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R. Patrick Bedell is a partner whose practice focuses on advising insurance carriers on a variety of complex matters and representing them in commercial disputes in state and federal courts across the country. He has extensive experience analyzing and litigating claims involving products liability, municipal liability, general commercial liability, and professional liability. As a member of the firm’s Opioid Coverage Task Force, Patrick is actively engaged in analyzing all insurance aspects of thousands of opioid-related suits against manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

In 2019, Patrick was selected by Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer as one of the “40 Under Forty” Illinois attorneys to watch. In selecting Patrick for this honor, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer recognized Patrick for his “keen insight,” “top-notch legal ability,” and devotion to the practice of law. In 2015, 2017, and 2019, Patrick was named an “Emerging Lawyer,” a distinction earned by fewer than two percent of Illinois lawyers under the age of 40, in Insurance, Insurance Coverage, and Reinsurance Law. From 2012-2019, Patrick was named a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers, a peer review designation recognizing no more than 2.5 percent of Illinois lawyers under the age of 40.

Representative Matters

Gage County v. Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association, Case No. CI 17-0339 (Lancaster County, NE)  In a matter of first impression, obtained ruling for excess insurers that the date six wrongfully incarcerated individuals were first charged was the single date triggering their constitutional injuries, and that continuing constitutional wrongs into later insurance periods did not trigger new insurance for the $28.1 million malicious prosecution judgment.

Nooter Corporation v. Allianz Underwriters Ins. Co., 536 S.W.3d 251 (Mo. App. E.D. 2017) Successfully represented insurer in appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals, which reversed trial court’s rulings that insurer had a duty to defend and must pay defense expenses in addition to policy limits.

Westport Insurance Corporation v. City of Waukegan, et al., 2017 WL 4046343 (N.D. Ill.) Achieved summary judgment ruling that insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify with regard to $8 million claim involving wrongfully incarcerated inmate whose second conviction took place during insurer’s policy period.

J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. v. Vigilant Ins. Co., Index No. 600979/09 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.) Successfully defended insurer in declaratory judgment action seeking coverage under Financial Institution E&O policy.

Presentations

Wrongful Conviction:  Practical Defense Tips and Coverage Analysis, CLM Southeast Conference (November 9, 2018)

Insurance Workshop: Practical & Ethical Handling of Insurance Issues (IICLE, January 25, 2018).  Moderated the day-long conference addressing the life of an insurance claim, emerging issues presented by opioids, concussions, 3D printing, drones and cyber security, as well as time-honored issues such as the duty to settle, independent counsel, and preserving coverage defenses.  Presented on the life of an insurance claim and issues relating to opioid and concussion claims.

America On Opioids:  The Issues, The Claims, and The Coverage (Perrin Conferences, October 17, 2017)

Transition from Primary to Excess Coverage: Effortless Step or Grand Canyon Leap?, ABA Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage Litigation CLE Seminar (March 5, 2015)

ARIAS-U.S. Intensive Arbitrator Training Workshop, Tarrytown, N.Y. (March 2008)

Publications

What Conn. Opioid Ruling Means for Liability Insurers Law 360 Insurance, Expert Analysis (January 15, 2019)

“Big Pharma Faces Insurance Hurdles in Opioid Suits” Law360 Insurance Newsletter (November 8, 2017)

"The Opioid Epidemic: As the Pharmaceutical Industry Is Targeted, Will It Be Covered by Insurance?" Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes (July 6, 2017)

"Senate Bill May Force Rise in Suits for Opioid Funding," Law360 Insurance, Expert Analysis (June 27, 2017)

"The Next Frontier in Tort Reform:  Promoting the Financial Solvency of Nursing Homes." 11 ELDER L.J. 361 (2003)