Stanley A. Kitzinger is a founding partner of McKnight & Kitzinger. He is a member of the Illinois and New York bar and admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois and New Jersey. His practice focuses on insurance disputes and commercial litigation. Mr. Kitzinger began his career in the New York metropolitan area representing large and mid-size businesses in commercial disputes and insurers in both first and third party matters. Upon moving to Chicago more than two decades ago Mr. Kitzinger continued representing litigants in a variety of commercial disputes. He also expanded his practice to include first party coverage disputes including defending insurers from fraudulent first party claims and bad faith claims.
Mr. Kitzinger has experience representing businesses and insurers before trial and appellate courts at the state and federal level and represented numerous parties using alternative dispute resolution procedures, such as mediation and arbitration.
- J.D. with honors, Albany Law School of Union University, Albany, New York 1994
- Albany Law School Law Review Note, The Supreme Court Waves Good-bye to Frye: Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 58 Alb. L. Rev. 575 (1994).
- Associate Editor, Albany Law School Journal of Science and Technology
- Union College, Schenectady, New York 1989
- Certified Mediator, Northwestern School of Continuing Studies
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association
Decisions of Note
Robbins v. Allstate Insurance Company, Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, 362 Ill. App. 3d 540 (2nd Dist. 2006).
Mr.Kitzinger represented the Allstate Insurance Company in an action brought by its insured arising out of the insurer’s denial of plaint”1ff’s claim for benefits under a homeowner’s policy of insurance based upon the destruction of his house by fire. Mr. Kitzinger successfully argued to the trial court that plaintiff intentionally caused the fire that consumed his home and was guilty of insurance fraud. The Court entered a judgment in excess of $400,000.00 in favor of Allstate on its insurance fraud counterclaim. The Second District Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s decision in favor of the insurer. This decision was profiled in the December 13, 2005 edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
Addison et al. v. MGM Development, Inc. et al, Illinois Appellate Court, First District, 836 N.E.2d 88(1st Dist. 2005).
Mr. Kitzinger represented a development company and its principal in a class action brought by purchasers of property within the Marley Creek subdivision claiming the developer misrepresented the construction of a golf course adjacent to their subdivision. The trial court dismissed plaintiffs’ cause of action adopting Mr. Kitzinger’s argument that plaintiffs were unable to plead a cause of action for common law or statutory consumer fraud. The First District Appellate Court affirmed the decision finding that plaintiffs’ vague assertions of fact were insufficient to assert claims for common law and consumer fraud. The early resolution of this matter resulted in significant savings in time and money to the developer. This decision was profiled in the September 1, 2005 edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
In re: Michael Lyckberg, 310 B.R. 881 (N.D. Ill. 2004).
Mr. Kitzinger represented an insurer in an adversary proceeding brought by the bankruptcy trustee to recover for an alleged theft loss to the insured/debtor’s personal property. This case involved novel issues regarding the ownership of the claim and the insurer’s rights to investigate a loss. The insurer denied the claim based upon the debtor’s refusal to cooperate in the investigation of the loss and that the loss was staged by the debtor in an attempt to defraud the insurer. The insurer prevailed when the Court granted its Motion for Directed Finding at the close of evidence finding that the trustee failed to establish that a covered loss occurred.
Maley v. Design Benefits Plan, Inc., 01 Civ. 50010 (N.D. Ill. 2004).
Mr. Kitzinger represented Design Benefits Plan, Inc. in a suit brought by plaintiff seeking in excess of $1,000,000.00 plus punitive damages. Plaintiff, a former regional manager for defendant, brought his causes of action for fraud, conspiracy, and breach of contract claiming Defendant defrauded him by failing to appropriately pay commissions on policies of insurance sold by plaintiff and agents working for him. The Court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment finding that plaintiff could not, as a matter of law, establish his claims for fraud and conspiracy. The Court then entered judgment for $180.00, the amount defendant acknowledged it owed under the contract.
Representative Jury Trials
Yassin v. Allstate Insurance Company, Circuit Court of Cook County.
Plaintiff claimed his home and personal property were damaged by water while he was out-of-town on extended business trip. Allstate denied his claim based upon the loss being caused by plaintiff’s failure to maintain adequate heat in the home resulting in pipes freezing and breaking, failure to cooperate in Allstate’s investigation of the claim, and plaintiff’s material misrepresentations in the submission of his claim including claiming pre- existing damage as an element of this loss. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Allstate.
Youshaei v. Allstate Insurance Company, Circuit Court of Cook County.
Allstate denied plaintiff’s claim for damages a rising out of extensive water damage to insured residential investment property caused by ruptured pipes alleging Plaintiff failed to maintain adequate heat in the home to prevent pipes from freezing and for failing to cooperate with Allstate’s investigation of the claim. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Allstate agreeing with Allstate’s affirmative defenses.
Baldwin v. Allstate Insurance Company, Circuit Court of Cook County.
Allstate denied plaintiff’s claim for insurance proceeds alleging that plaintiff intentionally caused the fire at her residence and then attempted to defraud insurer. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Allstate specifically finding that plaintiff intentionally caused the fire at her home and misrepresented material facts to Allstate during its investigation of the claim.
Smith v. Allstate Insurance Company, Circuit Court of Cook County.
Plaintiff’s home was destroyed by fire in 2000. Plaintiff claimed an unknown third party set the fire resulting in the loss of real and personal property. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Allstate specifically finding that plaintiff intentionally set the fire in his home and made numerous material misrepresentations to Allstate during the claim investigation.
Thornton v. Allstate Insurance Company, Circuit Court of Cook County.
A fire occurred at plaintiff’s home causing extensive damage to her real and personal property. Allstate denied the claim based upon plaintiff’s involvement in setting the fire and making material misrepresentations regarding the cause, nature, and extent of her loss. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Allstate specifically finding that plaintiff misrepresented the extent and value of the personal property claimed damaged.
Chaudhry v. McIlquham, Circuit Court of Cook County.
Mr. Kitzinger represented the defendant driver who admitted at the time of the accident his light was red. Despite this, Mr. Kitzinger was able to persuade the jury that the proximate cause of the accident was plaintiff’s negligence and that her bulging disc was unrelated to the accident.
Lee v. Davenport, Circuit Court of Cook County.
Mr. Kitzinger represented the defendant driver who made a left turn in front of plaintiff resulting in a traffic accident allegedly causing plaintiff various injuries including multiple bulging discs. Jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendant based upon Mr. Kitzinger’s argument that plaintiff’s negligence (speeding) was proximate cause of the accident and that the injuries claimed were either fabricated or unrelated to the accident.
Hasselquist v. Allstate Insurance Company, Circuit Court of Cook County.
Plaintiff claimed he was carjacked at knifepoint by an intoxicated patron of a suburban pub who later wrecked plaintiff’s vehicle. Allstate denied the claim based upon plaintiffs fabricated story of a carjacking. After a four day trial the jury returned a verdict in favor of Allstate.