Hinkhouse Williams Walsh

David M. Dolendi

David M. Dolendi

  • Partner
  • 180 North Stetson Avenue
  • Suite 3400
  • Chicago, Illinois 60601

Overview


David Dolendi concentrates his practice on representing and defending domestic and international insurance companies in complex, high exposure insurance coverage litigation and bad faith claims throughout the country.  The scope of David's practice involves claims and disputes under first-party property, third-party general liability, cyber liability and errors and omissions coverage.  In addition to representing several domestic insurers, David has considerable experience working with syndicates and insurers in the London Insurance Market.  He has represented London Market Insurers in declaratory judgment matters, mediations and arbitrations on a wide variety of issues in the United States.  David has also assisted London Market Insurers in the drafting of policy language and creating and revising specific policy endorsements and exclusions.  

David has represented insurers and reinsurers as lead counsel in state and federal courts on claims and disputes involving civil rights/wrongful conviction, environmental pollution, mass/toxic tort, asbestos, construction defect, advertising/personal injury, cyber risk exposure, underinsured/uninsured motorist and bad faith claims.  In addition, David has extensive experience handling insurance coverage matters involving Clergy sexual abuse claims.  Notably, he has litigated dozens of insurance disputes stemming from sexual abuse claims filed in courts in Arizona, Illinois, Missouri, and South Carolina, as well as litigated disputed adversary proceedings filed in bankruptcy court in Oregon, New York, Delaware, and Minnesota.  Below are some examples of David's recent litigation successes.


Experience 

  • David received a dismissal with prejudice of all claims against his insurer client in an insurance coverage case pending in Lancaster County, Nebraska.  The underlying matter, referred to by local media outlets as the “Beatrice Six” claims, involved six Claimants who were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to prison for the 1985 rape and murder of a 68-year-old widow who lived in Beatrice, Nebraska.  After DNA evidence exonerated all six Claimants in 2008, each Claimant filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the insured County stemming from the wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution.  At trial, the six Claimants obtained a combined verdict of $28.1 million against the County.  The County thereafter sued its insurers seeking coverage for the verdict, which included a claim against David’s insurer client for $20 million in available coverage under five separate Law Enforcement Liability (“LEL”) policies.  The County argued that all five LEL policies were implicated under either a “continuous trigger” approach or under a prior acts endorsement applicable to each policy.  As a case of first impression in Nebraska, David successfully argued that coverage was unavailable under all five LEL policies.  Gage County, Nebraska v. Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Ass’n, et al, No. C1 17-0339, District Court of Lancaster County, Nebraska (Oct. 10, 2018).
  • As lead trial counsel in a highly contentious case pending in the District Court of Linn County, Iowa, David obtained summary judgment for his client for bad faith allegations involving multiple years of alleged delayed payments on a workers' compensation claim.  In that matter, David also asserted counterclaims against the Plaintiff for fraudulent nondisclosure, fraudulent misrepresentation and rescission after he uncovered relevant information during discovery and when taking depositions on the bad faith claims.  Just prior to trial, which was to involve only the fraud counterclaims against the Plaintiff, the parties agreed to a confidential settlement that avoided the cost of trial and possible appeals.
  • David recently recovered $9.5 million for an insurer client in an equitable contribution and unjust enrichment lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
  • David obtained summary judgment and also successfully handled the appeal in a coverage action where the Plaintiff, a police officer, sought multiple millions in underinsured motorist benefits under his employer's excess liability policy.  David raised arguments of late notice, failure to cooperate, and a novel defense arising under the Illinois Underinsured Motorist Statute.  David was successful on all arguments at the trial court level and also before the Illinois Appellate Court.  The Plaintiff's petition to the Illinois Supreme Court was denied.  Kemper v. United National Ins. Co., 2014 IL App (1st) 122877-U, 2014 WL 718514 (Ill. App. 1 Dist.), petition for leave to appeal denied, No. 117654, (Ill. Sept. 24, 2014).
  • David obtained dismissal with prejudice of all claims for his client in a matter involving extensive property damage caused by a water filtration system.  Associated Indem. Corp. v. Culligan Int’l Co., No., 12 C 3935, (N.D. Ill. Sept. 18, 2012).  
  • David obtained summary judgment and a favorable appellate ruling in an insurance coverage dispute pending in Richland County, South Carolina.  The Plaintiff sought a determination as to whether an insurance policy issued to the County of Richland was a "defense within limits" policy, and also alleged a claim of negligent misrepresentation against the client relating to the underlying settlement.  David successfully obtained a dismissal of the entire action at the trial court level and then successfully defended the case on appeal before the South Carolina Court of Appeals.  Estate of King v. United National Ins. Co., No. 2011-183006 (S.C. Ct. App., June 13, 2012).
  • David successfully obtained a complete dismissal of all claims asserted against his client for bad faith, breach of a fiduciary duty, and professional negligence in an insurance coverage dispute involving an underlying wrongful death claim and settlement.  The Plaintiff sought multiple millions in damages.  Belvidere YMCA v. Specialty Risk Services, et al, No. 11-CH-06480, Circuit Court of Cook County, IL (Feb. 9, 2012).
  • As trial counsel, David obtained a directed finding of no bad faith for his insurer client in the United State District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. 
  • David obtained a dismissal of a bad faith claim against the TPA involved in handling a large trucking cargo loss.  West Wind Express v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London, No. 11-CH-12546, Circuit Court of Cook County, IL (Oct. 11, 2011).
  • David obtained summary judgment for his insurer client on all claims in a case involving complex and novel issues of horizontal exhaustion, allocation, and the erosion of multiple self-insured retentions.  Niles Township High School v. United National Ins. Co., et al., No. 05-CH-9880, Circuit Court of Cook County, IL (June 11, 2009).
  • David obtained summary judgment on an insurance coverage dispute pending in Richland County, South Carolina.  The dispute arose over the availability of underinsured motorist coverage under an excess policy.  The Claimant, a police officer, sought more than a million dollars in damages after he sustained injuries when he was shot during a traffic stop.  David successfully obtained a finding from the trial court that coverage was unavailable under his client's excess policy.  The case was never appealed.

In addition to his litigation successes, David has extensive experience in the resolution of disputes and has obtained hundreds of favorable settlements for clients in complex, high exposure cases over the past sixteen years.  These include numerous settlements and favorable policy buy-backs for his insurer clients in long-tail pollution, wrongful imprisonment and sexual misconduct cases pending all over the country.  

As a result of his experience, David has been invited to speak or publish materials by numerous professional organizations on a variety of topics.  These include multiple publications and/or speaking engagements with the Property & Liability Resource Bureau (PLRB), Law360 and the Chicago Bar Association (CBA), on various topics including business interruption losses, pollution claims and bad faith.  David also frequently conducts presentations on specific topics at the request of insurer clients.  These presentations have included topics ranging from cyber risk, sexual abuse/misconduct, municipal risk pool liability, wrongful conviction/malicious prosecution, business interruption, bad faith, and uninsured/underinsured motorist claims.
 

Related Practices

Education, Admissions & Affiliations

Education

  • John Marshall Law School, Chicago, J.D., cum laude, 2002
    • Editor-in-Chief of the John Marshall Law Review, 2001-2002
  • Arizona State University, M.P.A., 1999
  • Illinois State University, B.S., 1994

Admissions

  • Illinois State Bar, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. Michigan Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. Illinois, 2017
  • U.S. Tax Court, 2017

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Property & Liability Resource Bureau (PLRB)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Chicago Bar Association (CBA)
  • American Bar Association (ABA)

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