Foran Glennon secured a complete reversal of an aviation insurance coverage ruling, saving XL Specialty its $5 million limit.
The matter involved the landing of an aircraft. In June of 2012, a private LearJet with two pilots and passengers on board crashed on landing in Aspen, Colorado, and totaled the plane. No one was injured.
XL Specialty covered the plane owned by Performance Aircraft Leasing in a $5 million policy that ran from February 2012 through February 2013. The policy had a warranty that requires certain training conditions, and XL Specialty argued in Cook County Circuit Court that the pilot had not satisfied the training requirements before he piloted the plane.
The court disagreed with the arguments, leaving the insurer responsible for paying out the claim.
Foran Glennon’s Tom Orlando handled the appeal. He argued that the warranty said pilots “are going to” simulator school “annually,” which means the training is ongoing and continuous. He further argued that when the policy was incepted in February 2012, the insured was already in breach of the warranty; because his last simulator training was May 2010, the pilot was clearly not attending annually.
The appellate panel agreed with Tom, reversed the lower court’s ruling in favor of the insured, and remanded the case to the Cook County Circuit Court for entry of judgment in favor of XL Specialty. The insured can file a petition for rehearing and/or a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.
News of Foran Glennon’s victory was covered in the publication Claims Journal.