Our Attorneys

Rostyslaw J. Smyk

Ross Smyk has over 15 years of experience in advising and representing major insurance companies in connection with coverage questions and bad faith matters. He has provided coverage opinions and litigated coverage disputes in a number of jurisdictions on a wide variety of issues arising under Commercial General Liability, Commercial Umbrella, Professional Liability, Errors & Omissions, Directors & Officers, Employment Practices Liability, and Commercial Auto policies. His opinions have addressed not only threshold issues such as the definitions of "occurrence" and "property damage," but also complex questions regarding the work product exclusions, trigger of coverage, allocation of loss among insurers, horizontal exhaustion, targeted tender, applicability of "additional insured" coverage, and breaches of conditions precedent to coverage.  Ross also has extensive experience with issues arising under "claims made" policies including: application of related acts provisions, prior notice language, and timely reporting issues.  Ross's opinion work has often resulted in his representing insurance carriers' interests at mediations where favorable and cost-effective resolutions of complex matters were reached.  In coverage litigation matters, Ross has been able to secure judgment as a matter of law on behalf of insurers on numerous occasions, achieving an exemplary won/lost record in the process.  His case results include:

  • Brown & LaCounte v. Westport Ins. Corp. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh District.  Federal Court of Appeals determined that insurer had no duty to defend claim based upon "illegal profit" exclusion.  Ross successfully defeated arguments by the insured that the "in fact" language in the exclusion did not foreclose the possibility of an indemnity obligation.  Rather, the Federal Court of Appeals adopted Ross's argument that no duty to defend could exist based upon the facts plead in the underlying action.

  • K&B Plastics Industries v. Lincoln General Insurance Co.  Superior Court of New Jersey, Union County.  Superior Court ruled that a shipper of goods was not entitled to coverage as a matter of law pursuant to omnibus clause of Business Auto Policy's liability coverage. The shipper argued that coverage should apply under the "complete operation" doctrine.  Ross defeated these arguments by convincing the Court that the putative insured had not met its burden of proving that the goods were packaged as an inherent part of the "loading or unloading" process.

  • Wesco Insurance Company v. Regas.  U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  Ross secured a summary judgment in favor of an insurer seeking a declaration that it had no coverage obligation under a claims made policy where subject claim was "related" to a prior claim given to the insured's prior insurance carrier.

  • Maynard v. Westport Ins. Co., U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.  District Court granted summary judgment and rejected arguments in favor of an estoppel and/or waiver made by a third-party claimant "standing in the shoes" of the insured.  Despite claimant's arguments that factual questions as to consistency of insurer's positions throughout underlying tort litigation gave rise to a triable issue, Ross authored the brief in which it was successfully argued that such a position was untenable and that judgment should be entered as a matter of law in favor of the insurer.

  • TIG Ins. Co. v. Corbett, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.  Circuit Court agreed with Ross's argument that an insured's having obtained written Release of liability from former client did not preclude application of "prior knowledge" language in professional liability policy.

  • Westport Ins. Corp. v. Law Offices of Marvin Lundy, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Despite insured's challenge to Federal Court Diversity Jurisdiction and arguments in favor of Colorado River abstention, Ross was able to secure a summary judgment of "no coverage" on behalf of client insurer.


When not practicing law, Ross enjoys listening to classical music and jazz, cooking for family and friends, and cheering on the Blackhawks from his seat among the die-hard fans in the United Center's 300-level.

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Contact:

10 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 1800

Chicago, Illinois 60603

Phone: 312-466-7263

Email: Ross.Smyk@ruberry-law.com

Practice Area:

Insurance Coverage Counseling and Litigation; Insurance Bad Faith

Education:

  • J.D., Rutgers University, 1997
  • B.A., University of Illinois, 1993
  • Certificate in Theology, St. Paul University, 2010

Admissions:

  • State of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado