Pekin Insurance Company v. Wilson
Illinois Supreme Court
237 Ill. 2d 446, 930 N.E.2d 1011 (2010)
Jack Wilson (defendant) had a commercial-general-liability policy issued by Pekin Insurance Company (plaintiff). Wilson’s policy with Pekin covered bodily injury resulting from the operation of his business, which was described as a private warehouse. The policy expressly excluded bodily injury resulting from intentional acts, but this exclusion had a self-defense exception that provided coverage for bodily injury resulting from reasonable uses of force to protect people or property. Wilson was sued by Terry Johnson for assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress resulting from two separate incidents. Wilson sought defense of Johnson’s suit from Pekin. Pekin sought a declaratory judgment that it had no duty to defend Wilson against Johnson’s lawsuit, arguing that Johnson’s claim was not covered under its policy due to the intentional-act exclusion. Johnson subsequently filed an amended complaint in the underlying suit alleging that the incidents resulted from Wilson’s negligence. In response to Johnson’s amended complaint, Pekin filed an amended complaint for a declaratory judgment that it did not owe Wilson a duty to defend Johnson’s amended suit because it merely couched Wilson’s intentional conduct in negligence terms. Wilson then filed an amended answer and counterclaim against Johnson, alleging that Wilson’s actions were in self-defense. Pekin then moved for judgment on the pleadings, ignoring Wilson’s self-defense claim. Pekin argued that judgment on the pleadings was limited to consideration of Johnson’s complaints. A state trial court granted Pekin’s motion, concluding that it was not required to consider Wilson’s self-defense counterclaim before granting judgment in favor of Pekin. An appellate court reversed, concluding that Wilson’s counterclaim was relevant to determining whether Pekin had a duty to defend and whether the claimed incidents fell within the self-defense exception.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Karmeier, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.