Joanna Gau Swartout is special counsel who concentrates her practice in the areas of general commercial litigation, coverage litigation, public entity coverage, and reinsurance. Her practice includes advising clients on various insurance coverage issues and representing insurance companies in coverage disputes.

In law school, Joanna served on the editorial board of the Journal of Law and Social Policy and was Co-President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. Prior to law school, Joanna worked as a senior manager in the Washington, D.C. and New Delhi offices of a multinational business research firm.

Representative Matters

Wild Eggs Holdings, Inc., et al. v. State Auto Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., --- F.3d --- (6th Cir.) (Sept. 9, 2022) Obtained ruling for insurer client under Kentucky law that governmental COVID-19 business restrictions in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio did not cause “direct physical loss” of property, and were not issued in response to infectious disease at any insured premises, as would be required to trigger commercial property insurance coverage.

Haisous, LLC v. State Auto Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 2022 WL 999987 (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) Obtained judgment that insurer owed no coverage for business income loss given that COVID-19 restrictions on restaurant operations did not constitute “direct physical loss” of property under Illinois law.

Rockhill Ins. Companies v. CSAA Ins. Exchange, Case No. 3:17-cv-00496-HDM-WGC (D. Nevada), affirmed No. 19-16716 (9th Cir. 2020) Claim seeking over $2.5 million for negligent spraying of Sporicidin excluded by general liability mold exclusion, and no bad faith under Contractor’s Pollution coverage where claimant never made settlement demand within the eroding limits of the pollution coverage, and where Rockhill’s settlement offers traced the advice of defense counsel.


Points and Considerations Related To Specific Public Entity Claims (2014)


"Illinois Supreme Court Ruling on BIPA Leaves Open Future Coverage Questions" BatesCarey (May 25, 2021)