SimmonsCooper class action against Gallagher in court

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 5, 2005, 9:12am

Stephen Tillery

One day after the Illinois insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher announced it would no longer collect now-controversial contingency fees from insurance companies, East Alton plaintiff's firm SimmonsCooper filed a class action lawsuit Oct. 27, 2004, claiming Gallagher & Co. breached its fiduciary duties.

Madison County Circuit Judge Philip Kardis has set a July 14 hearing date for Gallagher & Co.'s motion to dismiss.

Based in the western Chicago suburb of Itasca, Gallagher & Co. is the world's fourth largest insurance broker.

Represented by Stephen Tillery, SimmonsCooper claims Gallagher & Co.'s receipt of commissions from insurance companies for insuring its clients was "ill-gotten."

SimmonsCooper, the named plaintiff, claims it purchased health and life insurance through Gallagher.

“Plaintiff seeks the disgorgement of all monies from commissions received by Gallagher during the period which Gallagher engaged in deceptive acts and practices," the suit claims.

"These sums constitute ill-gotten gains acquired at the expense of SimmonsCooper and other people who trusted and relied upon Gallagher to treat them honestly and fairly."

SimmonsCooper claims that Gallagher’s alleged concealment caused them to pay higher premium rates to insurance companies, and had they been truthful, they could have utilized the information to obtain a lower premium.

The suit is seeking an order certifying the class and appointing Tillery as counsel to represent the class, an order requiring Gallagher to disgorge all monies it received during the period it received undisclosed contingent commissions, punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, and an award for reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

Gallagher & Co. is represented by Theodore MacDonald of Burroughs, Hepler, Broom, MacDonald, Hebrank, and True of Edwardsville.

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