We have handled well over 1,600 premises liability cases on behalf of insurance carriers and self-insured clients. Three percent of those premises liability cases proceeded to trial. 88% of all jury verdicts were less than 10% of the amount demanded. Many of our premises liability matters, in addition to workers’ compensation, product liability and employment practices liability cases, are for retail and restaurant establishments, including Ultra Foods, Roundy’s, Kroger, Meijer, Lone Star Steakhouse, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, Chick-fil-A, Papa John’s Pizza, JC Penney, Menards, Toys R Us, Lucky Strike, Family Video and Ann Taylor among others.
We are a founding member of the National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association (NRRDA). President Robert Kopka serves on the Board of Directors, which is comprised of representatives of some of the largest national retail and restaurant chains, attorneys who regularly represent restaurants, retail and general liability insurers and members of related industries. NRRDA’s mission is to advance and protect the interests of the retail and restaurant industries by developing strategies to reduce the number and severity of claims, manage common risks and enhance our defense position in litigated matters. Our firm has expertise in defending these entities in bodily injury, employment practices, product and premises liability and related trucking litigation.
EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES LIABILITY
Our firm has handled hundreds of employment practices liability matters of which six cases were tried, all with defense verdicts. We work closely with our restaurant and retail clients to manage their employment practices liability claims in order to achieve successful outcomes. These may include confidentiality clauses and other advantageous release language. In proper circumstances, we will litigate matters to successful verdict in order to send the message that frivolous claims will not be tolerated.
We have won several matters on appeal and many more in the administrative hearing phase. The insurance companies and corporations that we have represented on employment practices liability matters include Dutchmen Manufacturing, PepsiAmericas, Place Properties, Rail America, Speedway International, Valor Security Service, Fireman’s Fund, Chubb Specialty, Darwin Professional Underwriters, EMC Insurance, Gallagher Bassett, Grange Insurance, National Indemnity, Philadelphia Insurance, Shand Morahan & Company, among others. We have successfully entered into innovative alternative fee agreements with several carriers to handle all EPL administrative hearings.
We have a dedicated group of attorneys specializing in the practice of workers’ compensation defense representing restaurant and retail employers, whether covered by insurance, self-administered, or managed through a third-party administrator, in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. With a special emphasis on restaurant and retail claims, we regularly work with risk management and general counsel to implement safety measures in order to reduce or eliminate workplace injuries.
With well over 100 combined years of workers’ compensation experience, our attorneys include former workers’ compensation ombudsmen, judges and current arbitrators for workers’ compensation matters. We have handled all forms of complex workers’ compensation claims and have substantial trial experience from administrative hearings through the state supreme courts. We stay well versed in workers’ compensation legal developments including Medicare Set-Asides and the latest law governing recovery of Medicare payments.
Our product liability attorneys defend manufacturers and distributors of diverse products nationwide. Tim Palumbo is national counsel for a nationwide manufacturer of hospitality industry furniture and for a manufacturer of inflatable structures for the amusement rental industry. We also monitor cases involving huge exposure for excess insurers. The majority of our product liability cases settle, therefore it is imperative that our attorneys are able to negotiate favorable settlements on behalf of our clients. That said, eighty-four percent of our product liability cases have been settled for less than 50% of their original demand. We are also partners in risk management and assist clients in the avoidance of claims whenever possible.