How has John Eggum risen so quickly to become one of the top insurance coverage lawyers in Illinois? Because of his results. At the age of 37, this Foran Glennon partner has already racked up a long list of favorable judgments and settlements for his clients.
In one case involving more than $1 billion in class-action claims over allegedly defective pipes, Eggum’s client faced hundreds of millions of dollars of potential liability, in excess of policy limits. Eggum resolved the case in a way that resulted in the client making an aggregate payment of less than 5% of policy limits.
Eggum took on another case where a plaintiff sought millions of dollars in damages based on allegations that his insurance company client conspired to defraud another insurance company. He prevailed, showing the claims were factually baseless.
These results aren't a rarity for Eggum. His fellow attorneys say he has the perfect combination of drive, dedication to his clients, high ethical standards, and impressive legal skills.
"John's clients rely on his expertise and sound judgement," said Elizabeth Barton, assistant deputy general counsel for Chicago Public Schools.
Barton points to a case involving $54 million in potential insurance coverage. “The fact that the court found that the insurer had no liability is an impressive result,” she said.
"The suit alleged the entire limits were subject to exposure from a construction-related accident. This was an extraordinary result for John's client," Barton said.
In another major victory, Eggum assisted an insurer in recovering more than $4 million from an insured that attempted to conceal assets from creditors during an eight-year judgment enforcement process.
And finally, in a matter involving alleged joint and several liability for the destruction of 30 buildings and the deaths of 47 people in a massive freight train disaster, Eggum resolved the alleged liability in a cross-border dispute involving Canadian and American courts, with his client paying less than 1% of total alleged exposure.
Eggum is an active member of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, serving on the organization’s Board of Directors and holding various other positions, including being an editor and author for the “The IDC Quarterly,” in which he writes about developments in the Illinois Legislature affecting civil practice and Illinois courts.
Mark Mifflin, of Giffin Winning Cohen & Bodewes, a well-respected litigation firm in Springfield, Illinois, said Eggum's work with the IDC has been exceptional and he has been a major help in advancing the association's goals of ensuring civil litigants are treated fairly and equitably.
"His advocacy clearly states the issues while explaining the ramifications of the various proposals," Mifflin said. "He has always represented the Illinois Defense Counsel and our members and clients very professionally. He has been successful in persuading legislators to support our positions. This is not always easy in the politically charged atmosphere of the legislative process."
In his community, Eggum works to promote and expand housing opportunities as a Commissioner for the Arlington Heights Housing Commission. Having been appointed by Mayor Tom Hayes and confirmed by the Village Board of Trustees, Eggum works to ensure that housing policies adopted in Arlington Heights are benefiting all Village residents.