Our Success Record
One Law Firm, Two Areas of Practice
Harris law has successfully litigated and has established itself as a firm dedicated and knowledgeable in the area of fire, flood and other disaster claims adjusting and litigation.
Insurance company agrees to pay $575,000 for a property claim even though owner is accused of arson.
Plaintiff, our client Mr. L was an investor and financial backer in a large piece of property in Chicago. The property was the size of a city block and in the summer exploded in flames and was leveled.
The investigations that followed were extensive as the insurance company sought to deny liability and payment for the damages. The insurance company alleged one of the owners had committed arson and set the fire. The investigation determined and found no less than seven gas containers and other indications that the fire was intentionally set.
The insurance company sought and initially denied all liability as to all interested persons and parties. While there were no allegations of wrong doing against our client Mr. L the insurance company attempted many legal maneuvers to deny payment.
After litigation and motion practice wherein we argued our client was an innocent participant the court ruled in our favor. Thereafter to the clients satisfaction we reached resolution in the sum of $575,000.
Insurance company attempts to deny payment claiming house unoccupied for 30 days – Harris Law argued that was not the law and recovered for the property owner.
Ms. R, owned investment property. During the year, one of her tenants moved out of the property and for several months she was unable to find a suitable tenant. While she was looking for a tenant fire destroyed her property.
Initially she hired a public adjuster to represent her interests. That public adjuster was not properly licensed and was incompetent. He failed to forward documentation and also failed to advise the owner of deadlines to file the papers.
The insurance company seized upon this and other factors and denied the claim. Ms. R was recommended to our firm through another attorney and we went to work examining the facts and developing arguments to contrary the denial of the claim. We developed strategies and proceeded with litigation in federal court.
The Insurance company claimed that its policy would not allow payment if the property was vacant for more than 30 days. We argued this was not the law but rather the law in Illinois set forth a 60 day rule. The court agreed with our argument and our Law Offices to proceed with the case.
This case demonstrates not only the need to be properly educated on vacancy and unoccupied issues but also to make sure you are properly represented. There are many Public Adjusters who simply do not understand how the policy and obligations of an insurance contract work.
Further, some matters in handling a insurance claim are matters which fall in the category of “the practice of law”. Such matters should and must be left to the attorneys not Public Adjusters. Good Public Adjusters have a place and purpose, however, one must know where that begins and ends.
Harris Law is owned and operated by Jason Harris who is not only an attorney but also a Public Adjuster. This background in not only public adjusting but also law led to the successful arguments in this matter before the federal court.
There Harris Law demonstrated the unreasonableness of the insurance company’s denial and in appropriate actions. We demonstrated and proved that the insurance policy clause which the insurance company was seeking to deny the claim violated our laws and statutes and urged the court to disregard the insurance companies position and reliance on this 30 day clause.
As a result of the efforts of Harris Law we achieved a victory for the client and compelled the insurance company to pay the claim which it originally sought to deny delay and not pay.
Harris Law recovers monies from insurance company because the agent failed to get policy of insurance.
Mr. A came to our offices claiming that he had paid his agent but that the agent did not obtain a policy of insurance to cover his fire loss. The agent did not have insurance to cover his negligence.
We filed suit and claimed that the acts of the agent were the acts of the insurance company and his failure to act should be attributed to the insurance company. The insurance company denied such and attempted to the case dismissed arguing the insurance company could not be held liable for the action or inaction of the agent.
The court disagreed and Harris Law was successful at recovering monies on the fire claim for Mr. A.
Agent failed to get proper amount of insurance – Harris Law obtains full amount of fire claim loss from insurance company.
Ms. W went to her agent and requested that her insurance agent come out to her property and evaluate how much insurance she needed for her condominium. The agent visited the property and made recommendations and the client followed those recommendations.
Later in the year the complex was destroyed by fire, Ms. W’s insurance company adjuster wrote up the damages. The damages determined by the insurance company, the company the agent worked for, a major one, found the damages and cost to replace such was much more than the coverage the agent had written on the policy.
Demand was made for the agent and the insurance company to pay all the monies even though Ms. W was “under-insured” because the agent messed up. The insurance company and the agent denied liability and a law suit was filed.
After arbitration and motion practice the court agreed that the acts for the agent in this situation were attributed to that of the insurance company. Thereafter the insurance company and Harris Law resolved and settled the claim to the client satisfaction.
This case demonstrates in limited situations the action or inaction of an agent can be followed up with litigation and made to pay. However, it must be remembered that under our laws we are all assumed to have read and understand our policies of insurance.
Stating that I simply relied on my agent and did not read the policy or understand the coverage will not suffice.
Insurance company denies claim stating a landlord cannot recover against its tenant – Harris Law succeeds although this is the current law.
Ms. S was a property owner who lived in a two story brown stone along with a tenant who lived on the first floor. The first floor tenant had a policy of insurance for liability and rental while our client, Ms. S, was insured with a major insurance company against fire and flood.
The first floor tenant accidentally started the fire with a lit cigarette and the property was destroyed. Ms. S made a claim to her company who paid the policy limits and in doing so it was discovered that such would not cover the large damages and loss from the fire.
Ms. S, with no other choice, sought to recover the additional monies against her tenant by suing him and therefore having his liability insurance kick in. After other law firms turned down the case Harris Law took it on and filed suit.
As expected and as held by a majority of cases in Illinois the insurance company sought to dismiss the case arguing that a tenant cannot be sued by his or her landlord under the theory that monies received for the rent are in essence used to buy insurance.
Therefore if that is true then the landlord and tenant are co insureds. Co-insureds may not sue each other under theories of liability. Harris Law argued while such might be true, there are exceptions to such. Our offices argued that the parties had specifically intended that both policies would cover the loss, that there was an implicate agreement between the land lord and the tenant and that such was an exception to this long standing defense.
The court agreed, denied the motion to dismiss the case and thereafter resolution was reached to the clients satisfaction.
Harris Law handles various situations causing personal injuries – we take on the hard cases not just the easy ones.
$5,800,000 million reached on behalf of injured construction worker. Complex liability, defendant’s claim plaintiff caused his own injury.
Mr. E was a young man who worked as a brick layer for a major construction firm in Chicago. While on the job on scaffolding several stories high, he observed some improper shoring and methods of stabilizing of brick, unstable coping stones and other safety issues relating to the job site. Issues which placed the workers in danger and potential harm.
As a member of the masonry team he brought the issues and the leaning wall to his employer as well as the architects on the project. His observations were ignored and he was ordered to continue working. A day later the wall gave way as predicated and the 450 plus pound copping stones came lose, the wall fell, Mr. E. fell from the scaffolding and the stones fell upon him almost killing him and leaving him partially paralyzed.
Mr. E suffered several major and life threatening injuries that rendered him unable to work and provide for his family. He was rushed to the hospital where he remained in critical care. Following his discharge after months of hospital care and many surgeries he was completely dependent upon his family and others for day to day living and survival.
His ability to move around and conduct day to day activities was in a wheel chair. Liability was denied by the architects, (a major firm whose work is part of the Chicago Skyline) the contractor and the owner of the job site all of whom pointed to the other claiming they were not responsible. These three defendants also claimed the Mr. E was responsible for his own injuries as he was part of the crew that set up the shoring and the method of brick lying.
Defendants aggressively argued this point requiring that the matter be assigned out for trial. Complicating the matter further was the property damage claim which attempted to take up a substantial portion of the insurance policy covering this tragedy. When the wall fell a majority of the building was also destroyed and had to be repaired.
Not only did Harris Law litigate against all three defendants our office was involved in the matters between the Defendants claiming that certain policies of insurance did not apply to cover this accident. We further argued that the owners of the company should be held liable.
This was not only a tragic accident and personal injury case but also a complex one given Defendant’s positions and policies of insurance in question to cover the accident. Further complicating this matter was one of the Defendants (the Employers) claim and defense that Mr. E’s recovery was limited to a worker’s compensation case, which if correct would have limited recovery for our client to thousands only rather than millions.
Rather than accept that position Harris Law litigated and fought to have Mr. E be given his day in court in Law Division rather than the Workers Compensation Board. The complex nature of this case required that at trial numerous experts would be needed to give opinions in the fields of architecture, masonry, construction practices, loss of future and present income and medical personal in relation to Mr. E’s medical treatments, surgeries, billing, diagnosis and prognosis.
Eventually, the matter was assigned to trial and in the end Mr. E and his family, along with Harris Law reached a conclusion in the sum of $5.8 million to compensate him for his injuries. Mr. E while his life will never be the same, currently lives comfortably with his family and is moving forward free of worries of medical bills present and in the future and free of worry on how he will provide for his family in the future.
$90,000 for plaintiff who fell from three story porch – defendant claims plaintiff was intoxicated and caused his own injuries.
Mr. V was a tenant living in a three story grey stone in Chicago. On a summers night he and his family were had been barbecuing that afternoon and enjoying their Sunday afternoon and evening.
Mr. V towards the end of the evening fell over the railing of the third story back porch. He was rushed to the hospital and remained in a comma for approximately 30 days. Mr. V amazingly survived the fall but suffered significant injuries in the form of head trauma, fractures and more. He continued with therapy and eventually recovered almost fully.
The insurance company for the Defendant, the property owner, a day or so after the accident sent investigators to the scene to document, photograph and measure the porch. Upon investigation of the matter the experts concluded that the porch rail had met and was built according to the Chicago Building Code. That the stairs were properly built to code and in summary the porch meet all the requirements of the Chicago Building Code.
The porch had been rebuilt and was only about three years old. They also photographed the scene which showed several cases of empty beer cans in trash barrels on the porch. Several attorneys prior to Mr. V consulting with our office had turned down the case. Our offices took the position that while the porch was built according to the code the lighting on the porch was not adequate and had contributed to Mr. V’s fall.
The defendant denied such and further claimed that Mr. V was intoxicated and had fallen over the rail not because of the rail or the lighting but simply because he was intoxicated and should be held responsible for his own improper actions. Fighting for Mr. V our office prepared the case for trial, retained experts and remained committed to our client.
As a result of our efforts we achieved, what other law firms declined to attempt. Mr. V was happy to receive the $90,000 and considers such to be a great achievement, given the issue of liability in the case.
$430,000 reached for client who fell in water on the floor at major department store. Defendant – store – claimed there was no water and that she was not injured.
Ms. H was a customer at a major department store. While visiting the store Ms. H while walking from isle to isle shopping fell in a pool of water that was on the floor. Ms. H had a long history of medical issues and was extremely overweight. Her medical records documented and suggested that she had been off work for over 10 years due to knee pain and inability to walk and move around quickly.
Such suggested that this in ability to work and get around was due to her being overweight. Her medical records further suggested that she had suffered prior injuries. All these issues were claimed as defenses to the case by the Defendant.
This matter proceeded forward in federal court under diversity jurisdiction. There was no evidence that the Plaintiff sought immediate medical attention the day of the accident. She left the store on her own accord without assistance. Our offices took on the case.
The record showed Plaintiff did make a report of falling in the store, but there was no evidence of water. Defendant move for summary judgment (a procedure where the Defendant seeks to have the court conclude the case without going to a jury) arguing that they were not liable, that the injuries were not suffered and that if there was a pool of water then the Plaintiff had failed to keep a proper lookout while shopping in the store.
Our office fought the motion for summary judgment and was victorious. Thereafter was prepared the matter for trial and eventually the matter was resolved to the clients satisfaction and ours.
$50,000 recovery against dentist operating without a license and committing fraud.
Our client, Ms. D routinely visited with an alleged dentist operating out of his home in the basement. Defendant was not a licensed practitioner and although he claimed to be licensed in Mexico no such record could be found.
Our client suffered a possible jaw fracture. Ms. D came to our offices years after the incident. This case involved allegations that there was no injury and that the statute of limitations had ran. Further complicating the matter was the allegations that the Defendant had no insurance or funds in which to satisfy any judgment.
Our offices determined that the defendant was lying and located several properties which the Defendant had attempted to hide by transferring them to family members. Accordingly, we pursued the matter and eventually our efforts resulted in a very favorable conclusion to the sum of $50,000 for the Plaintiff.
Although the injury was a minor one this case resulted in a substantial conclusion due to allegations made by our office that not only was the Defendant Dentist not licensed but that he was also committing fraud by deceiving the public at large.