Catalina (Cathy) Sugayan represents domestic and international insurers providing primary, excess and reinsurance coverage to municipalities, school districts, churches and other public and private entities. She has substantial experience in policy drafting, coverage analysis and claims resolution in matters involving civil rights, law enforcement liability, sexual misconduct, land use, education, sports injuries, employment, professional liability, and class and collective actions. She has litigated coverage in several state and federal trial and appellate courts, and many bankruptcy courts. Her expertise includes matters involving duty to defend and settle, bad faith, consent judgments, trigger and allocation, intentional acts, claims made issues, additional insureds, lost policies, UM/UIM and advertising injury.
Chambers USA has ranked Cathy in the category for Insurance: Dispute Resolution (Illinois) in which clients say “Her wealth of knowledge in the insurance field is incredible. She instills confidence and you can always trust that you are in a safe pair of hands.” Cathy has also received an AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.
In addition, Cathy has been honored as one of the "Most Powerful & Influential Women in Illinois" by the National Diversity Council.
- Supreme Court of the United States
- US District Court for the Northern District of California
- US District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- US District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- US District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- US Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits
- J.D., Boston University, 1985
- B.A., high honors, University of Michigan, 1982
- American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC), Fellow
- Defense Research Institute (DRI), Insurance and Governmental Liability Sections
- Association of Professional Insurance Women
- Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), Board member
- Trial Bar of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- Secured several summary judgment and appellate court rulings for insurer clients in declaratory judgment suits involving policy exclusions, scope of coverage, trigger and number of occurrences, claims made issues, duties to defend and indemnify late notice and available limits.
- Obtained favorable policy buy-back settlement agreements on behalf of insurers in several Catholic Diocese bankruptcy actions.
- Negotiated favorable settlements in complex class action and multiple claimant lawsuits, including cases alleging unlawful law enforcement activities, sexual molestation, employment claims and property damage.
- Defeated bad faith claims in several declaratory judgment lawsuits brought in various state and federal courts.
- Represented insurers after entry of significant judgments and consent judgments, and obtained favorable resolutions by coordinating with defense counsel on post-verdict motions and appeals, litigating coverage or securing contributions from the insured and others.
- Co-presenter, "High Stakes Litigation and Investigations: Steering Our Clients Through Shifting Tides," NACUA Annual Conference, June 2020
- Co-presenter, "The Duty to Settle and Avoiding Bad Faith," DRI's Young Lawyers and Claims Professionals Boot Camp, September 2018
- Co-presenter, "Beyond the ABC's: Addressing Sexual Misconduct and Bullying in Schools," 2017 PRIMA Annual Conference, June 2017
- Chair, DRI Bad Faith Conference, March 2017
- Co-presenter, "Bad Faith Cases and Mediation: How to Succeed, How to Fail," DRI's Insurance Law Committee Webinar, January 2017
- Co-presenter, "Consent Judgments: Pushing the Bad Faith Envelope," PLRB Large Loss Conference, October 2016
- Co-presenter, "Excessive Force: Prevent Your Municipality from Making Headline News and Paying Costly Claims," 2016 PRIMA Annual Conference, June 2016
- Co-presenter, "Liability for Alleged Police Misconduct – The Legal Landscape after Ferguson, Missouri," 2015 ABA Annual Meeting, July 2015
- Presenter, "Litigating the Consent Judgment Case," 2015 DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, March 2015
- Presenter, "Exoneration – DNA and Its Secret Chromosome in Civil Litigation," 2013 DRI Annual Meeting, October 2013
- Presenter, "Drilling Down on the Duty to Defend: Beyond the Four Corners," 2012 DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, March 2012