Firm Notes


Mr. Shulruff received a not guilty verdict in a case in which Plaintiff alleges she suffered two herniated discs when defendant rear ended her on the Kennedy Expressway on November 3, 2015. Plaintiff visited Northwestern Hospital hours after the accident complaining of pain. Three days after the accident, she visited with a neurosurgeon and six days later she visited with a interventional pain management specialist who gave her three series of injections. Defendant argued plaintiff caused the accident when she cut off the defendant while merging onto the expressway. While defendant’s expert conceded injury, defendant denied the nature and extent of the injuries. The jury deliberated for 17 minutes.


Mr. Shulruff tried a jury case in which his client rear ended a married couple heading southbound on the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago. The wife’s medical bills totaled $27,829 and her attorney asked the jury to award $53,767. The husband’s medical bills totaled $11,826 and his attorney asked the jury to award $27,829. Defendant admitted negligence but denied the nature and extend of injuries. The jury entered a not guilty in the husband’s case and $2,728 for the wife.

MARCH 2016

Mr. Shulruff received a not guilty in a case in which negligence was admitted and the defendant failed to appear.

Plaintiff bus claims injury after he was rear ended. He visited the emergency room the next day and received chiropractic care for seven months. Plaintiff also missed three months of work from because of injuries. The case proceeded to arbitration and plaintiff was awarded $30,000. Plaintiff asked for an award of $51,730.


Mr. Shulruff prevailed in a jury trial in which a retail store alleged its insurance company underpaid a theft claim. The Court struck plaintiff bad faith and consumer fraud counts before trial.


Mr. Shulruff and Ms. Dower received a directed verdict in a case in which the plaintiff alleged an insurance company converted insurance proceeds by paying an imposter for a fire loss. Defendant put forth an affirmative defense that plaintiff conspired with the “imposter” to defraud the insurance company.

October 2015

On October 27, 2015, Sudekum, Cassidy & Shulruff, Chtd. participated as a sponsor of the Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center Spooktacular Fundraiser. The event was held at Lagunita’s Tap Room and one hundred percent of the net proceeds benefitted Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center.

October 2015

Mr. Sudekum and Ms Lyles obtained summary judgment regarding the computation of depreciation where Plaintiff failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the policy requiring him to document the claim, including collectibles, and cooperate with the insurer's investigation of the claim.

August 2015

SCS participated in the Nazr Mohammed Foundation’s “All in for Autism” casino night charity event as a sponsor and partner. The event raised over $15,000.00 benefiting the Easter Seals Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research and the Turning Pointe Autism Foundation.

August 2015

Mr. Shulruff prevailed on a declaratory judgment action in which the Court held there was no insurance coverage for three defendants who alleged they were involved in a hit-and-run accident.

July 2015

Ms. Lyles participated in the Nazr Mohammed Foundation's Village Project as a Village Leader. The Village Project is a youth program benefiting Chicago-area students, ages 14-18. The Program concentrates on developing students in the areas of motivation, confidence and personal integrity and challenges participants to become increasingly positive role models and visible leaders within their peer groups.

The 2015 Village Project's theme was "Passport to Excellence." The students participated in four workshops dealing with money management, etiquette and team building. The Village Project concluded with Open Forum Panel featuring: 17-year NBA Veteran Nazr Mohammed; Verneccia LaShay, Fashion House Designer; Dr. Ian Smith, Best Selling Author, TV Personality, Physician; Isreal Idonije, Professional Football Player; Judson Todd Allen, Celebrity Chef; Tony Dostellio, Entrepreneur; and Sami Grisafe, Female Football Player. Grammy award-winning poet and author, Chicago's own J. Ivy was the key-note speaker.

June 2015

Mr. Sudekum and Ms. Lyles obtained a dismissal pursuant to forum non conveniens of Plaintiffs' Complaint for Declaratory Judgment; Breach of Contract; Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices; and Bad Faith. Plaintiffs included an out-of-state insured and a Cook County resident as assignee. Plaintiffs sought an award in excess of $50,000 and cost of suit, plus compensatory and punitive damages.

June 2015

Frederick Sudekum selected for the "Illinois Super Lawyers 2015" designation for Insurance Coverage. This designation is granted to only 5% of the attorneys in the state. This is the third year Mr. Sudekum received the Super Lawyer designation.

April 2015

Mr. Sudekum and Ms. Lyles obtained a dismissal with prejudice on Plaintiffs' Complaint for breach of contract based on the statute of limitations. The court also dismissed the allegation of bad faith explaining the Defendant properly denied Plaintiffs' claim. Plaintiffs sought damages in the amount of $100,000, plus attorneys' fees and penalties.

April 2015

Frederick Sudekum gave a presentation to the Stillwater Insurance Company (Omaha, Nebraska) concerning the handling of complex first-party condominium claims and avoiding bad faith in the context of first party insurance claims. Seperately, Mr. Sudekum made a presentation to the Midwest Zone of the Progressive Insurance Company in Madison, Wisconsin, entitled Effective Communications for Claims Professionals which focused on writing better so as to become engaged in fewer lawsuits, and winning those cases where suit cannot be avoided.


Mr. Sudekum and Mr. Tidwell-Neal received a not guilty verdict in a fire loss. The jury answered three special interrogatories indicating the plaintiffs intentionally caused the loss; the made material misrepresentations to their carrier; and the home was vacant for 30 days before the trial. Plaintiffs' pretrial demand was $375,000.

October 2014

Ms. Brannigan won a bench trial involving a plaintiff who alleged the defendant damaged her vehicle in a car accident even though her client was given a traffic ticket. She also prevailed in a counterclaim against the plaintiff for property damage, recovering the amount of the defendant's deductible, plus the full amount of the insurance company's expenses to repair the defendant's vehicle.

October 2014

Mr. Shulruff won a jury trial involving a plaintiff who alleged her home was burglarized while she was out of town. The plaintiff’s daughter testified she walked into the home and saw the prowler escaping through a back window. Plaintiff alleged her insurance company breached her policy by refusing to pay the claim. The jury found in favor of the defendant insurance company.

August 2014

John C. Cassidy represented an insurance client in a two-day binding arbitration concerning a coverage issue as to whether 11 out of 21 buildings of a Condominium Association were damaged from a weather condition.

Mr. Cassidy, along with the insurance client and engineer, were successful in obtaining an award that the insurance client was not required to pay for weather damage, as the award resulted in a determination that the condition exhibited on the 11 roofs was wear and tear and not covered under the policy of insurance. Claimant asked for more than $300,000.

August 2014

On August 1, 2014, Ashley Danielle Lyles participated in the YMCA National Judicial Competition as a presiding and scoring Judge. The National Judicial Competition met in Chicago on July 31 and August 1, 2014 and consisted of mock trial and appellate competitions. The event brought some of the most talented, articulate and enthusiastic young leaders from around the country to gain a deeper understanding and respect for the legal system. Ms. Lyles presided over the mock trials and rated teams on their presentations, knowledge of the case, and ability to think on their feet.

June 2014

A Cook County judge granted a motion to dismiss prepared by Ashley Danielle Lyles involving a lawsuit in which plaintiff alleged her client, a major insurance carrier, breached a commercial insurance/business owner policy. Plaintiff sought nearly $40,000. The motion was granted with prejudice.

June 2014

John C. Cassidy, a Shareholder with Sudekum, Cassidy & Shulruff, Chtd., has been appointed to a three-year term on the Alumni Board at DePauw University in Grand Castle, Indiana.

The Alumni Board advises the Board of Trustees and the Administration on matters related to student engagement, alumni engagement, student life and fundraising.

APRIL 2014

Mr. Sudekum and Ms. Schumacher were able to get an action dismissed against a plumbing contractor, in which the plaintiff was seeking $19,753,750. The plaintiff alleged that the plumbing contractor was responsible for the damage which resulted when two copper pipes separated near one of the condominium towers. The motion to dismiss was founded on the Moorman Doctrine, which bars plaintiffs from recovering economic damages under a negligence theory.


Mr. Shulruff received a not guilty verdict against two plaintiffs who claimed injury in a car accident that took place on 77th Street and Yates in Chicago.


Mr. Tidwell-Neal successfully defended two clients who were accused of breaching a loan contract. The court entered a directed verdict for one defendant on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to present evidence establishing the defendant entered into a contract with the plaintiff. The court entered a verdict in favor of the remaining defendant, explaining plaintiff failed to meet his burden that any money that changed hands was pursuant to a loan agreement and not a gift or the repayment of money from a previous agreement.


State Farm Escapes Class Action Over Depreciation Formula

June 2013

Sudekum Cassidy & Shulruff Chtd want to congratulate the Chicago Blackhawks on their Stanley Cup Win!

June 2013

Mr. Sudekum and Ms. Schumacher received summary judgment in favor of their client, State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, in the matter of Parkway Bank & Trust Company v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, 2013 Ill. App. (1st) 122387 (May 20, 2013). In that case, Mr. Sudekum and Ms. Schumacher successfully argued that the Uniform Commercial Code prohibited Parkway Bank & Trust Company, a payee on two claims checks, from recovering against State Farm when an additional payee forged Parkway Bank's endorsement and converted the funds to its own use. In obtaining this ruling, Mr. Sudekum and Ms. Schumacher convinced the Appellate Court of Illinois that the holding in Standard Federal Savings & Loan Ass'n of Chicago v. Rocco, 154 Ill. App. 3d 587 (1st Dist. 1987) did not apply, in light of the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code.

March 2013

Mr. Shulruff concluded a week-long trial involving car accident in which his client rear ended the plaintiff causing a five-car collision. Plaintiff had more than $44,000 in medical treatment, including epidural injections. Defendant admitted negligence. Plaintiff asked the jury for an award of $124,562. The jury awarded the plaintiff $632, including $607 in medical bills and $25 for lost wages.

December 2012

Mr. Shulruff recently tried case to verdict in which four plaintiffs claimed they were injured when their vehicle was struck by an SUV. Plaintiffs claim the defendant was texting in the moments before the accident and shoved their vehicle into the intersection. An ambulance arrived and transported a six-year-old to the emergency room. Two other plaintiffs received emergency room care later that day. All four had follow-up treatment with a chiropractor. Defendant admitted negligence. The jury awarded the 6-year-old $853, the amount of her ambulance and hospital bills. The jury awarded her grandmother $1,041, the amount of her emergency room bills. The two other defendants received no award, including the grandfather who evaluated at the emergency room the same day as the accident and was given crutches on discharge. The plaintiffs asked for more than $70,000.

October 2012

Mr. Shulruff recently tried a case in which he represented a mechanic who rear ended a married couple stopped at a red light. The mechanic was test driving a vehicle with new brakes when he rear ended the plaintiffs. The driver reported he hit his head and lost consciousness. He visited the emergency room later that afternoon where he had elevated blood pressure and was given a neck collar. He and his wife had follow-up care three days later at a medical clinic where they were treated for neck and back pain. The husband was readmitted to the hospital six days after the accident for a hypertensive episode that he said was brought on by the accident and remained hospitalized for three days. (The bills for the hospital stay totaled $14,931.) At a pretrial-arbitration, the plaintiffs were awarded $35,000,which defense rejected. At trial Mr. Shulruff received a defense verdict as to both plaintiffs.

June 2012

Mr. Lanoue recently completed a three-day jury trial in which the Plaintiff claimed to be a passenger on a CTA bus that was "T-boned" while passing through a controlled intersection. The plaintiff sued both the CTA and Mr. Lanoue's client. The plaintiff claimed to have sustained injuries to his neck, lower back and right knee as a result of the incident. The plaintiff sought emergent care one day after the accident and subsequently underwent a six-week course of physical therapy.

The defense alleged that the Plaintiff was not a passenger on the CTA Bus at the time of the collision. After only fifteen minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of all defendants.

November 2011

Attorney John Lanoue tried a case in November 2011 in which the plaintiff alleged she was injured as a result of the defendant negligently executed a left-hand turn causing a collision with the plaintiff's vehicle. The plaintiff sought treatment at the emergency room and underwent a three-month course of chiropractic treatment. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty in favor of the defendant.

September 2011

Mr. Cassidy recently won an arbitration regarding a dispute over damage caused by a hail storm. Mr. Cassidy has arbitrated more than 80 hail disputes in the past three years.

September 2011

Mr. Sudekum has been named as a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine. Super Lawyers is a rating service that evaluates outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas. Lawyers are selected through a mutli-phase process that includes peer nomination and review.

August 2011

Mr. Sudekum has been appointed to the Council on Litigation Management, the largest fully inclusive defense organization, comprised of thousands of insurance companies, corporations, corporate counsel, risk and litigation managers, insurance and claims professionals, outside counsel and third parties providing valuable services.

April 2011

In April, Mr. Shulruff received a not guilty verdict in a rear-end accident case in which a mother and her 5-year-old daughter claimed they were injured. Mr. Shulruff's client admitted she was negligent but denied the nature and extent of the plaintiffs' injuries.

2008-2010 Firm Notes

Sudekum, Cassidy & Shulruff, Chtd. is a boutique of outstanding trial attorneys who practice in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. The Firm is acknowledged by the insurance industry as a leader in defending questionable claims.


Sudekum, Cassidy & Shulruff, Chtd.
specializes in:

Telephone: (312) 803-6250
Toll Free: (877) SCS-LEGAL

20 North Clark Street
Suite 2450
Chicago, IL 60602