LCA Senior Fellow Chuck Spevacek and Team Obtain Dismissal of Target’s $74 Million Data Breach Insurance Coverage Claim Against Chubb

On February 8, 2021, Meagher + Geer, PLLP attorneys Chuck Spevacek, Bill Hart, Michael McNamee, and Julia Nierengarten made news heard around the insurance world when they obtained on behalf of two Chubb entities – ACE American Insurance Company and ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Company – an order from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota granting their motion for summary judgment and dismissing the claim of Target Corporation for insurance coverage for losses arising out of its 2013 data breach. In November of 2019, Target sued its primary CGL insurer ACE American, and third layer excess CGL carrier ACE Property & Casualty, for breach of contract and for a declaratory judgment, seeking to compel the Defendants to indemnify it for the sums paid in settlement of the claims of various payment card issuing companies alleged as the cost of replacement of millions of plastic payment cards compromised as a result of Target’s 2013 data breach. Target claimed its settlement payments were reimbursable under the ACE issued primary CGL and excess CGL policies as sums it was legally obligated to pay as damages for the loss of use of tangible property. The court rejected Target’s claims, and directed that summary judgment be entered in favor of the ACE defendants.

News of this decision has been reported in Insurance Journal, Reuters, Insurance Business, Business Insurance, The Insurer and Fintech Zoom. It was the “headline” case reported in Law360 Insurance.

Chuck has more than 30 years of experience litigating complex commercial cases, with particular emphasis on the trial and appeal of insurance coverage disputes, including breach of contract, declaratory judgment and bad faith actions. Chuck has served as a national coordinating coverage counsel for several of his clients, including on matters involving environmental losses, cyber-liability, TPCA claims and, most recently, COVID-19 claims. He has shared his expertise on insurance issues in testimony before the Minnesota Legislature. Chuck was named in both 2021 and 2016 by The Best Lawyers in America as its Minneapolis Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year.” He was also named as its 2019 and 2014 Minneapolis Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year.” He has twice been recognized by Minnesota Lawyer as an “Attorney of the Year,” in 2013 and in 2006. He was chosen as one of Minnesota’s 10 best appellate lawyers and has been recognized since 2003 as a Minnesota Super Lawyer, earning Top 100 distinction in fifteen of those years. Since 2013, he has been identified by Chambers USA as one of America’s Leading Litigation Lawyers for Business.