A partner in the firm, Kirk M. Zapp is an accomplished litigator who concentrates
his practice in the areas of first-party property insurance coverage disputes and first-party property insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. Mr. Zapp is also experienced in loss recovery/subrogation/contribution claims, construction litigation and fidelity bond litigation.
As part of his first-party property insurance practice, Mr. Zapp has extensive experience representing admitted and surplus lines insurers, at both primary and excess layers, and reinsurers in coverage disputes and litigation as well as arbitration and mediation. He has addressed issues involving all-risk coverages, builder’s risk coverages, inland marine policies, ISO forms, pawnbroker’s coverages, theft coverages, property insurance programs, energy policies, manuscript policies, package policies, business owner’s policies, layered insurance programs, follow form policies, reinsurance policies and total loss only reinsurance.
Mr. Zapp advises and consults with property insurers regarding all aspects of first-party property insurance coverage on losses around the country. Some of the coverage issues that he has addressed relate to limits of liability, actual cash value, replacement cost value, depreciation holdbacks, material misrepresentation/recission, contractual limitation periods, ordinance or law, physical loss or damage, ensuing loss, number of occurrences, application of deductibles, application of exclusions such as defective and faulty workmanship and latent defect, extended period of indemnity, scheduled versus blanket coverage, business interruption, contingent business interruption, civil authority, extra expense, as well as other coverage issues.
Mr. Zapp also represents property insurers in complex (frequently large, multi-million dollar and multi-party) insurance coverage litigation in state and federal courts throughout the United States. He has successfully defended insurers in first-party property insurance coverage actions related to major property damage losses and time element and bad faith claims. Mr. Zapp’s recent experience includes representing insurers in state and federal court in New York, Florida and Louisiana in connection with claims and litigation arising from the 9/11 terrorist attack and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Mr. Zapp’s practice includes enforcing insurers’ subrogation rights on large and small-scale property losses. He has investigated, litigated and negotiated settlements of subrogation claims and has obtained subrogation recoveries on losses related to fire, explosion, defective construction and/or design, mechanical failure, theft and transportation/shipment damage in a variety of settings, including losses at industrial equipment manufacturers, shopping centers, warehouses, high rises, a casino, a tavern and other commercial buildings.
Mr. Zapp’s practice also includes litigating cases involving construction disputes. Kirk has represented property owners in presenting and defending claims primarily involving construction defects, mechanic’s liens, breach of contract, quantum meruit, indemnification and copyright infringement.
Mr. Zapp also litigates fidelity bond claims. His experience includes litigating employee dishonesty claims under mortgage banker’s bonds and financial institutional bonds.
Mr. Zapp earned his B.A. degree in History from Arizona State University, summa cum laude, in 1991 and his J.D. degree from Loyola University, Chicago School of Law in 1994.
Mr. Zapp is authorized to practice law in Illinois and in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois and the Eastern District of Michigan.
Mr. Zapp is a member of the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Claims Association of Greater Chicago, the Greater Peoria Claims Association, Honorable Order of the Blue Goose, Greater Chicago Pond, the Milwaukee Insurance Adjusters Association and the Western Loss Association.
Ideal Tool and Mfg. Co. v. One Three Six, Inc., 289 Ill.App.3d 773 (1st Dist. 1997); ANC Rental Corp. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 968 So.2d 573 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007); Ocean Partners, LLC v. North River Ins. Co., 546 F.Supp.2d 101 (S.D.N.Y. 2008); Landmark American Ins. Co. v. Green Lantern Roadhouse, LLC, No. 07-CV-0535, 2009 WL 413086 (S.D. Ill. Feb. 18, 2009); Dillard University v. Lexington Ins. Co., No. 06-4138, 2009 WL 1565943 (E.D. La. June 3, 2009).
Mr. Zapp has written several articles on insurance-related topics, including the theft exclusion to vandalism coverage, the use of post-loss sales figures to calculate a business interruption loss, replacement cost, appraisal, denial letters, contamination, and the pollution exclusion. Mr. Zapp has also lectured to attorneys and insurance professionals on a variety of first-party property insurance issues at continuing education seminars and at more informal presentations. Topics have included replacement cost value, business interruption, green building coverage, yearly property law updates, reservation of rights and denial letters and ordinance or law, as well as other topics.