On Friday, April 20, 2018, McKool Smith secured a summary judgment ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois which allows Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., the world’s largest privately held real estate services firm, to access $48 million in coverage from four insurers to cover defense costs and settlement payments in connection with four lawsuits concerning underlying appraisal-related claims. The court also rejected the insurers’ counterclaims for recoupment of over $33 million already paid to Cushman by the carriers. 

The underlying dispute stemmed from real estate appraisals performed by Cushman in connection with loans to certain master planned residential communities for which the company used a Total Net Value (“TNV”) rather than a “market value” methodology. When several of those loans defaulted, certain property owners, shareholders and developers of the communities brought or threatened lawsuits against Cushman relating to the appraisal methodology and overall quality of the appraisals. When the carriers, including Illinois National Insurance Company, ACE American Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, and RLI Insurance Company, denied coverage under Cushman’s professional liability policies, Cushman turned to McKool Smith to initiate litigation.

You can read Law360’s extensive coverage of the decision here.

The case is Cushman & Wakefield Inc. v. Illinois National Insurance Co. et al., case number 1:14-cv-08725, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

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