Meet members of the Insurance Coverage Section with the Take Ten Q&A Series!
Meet: Jeff Featherstun, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP
How long have you been doing coverage work?
I’ve been working in this area ever since I came to the firm in 1992. Not exclusively, but from the beginning. I recall one of my first research projects at Plews was a 50-state survey on environmental coverage issues such as the pollution exclusion, suit and damages. And it went on from there.
What was the most bizarre case?
Not a case, but the lobbying work I did at the Statehouse was really eye opening. The insurance industry, in several sessions, sponsored bills to try to overturn favorable insurance case law, cases my firm had litigated. It’s such a different process there versus in court. In the end, we and others were able to rally all kinds of policyholders, from mom and pop businesses to the state’s largest industries and associations, to stop insurers’ efforts to devalue the policies they had purchased to protect against unexpected environmental liability claims.
What was the most impactful?
I really enjoyed the work we did for the City of South Bend to obtain coverage for the remediation of the old Studebaker automotive factories. It closed in 1963 so there wasn’t much physical evidence, documents or witness to go on. The closure of the plants left a gaping hole that could still be felt. The cases took ten years in at least seven different courts in three states. But in the end, it was worth it. I feel like our work will have a beneficial impact for years to come.
What do you enjoy most about practicing in Indy?
It’s a great place to have a home and raise a family. Lawyers from big cities often think of Indy as a small town. But we get to do some of the most sophisticated and complicated legal work you’ll find anywhere.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not at work?
I love road cycling. It’s a chance to get outdoors and see all kinds of things you’d never notice in a car. And it’s also great exercise.
If you would like to be featured in the Take Ten Q+A series, send your responses to the above questions to Kara Sikorski at firstname.lastname@example.org and stay tuned for future installments!