Insurer Wants Release From $6M Payout to Home Improvement Chain


This is the case of North American Elite Insurance v. Menard Inc., case number 21-1813, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, involving excess insurance coverage, and claims by the insurer that Menard’s home improvement chain acted in bad faith by not accepting a lower settlement offer in a separate lawsuit.

In the underlying case, an employee of Menards, Julian Andrades, sued the home improvement chain, alleging negligence involving a forklift accident in August 2016 at its Illinois store.

On Friday, the excess insurance provider, in that case, North American Elite asked the Seventh Circuit to restore its claim that it does not owe coverage for a $6 million dollar settlement that Menards agreed to payout in the Andrades’ personal injury lawsuit. North American says the home improvement giant had a duty to reasonably settle the case when Andrades made a $2 million dollar offer to settle.

North American Elite Insurance Co. said in its opening brief to the appellate court, that the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is implied into every contract in Illinois, and that no court in the State has ever found that the covenant applies in every contract, except with regard to an insured.