Update: Attorneys Michael Cohen & Joseph Sarmiento Win Appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

September 7, 2017

As referenced in a previous post, Shareholder Michael Cohen presented oral argument in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on behalf of multiple insurers on coverage issues related to what constitutes “property damage” caused by an “occurrence” under Wisconsin law.

On August 31, 2017 the court issued a Decision and Final Judgment in favor of the insurers holding that the adulteration of a product is a deliberate act, not an accident, and thus, not an “occurrence” under Wisconsin law.

Land O’Lakes, Inc. v. Ratajczak, Appeal Nos. 16-3490 and 16-3920. The insurers had succeeded on motions for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, which found that Land O’Lakes’s allegations related to purported misrepresentations regarding the ingredients and quality of whey protein concentrate which was incorporated into animal feed replacer products did not constitute “property damage” caused by an “occurrence.” Land O’Lakes, Inc. v. Ratajczak, 2016 WL 8215225 (applying Wis. Pharmacal Co., LLC v. Neb. Cultures of Cal., Inc., 2016 WI 14, 367 Wis. 2d 221, 876 N.W.2d 72 and Everson v. Lorenz, 2005 WI 51, 280 Wis. 2d 1, 695 N.W.2d 298).

Full audio of the argument can be heard here. Attorney Cohen’s argument begins at the 27:17 mark.

Attorney Michael Cohen dedicates a substantial portion of his practice to representing insurance companies in insurance coverage litigation and can be reached at mjc@mtfn.com or by calling (414) 273-1300.