Download PDF

News & Events

Illinois Attorneys Obtain Defense for Travel Agency in Breach of Contract, Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case

Chicago partner Michael L. Hahn and two other Litchfield Cavo attorneys recently obtained a defense verdict in favor of their clients, a Chicago based travel agency and its principal. Plaintiff and multiple defendants entered into an oral agreement whereby, over the course of four years, the defendants transferred nearly $1 million of Plaintiff’s monies from the United States to the Kingdom of Cambodia. When the intended recipient disappeared and ceased communications, Plaintiff sought to hold Defendants liable for the transferred funds asserting claims for breach of contract, conversion, unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty.

At trial, Plaintiff argued that because Defendants failed to present records that they successfully transferred all of the roughly $1 million to the Cambodian recipient, the court should infer that the funds were never transferred and hold Defendants liable to the plaintiff.

Focusing on inconsistencies in Plaintiff’s evidence, the defense argued that Plaintiff sought to improperly shift the burden of proof onto Defendants and that it was far more likely that any loss sustained by Plaintiff were solely due to the acts of Cambodian recipient.

Through a bench trial judgment order, the Court agreed with the defense and ruled that Plaintiff failed to meet her burden of proof and, importantly, declined to issue an adverse inference ruling even though the defendants did not keep records of the funds transferred to Cambodia.

Mike’s practice includes litigation of complex matters, insurance coverage and insurance litigation. He defends policy-holders and self-insureds, businesses and individuals in complex claims including those involving executive, professional and employers liability defense.