an Act of God is not different from subrogation in the context of any property damage or injury claim.

Residential Gas Explosion

The defendant, who was known to do a lot of tinkering around the home and working on his own cars, was planning something and had removed the cap on the gas line of his home. Of particular significance, was the fact that the defendant had sent a message to a person he was communicating with on a local dating website, where he indicated he “smelled propane and had to go see what was going on” and that he “hoped he didn’t blow the place up”. Afterwards, the defendant’s home exploded. The explosion, and subsequent fire, killed the defendant and damaged the insured’s home. The insured’s home was damaged beyond repair and had to be torn down.

Illinois Animal Control Act

Pets have a tendency to make their way into subrogation files. The inevitable question we ask is whether a cause of action to base recovery upon exists. In Illinois, the Illinois Animal Control Act supplements the general common law rule. The owner or keeper of an animal is liable for injuries caused by the animal… Read More »

Running at Large

Many may believe that when a horse, cow, or the like are found running at large on a public road and cause an accident, that the owner is strictly liable. That is not true. The injured party still must prove the owner or “keeper” of the animal was negligent.  In other words, the owner or… Read More »

Subrogating Property Losses and Coinsured Status

Subrogating property losses, within the context of the landlord and tenant relationship, can add layers of complexity outside of the general issues that come with all property claims, such as cause and origin of the loss and actual damages incurred. Before expending costs and time, one issue worth analysis is figuring out exactly who can… Read More »

Exceptions to the Economic Loss Doctrine

The Economic Loss Doctrine can be a roadblock to subrogation. Exploration of exceptions to the doctrine can provide subrogation professionals with tools to navigate their way to recovery. An economic loss refers to a financial loss and damages suffered by a person or entity, which arise from a defect in the qualitative nature of the… Read More »

Navigating the Moorman Doctrine

The Illinois Economic Loss Doctrine can be a roadblock to recovery. However, before you close your file, take a closer look, armed with exceptions that may help you navigate your way to the other side. The Illinois Economic Loss Doctrine sets out to bar recovery in tort for purely contractual losses or frustrated economic expectations… Read More »

Introduction to the Act of God Defense

Perhaps no legal cause of action is more frequently applied or universal than one sounding in negligence. We bring it when another driver damages our vehicles, when our buildings are damaged from faulty construction, and when a medical procedure leaves a patient worse off than before. While some negligence actions may be held to a heightened standard (i.e., professional malpractice, or may be codified to require particular facts), negligence is largely evaluated under the same four elements in any variation: Duty, Breach, Causation, and Damages.