P&W Obtains Dismissal of Legal Malpractice Claims Arising from Excess-Judgment Case

Posted by Bradford S. Purcell | Nov 08, 2016 | 0Comments

Tom Underwood secured the dismissal of legal malpractice claims brought by an insurance company against one of the attorneys it had retained to defend a suit arising from an auto accident. The insurer had appointed an attorney to defend its named insured but had to retain separate counsel for the driver because of a conflict of interest. The insurer alleged that the attorneys' failure to notify it of a policy-limits demand had prevented it from settling the case before trial, and that after entry of an excess judgment, the named insured had assigned his rights against the insurer to the underlying plaintiff. The insurer settled the plaintiff's assigned claims of bad faith and then sued the defense attorneys. The Cook County court agreed with P&W that the actions of the driver's “conflicts counsel” did not proximately cause the insurer's damages because only the named insured, and not the driver, had assigned any rights against the insurer to the plaintiff.

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