Zacarias Chacon

Partner

  • location icon Chicago, IL
    550 West Adams Street
    Chicago, IL 60661

Zacarias Chacon is a partner in the Chicago office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Insurance Law, Bad Faith Litigation, Insurance Coverage, and First Party Property Practices. Mr. Chacon's practice has concentrated on first party coverage for over 30 years. During that time, he has handled cases involving every aspect of first party property coverage and has opined on coverage under ISO forms, AAIS forms and proprietary and manuscript policies.

Mr. Chacon has opined on and litigated questions involving:

  • The meaning of “direct physical loss”
  • The fortuity requirement
  • Earth movement exclusions
  • Governmental action exclusions
  • The exclusions for delay, wear and tear, rust, corrosion, fungus, decay, hidden or latent defect, settling
  • The mechanical breakdown exclusion
  • The exclusions for dampness, continuous or repeated seepage or leakage
  • The exclusion for dishonest or criminal acts
  • The exclusion for “voluntary parting”
  • The inventory shortage exclusion,
  • The exclusion for faulty design, workmanship or construction
  • Loss valuation (actual cash or replacement cost)
  • Compliance with the policy conditions of notice, cooperation, production of documents and submission to examinations under oath.
  • Time element coverages including loss of business income, contingent business income, soft costs and extra expense coverage
  • Builder’s Risk coverage, including basic coverage grant and nearly all of common exclusions
  • “Malware”, “System Penetration”, “Hacking”, and other computer related coverages and exclusions

Mr. Chacon has investigated, litigated and resolved first party coverage cases throughout the country, including Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky and North Carolina, as far south as Florida and Louisiana, in the western states of Texas, Nevada, Arizona, California and Oregon and in the Midwestern States of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, Minnesota and South Dakota.

Of all of the issues raised under first party property policies, Mr. Chacon has devoted most of his practice to the investigation and litigation of cases involving arson and fraud. In this regard, he has taken hundreds of examinations under oath and litigated an equal number of cases involving a variety of fraudulent schemes. Mr. Chacon has always approached fraud on offense, attempting not only to defeat the fraudulent claim under the Concealment, Misrepresentation or Fraud provision, but also to recover, in the form of penalties, investigative costs and attorney’s fees, or even prior claim payments, directly against the insured.

Mr. Chacon also has extensive appellate experience, having handled appeals before the Illinois appellate districts, the Illinois Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Publications

  • Article, Insurers Develop New Products to Cover Web Perils, The National Law Journal, C8, August 20, 2001
  • Article, Cyberproperty Losses and Traditional First Party Property Coverages, 5 J.Ins.Cov. 52, Spring 2002
  • Co-Author, @Risk-Version 2.0, The Definitive Guide to Legal Issues of Insurance and Reinsurance of Internet, e-Commerce and Cyber Perils, 2002
  • Article, Mold Damage Claims Likely to Keep Growing, Business Insurance-Industry Focus, 22, March 2004

Representative Cases

  • Horton v. Allstate Ins. Co upholding the obligation of an insured to produce documents
  • American Casualty Co. v. B. Cianciolo, Inc. affirming trial court’s fraud judgment for insurer notwithstanding jury verdict
  • Lorenz v. Valley Forge reversing bad faith punitive damage award because of judge’s introduction of attorney client communications into evidence
  • In re: Schneck Farms – judgment against fraudulent insured, award of attorneys fees and incarceration of insured’s principal
  • In re Crystal Farms – judgment against fraudulent insured for prior claim payments
  • Y2K National Coordinating Counsel for property claims for a major insurance company
  • Cimco Communications v. National Fire Insurance Company - first Illinois decision addressing the construction of the “period of restoration”/”necessary suspension of operations” language in over 100 years
  • Valley Forge v. REC Entertainment - $3.25 million judgment against insured for violation of Illinois Insurance Fraud Act and incarceration of insured’s principle
  • Continental Cas. Co. v. Mohatare - $483,847.01 judgment against insured for violation of Illinois Insurance Fraud Act

Professional Presentations

Frequent speaker, Annual PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference

Admissions

Illinois

Associations

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute

Awards & Honors

  • Illinois "Leading Lawyer," 2005
  • Illinois "Super Lawyer," 2006, 2008

Education

University of Texas at Austin

Juris Doctor, 1981

University of Texas at Austin

Bachelor of Arts, 1978

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