of Illinois Lawyers
Insurance for Libel Defamation and Slander Cases
You are facing a lawsuit for a negative review you posted on Yelp or for a Twitter posting. Many people and businesses don’t realize it but the considerable financial burden of defending a defamation lawsuit may be covered by their business or home owners’ insurance policies. Bill Cosby was able to take advantage of his home owner’s insurance policy when he faced a number of defamation suits for denying drugging and sexually assaulting women. So too, an ordinary person or company can use the same type of policy provisions to obtain coverage for a defamation suit brought against them simply for exercising their free speech rights for criticizing a business or a person on the internet. Insurance carriers provide libel coverage and most of them stand next to their insureds and honor the commitment to provide them with a defense. Our Chicago Defamation Libel and Slander Attorneys have helped our clients receive a defense to libel cases from insurance companies including Chubb, Liberty Mutual and CAN. These carriers honored their commitment. Not every carrier, however, acts in this honorable fashion.
Our lawyers have assisted our individual and business clients receive the coverage they paid premiums to received. Consumers of insurance buy their policies counting on the insurance should they make a mistake or are simply speaking to truth to power or stating their opinions as allowed for under the First Amendment. We have learned the hard way that some insurance companies refuse to honor the terms of the policies and attack their own insureds. They refuse to provide the agreed upon coverage citing inapplicable loopholes.
For instance, Farmers Insurance attacked one of our clients who asked it to provide him with the agreed upon coverage and sued him right after we defeated the libel claim brought against him in federal court. Farmers sued our client arguing that it shouldn’t have to pay for his successful defense where the federal court found that he hadn’t committed libel.
Farmers failed to stand behind our client contrary to the promises it makes in its television advertisements that it provides insurance for any type of consumer error:
Farmers instructed our lawyers to go ahead with a motion to dismiss the federal suit arguing that the innocent construction defense defeated the claim. Right after we won, Farmers filed a declarator judgment suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County arguing that it didn’t have to pay for the defense as obligated under its policy.
Our client was willing to take Farmers on. When the trial court agreed with Farmers misreading of its policy, our client trusted us to file an appeal. The Appellate Court agreed that Farmers breached its own insurance policy and directed the trial court to ensure that Farmers to paid for our successful defense of the federal defamation suit.
You read the Appellate Court’s full opinion here.
You can read the decision validating our innocent construction defense of the federal libel case here.
We fight for everyone of clients in the same way we handled this case.
To set up a free consultation with our Chicago defamation, libel or slander lawyers, contact us online or call us on our toll-free number at 630-333-0333.