Daniel R. Woods
Daniel R. Woods is an accomplished litigator who has focused his career in the investigation, litigation, and trial of first- and third-party insurance coverage disputes and property claims, including special investigations unit matters involving fraud and dishonesty, and significant personal injury matters. For more than 25 years, Dan has been handling all aspects of first- and third-party cases from assignment to conclusion, including investigation, examinations under oath, coverage opinions, pleadings, fact and expert discovery, motion practice, negotiated settlements and mediations, arbitrations, bench trials and jury trials. He has successfully tried numerous cases to verdict, involving a wide range of issues, from car accidents to complex arson cases.
- Tried one of the first post-pandemic jury trials in Kane County, Illinois (May 2022), securing a not guilty verdict on behalf of a national carrier accused of breach of contract and bad faith for failing to pay a catastrophic water loss in a vacant property. After a three-day trial, the jury agreed with Dan that the insured failed to show reasonable care to prevent the pipes from freezing.
- Achieved a not guilty verdict on behalf of a national carrier accused of breach of contract and bad faith for failing to pay a vehicle theft claim. The jury deliberated less than an hour after a three-day trial, and answered two special interrogatories, specifically finding that a theft had not occurred, and that the insured had made material misrepresentations to the insurer in the presentation of the claim.
- Successfully arbitrated a high-rise water loss case in Cook County, Illinois, defeating willful and wanton, negligence and fraud claims alleged against the defendant, another condominium owner in the same building as a result of several days of flooding and six floors of damage below the defendant’s high-rise unit in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. After hearing evidence, the arbitration panel found unanimously in favor of the defendant and judgment was later entered in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiffs.
- Achieved a not guilty verdict for an insurance company in a first-party claim involving claimed storm damages of over $350,000 to a 4,000 square foot luxury lake house. Argued the actual storm damage was modest, and that the majority of the claimed damages were either preexisting or the result of wear and tear and improper maintenance, which were not covered by the policy of insurance.
- S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
- Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 1993
- University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, B.A., 1990
Publications & Presentations
- “COVID-19 and Business Interruption Claims,” Client Newsletter, Spring 2020
- “Mortgagee Claims – The Hidden Insured, Investigation and Adjustment of Mortgagee Claims,” Illinois Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Peoria, IL, August 23, 2022
- “The Nuts and Bolts of the Appraisal Process,” Allstate Insurance Company, Woodridge, IL, December 9, 2016