William K. McVisk: Lawyer with Johnson & Bell, Ltd.

William K. McVisk

Chicago,  IL  U.S.A.
Phone(312) 984-0229

Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews

Practice Areas

  • Health Care
  • Insurance
University University of Illinois, B.A., 1974
Law SchoolNorthwestern University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1977
Admitted1977, Illinois; 1999, Indiana; U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Seventh and Tenth Circuits; U.S. District Courts for Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; U.S. District Courts for Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana


•Defense Research Institute

•American Board of Medical Specialties, general counsel

•Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, board of directors, former chairman of its Insurance Law Committee

•Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys, past president

•Chicagoland Healthcare Risk Management Society

BornChicago, Illinois, October 8, 1953

William K. McVisk concentrates his practice on complex insurance coverage litigation, and hospital law and medical liability. Mr. McVisk has handled all areas of coverage and bad faith litigation, especially third-party bad faith and coverage litigation involving commercial general liability, hospital professional liability and physicians professional liability coverages.

Holder of an honorary AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, Mr. McVisk has written several articles on insurance coverage, including a quarterly column he penned for the IDC Quarterly for several years.

He holds positions at many associations, including general counsel at the American Board of Medical Specialties, and on the board of directors at the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, as well as former chairman of its Insurance Law Committee. He is also past president of the Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys and belongs to the Defense Research Institute and the Chicagoland Healthcare Risk Management Society, among other associations.


•AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell

Illinois Super Lawyers in Insurance Coverage 2004-2016

Presentations & Publications


•Author, Illinois Supreme Court Rules That TCPA Damages are Insurable, Johnson & Bell Insurance Newsletter, Summer 2013.
•Co-author, “Risk Shifting in Construction : The Use of Indemnity Agreements and Insurance Coverage to Allocate Risk Among the Parties to Construction Contracts, ” Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 1.
•Author, “The Attorney Client and Work Product Privileges in Insurance Litigation, ” DRI In House Defense Quarterly (Third Quarter 2007).
•Coauthor, The IDC Monograph: “ Insurance Coverage for Defense Counsel: A Primer, ”IDC Quarterly (First Quarter 2006)
•Author, The IDC Monograph: “ Insurance Law: Defining the Contours of the Duty to Defend, ”IDC Quarterly (First Quarter, 2002).
•Author, The IDC Monograph: “Allocating Loss Between Self-Insurance and Insurance, ”IDC Quarterly (First Quarter 1999).
•Additional Insureds and Targeted Tenders an Anaylysis of Illinois Law
Illinois Supreme Court Holds that Duty to Defend Is Triggered by Insured's Allegations in Counterclaim & Affirmative Defense, Johnson & Bell Insurance Coverage Newsletter, Spring 2010


• An Introduction to Defending TCPA Claims and Litigating TCPA Insurance Coverage Issues, ALFA International's Insurance Practice Group Webinar, October 2015.
• Protecting Your Organization from Data Breaches -- the Legal Perspective, Life Services Network Annual Meeting, May 2, 2014.
•PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, Third-Party Insurance Disputes, Indianapolis, IN, March 16-19, 2014.
• Adventures in Shifting Risk - Illinois & Indiana Perspectives, Johnson & Bell Insurance Seminar, September 12, 2013.
•“Legal Risks Presented by Behavioral Health Patients and Strategies to Reduce Those Risks, ” Clarity Group, Chicago, Illinois, June 18, 2009.
•PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, “Extrinsic Evidence and the Duty to Defend, ” Seattle, Washington, March 23-25, 2009.
•“Top Ten Ways to Pay More Than You Should For A Claim In Illinois, ” Markel Insurance Company and Colony Insurance Company, Richmond, Virginia, September 3-5, 2008.
•PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, “Wrongful Death - Claims Handling and Defense, ” Boston, Massachusetts, April 13-16, 2008.
•PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, “Risk Shifting in Construction : Third Party Actions for Contribution & Additional Insured Coverage to Allocate Risk Among the Parties to Construction Projects, ”Orlando, Florida, March 17-18, 2007.
•PLRB/LIRB Northeast Regional Conference, “New Developments in Case Law Constructing the Commercial General Liability Policy, ” Schaumberg, Illinois, September 6-7, 2006.
•ISBA Medical Malpractice Section Council, “Physician, Insurer and Legal Counsel Relationship, ” Chicago, Illinois, April 20, 2006.
•NAMIC Claims Conference, “Targeted Tenders and Additional Insureds, ”Savannah, Georgia, January 26, 2006.

Reported CasesRepresentative Cases: Patrick Engineering v. Old Republic Ins. Co., 2012 IL App (2d) 111111 (Ill. Ct. App. 2012). Won summary judgment for insured, Commonwealth Edison Co., on question of whether it was covered as an additional insured on a policy issued to a subcontractor engineering firm in connection with an excavation project, and summary judgment was affirmed on appeal. The insurer argued that the loss was excluded under the professional services exclusion because the liability stemmed from engineering services provided to Commonwealth Edison by the named insured. The court held that the separation of insureds clause prevented the professional services exclusion from applying to Commonwealth Edison, which had not provided professional services.; Iowa Physicians' Clinic Med. Foundation v. Physicians Insurance Co. of Wisconsin, 547 F.3d 810 (7th Cir. 2008). Won judgment on the pleadings in favor of insurer in suit alleging that insurer breached duty of good faith by failing to settle claim within the insurer's policy limits, resulting in a verdict of $3.5 million, which was $2.5 million in excess of the insurer's policy limits. The insurer's policy covered the defendant physician, but did not cover the clinic which employed the physician. After the judgment was entered, the insurer paid its policy limits, and the clinic paid the remainder of the judgment. The clinic and physician then sued the insurer for breaching the duty to settle, claiming that they would not have been subjected to the excess verdict if the insurer had acted in good faith. The trial court granted judgment on the pleadings for the insurer, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed. The court ruled that the physician could not sue the insurer for bad faith, since the clinic had paid the excess judgment, meaning that the physician had not been damaged. The court further ruled that the insurer owed no duty of good faith to the clinic, even though it was vicariously liable for the physician, because the clinic was not an insured under the policy.; Won summary judgment for auto insurer in an underinsured motorist claim, establishing that the $1 million liability limit of the underinsured motorist coverage had to be reduced by the amount of the workers' compensation payments made by the same carrier, and that if the damages sustained by the plaintiff were less than the $1 million policy limit, the workers' compensation payments had to be deducted from the amount awarded. The plaintiff argued that the policy precluded the insurer from deducting the workers' compensation payments since the policy did not apply to the direct or indirect benefit of any workers' compensation insurer. The plaintiff maintained that since the underinsured motorist insurer was also the workers' compensation insurer, allowing it to deduct the workers' compensation payments from its limits would benefit the workers' compensation insurer. The court ruled that the language of the policy requiring that the worker's compensation benefits be deducted from the limits was clear and unambiguous, and further ruled that to prevent double recovery, the workers' compensation benefits had to be deducted from any award that was less than the policy limits as well. The case is on appeal.; Wright v. American States Ins. Co., 765 N.E.2d 690 (Ind.App. 2002). Summary judgment for insurer affirmed on question of whether the insured school's CGL policy covered damages for injuries to several school children in a crash of a school bus operated by the school. The school and the plaintiff in the underlying case claimed that the CGL policy should apply because the complaint alleged that the school was negligent for failing to investigate the driver's driving record, employing an incompetent driver with a suspended license, and failing to equip the bus to prevent injuries to the children. The court ruled that the insurer owed no duty to defend or indemnify the school, because the efficient and predominant cause of the injuries was the use of an auto, which was excluded under the policy.; National Union Fire Ins. Co. v. R. Olson Constr. Contractors, 329 Ill.App. 3d 228 (2002). Represented insurer in suit against contractor claiming that it was an additional insured under the policy issued to its subcontractor. The court ruled that there was no coverage for the contractor, because the additional insured endorsement provided that there would be no coverage for any liability resulting from the additional insured's own negligence. Since the complaint did not seek to hold the contractor vicariously liable for the subcontractor's conduct, there was no coverage, and the insurer had no duty to defend.

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Office Information

William K. McVisk

33 West Monroe Street, Suite 2700
ChicagoIL 60603-5404


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