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CMN Finishes Strong in 2021 and Hits the Ground Running in 2022

By News Flash Archives, Press Release

In several years of unprecedented challenges and changes, CMN has continued to provide excellent representation to its clients and get the results that make us a “Go To” law firm for the insurance and financial services industry.

Late 2021 saw two big wins for CMN. A successful trial in 2019 resulted in a verdict in favor of our life insurance client on a complex STOLI and rescission case. Not only did we secure a multi-million dollar fraud judgment against the rogue agent involved, we also obtained a verdict that allowed our client to retain the premiums it earned as an equitable remedy for the effort it took to unravel the STOLI scheme at issue. CMN also represented our client in the appeal, and in late 2021, the Second Circuit affirmed the trial court’s judgment in all respects.

Also in late 2021, CMN secured summary judgment in favor of our client in a complex antitrust case against multiple life insurers brought by investors in a hedge fund that promised lucrative returns on non-recourse premium financing and STOLI investing. The judgment in favor of our client on all claims against it followed years of intense motion practice and discovery and was a complete vindication for our client, which maintained from the start that the claims against it were untenable.

And CMN continues to bring wins for its clients in 2022. CMN recently obtained judgment for its client in an ERISA case where beneficiaries sought accidental death benefits after a participant died due to his use of illicit cocaine and fentanyl. The court agreed that the participant’s death was not “accidental” because a substantial risk of overdose and death accompanies the use of illicit narcotics, meaning any expectation the participant had of surviving his use of those drugs—separately or in combined form—was objectively unreasonable. Furthermore, even if the participant’s death had been an accident, the plan’s exclusion for losses caused by the voluntary use of one or more illicit narcotics meant the participant’s death was not covered.

CMN Members Joe Jeffery and Julie Wall will be speaking on “Opioids and Accidental Death” at the Virtual 2021 Eastern Claims Conference

By Presentations Archives, Press Release

CMN Members Joe Jeffery and Julie Wall will be speaking on “Opioids and Accidental Death”  at the Virtual 2021 Eastern Claims Conference, which kicks off Monday March 22, 2021. They will be talking about the intersection of the opioid epidemic, increased legalization of marijuana use, and accidental death claims. Learn how these trends are impacting the legal landscape.  Joe and Julie will be speaking on Tuesday March 23, at 11:00 a.m. EDT, part of a conference that is chock full of excellent presentations for life, health and disability professionals. We look forward to “seeing” you there.

CMN is Moving Up!

By News Flash Archives, Press Release

CMN will be located in Suite 2400
Effective March 1, 2021

(Same building, just a different floor) (Formerly in Suite 1400)

Chittenden, Murday & Novotny LLC
303 W. Madison Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL  60606
(312) 281-3600

All telephone #s, email addresses, website and social media accounts remain the same.

CMN Names Craig M. Bargher a Member of the Firm

By News Flash Archives, Press Release

Chittenden, Murday & Novotny LLC proudly announces that Craig M. Bargher has been named a Member of the Firm effective January 2021.  Craig’s practice is focused on representing the Firm’s clients in a wide variety of litigation matters in state and federal courts, with extensive experience handling ERISA and individual life and disability litigation, as well as general commercial litigation.

Seventh Circuit Examines Standing Requirements Under Section 15(c) of the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act

By Client Bulletins, Press Release

A recent decision sheds light on whether a plaintiff has Article III standing to pursue claims alleging violations of a general provision contained in the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) absent allegations showing concrete and particularized harm to the plaintiff.

For more information, please click below.

Related Documents: Client Bulletin: January 2021

CMN Attorneys Joe Jeffery & Stuart Primack Publish Article in the DRI’s The Voice

By Press Release, Publications Archives, Uncategorized

CMN Attorneys Joe Jeffery and Stuart Primack’s article on ERISA, “Does a Plan Administrator Forfeit the Right to Deferential Review by Delegating Its Discretionary Authority to a Non-Fiduciary?” discusses how a plan administrator’s delegation of its discretionary authority to adjudicate plan benefit claims can impact the applicable judicial standard of review.

The Article appears in the DRI’s The Voice (Vol. 19, Issue 27) (July 8, 2020).

For more information, please click below.

Related Documents:  Article

CMN Attorney Craig Bargher Publishes Article in ABA Committee News

By Press Release, Publications Archives

CMN Attorney Craig M. Bargher’s article, “Rule 12(b)(6) Motions to Dismiss Mental Health Parity Act Claims: Various Approaches Within The District of Utah Provide Lessons for Plaintiffs and Defendants,” discusses some recent ERISA decisions from the District of Utah that highlight the importance of identifying key documents before final administrative appeal decisions are made.

The Article appears in the ABA’s Committee News, Health and Disability & Life Insurance Law edition (Spring 2020).

For more information, please click below.

Related Documents:  Article

Has Technology Left the TCPA Behind? Receipt of Text Messages Leads to Circuit Split on Article III Standing

By Client Bulletins, Press Release

Congress has not updated the TCPA lately and new modes of communication keep popping up.  This client bulletin examines the circuit split regarding the receipt of unwanted text messages and whether they are sufficient to establish Article III standing.

For more information, please click below.

Related Documents:  Client Bulletin: May 2020

CMN Attorneys Get Trial Victory For Life Insurer In $10 Million Policy Dispute

By News Flash Archives, Press Release

CMN trial lawyers Elizabeth Doolin, Julie Wall, and Kaitlyn Luther won a decisive victory in the Eastern District of New York following a bench trial before Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara. At issue was a $10 million life insurance policy procured pursuant to a fraudulent investment scheme and through multiple misrepresentations concerning the applicant’s finances, other insurance, and premium financing. The policy investors brought a breach of contract claim for the $10 million death benefit proceeds, and the insurer counterclaimed for rescission and fraud against the investors and the writing agent. After a four-day bench trial in the spring of 2019, Judge Bulsara issued his findings of fact and conclusions of law on April 17, 2020, finding the policy rescinded as a result of the insured’s material misrepresentations, allowing the insurer to equitably retain all premiums paid due to the fraud involved in the policy’s procurement, and holding that the writing agent was liable for fraud. CMN’s lawyers are always prepared to go the distance for their clients, and were pleased to bring home a win this spring.