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Direct Auto Ins. Co. v Reed

2017 IL App (1st) 162263 (Ill. App., 2017)

Words & Phrases

Assistance And Cooperation

Trial Judge

Peter Flynn

Appellate Judge



Failure of insured to attend arbitration resulting in debarring order was insufficient to prove prejudice.

Fact Summary

The plaintiff insurance company in this case sought a declaration that it had no duty to provide coverage in connection with a motor vehicle accident because its insured, the driver of one of the vehicles, breached the cooperation clause in the insurance policy. The insured failed to appear at a mandatory arbitration hearing held in the underlying personal injury and insurance subrogation litigation, resulting in an order debarring her from rejecting an unfavorable arbitration award. At the close of the insurance company’s case-in-chief in this coverage dispute, the defendants moved for a judgment in their favor. The circuit court granted their motion,finding that although the company had made a prima facie showing that the insured had willfullyrefused to cooperate, the company had failed to present sufficient evidence to make a prima facie case that it suffered substantial prejudice as a result of her breach of the cooperation clause. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court.