William McVisk Tressler LLP

McVisk, William K. Partner

McVisk, William K. Partner

Practice Focus

Bill focuses his practice on complex insurance coverage litigation and hospital law and medical liability. He has handled all areas of coverage and bad faith litigation, especially third-party bad faith and coverage litigation involving commercial general liability, professional liability coverages as well as personal lines coverages such as auto and homeowners coverages.

Professional Background

Bill has been a litigator and trial lawyer for more than 30 years and has focused his practice on representing insurers and insureds in insurance coverage and bad faith disputes and hospitals and nursing homes in medical negligence cases. He has also acted as general counsel for the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He has tried numerous serious cases, including insurance bad faith cases and personal injury cases with injuries as severe as brain damage and death. Bill has been selected to Illinois Super Lawyers® and Illinois Leading Lawyers® since 2019. He was selected by his peers in the 27th Edition (2021) and 29th Edition (2023) of The Best Lawyers in America© for Insurance Law and Insurance Litigation.

Bill was recently selected as the 2024 Lawyer of the Year for Chicago: Litigation - Insurance by U.S. News and World Report and 
Best Lawyers®

Leading Lawyers Badge

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, President 2019-2020
  • American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC), Fellow

  • Defense Research Institute, Insurance Law Committee
  • Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys, Former President
  • American Society of Medical Association Counsel


Recent Articles and Blogs

"The Illinois Appellate Court and the Right to Independent Counsel," Commercial General Liability Dispatch, May 5, 2020

Duty to Defend Under Additional Insured Coverage Where Plaintiff’s Employer or Named Insured Not Named in Underlying Complaint," Commercial General Liability Dispatch, June 17, 2019

"Federal Jurisdiction for Coverage Claims Involving Class Actions and Required Notice of Policy Changes in Missouri," Commercial General Liability Dispatch, February 4, 2019

"Breaching the Duty to Defend Can Lead to Extracontractual Liability in Illinois," 2018 Insurance Law Committee Covered Events Issue 8, September, 2018

"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

"The Attorney Client and Work Product Privileges in Insurance Litigation," DRI In House Defense Quarterly, Third Quarter 2007

Co-author, "The IDC Monograph: Insurance Coverage for Defense Counsel: A Primer," IDC Quarterly, First Quarter 2006

"The IDC Monograph: Insurance Law: Defining the Contours of the Duty to Defend," IDC Quarterly, First Quarter, 2002

"The IDC Monograph: Allocating Loss Between Self-Insurance and Insurance," IDC Quarterly, First Quarter 1999

"Additional Insureds and Targeted Tenders an Analysis 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


Presentations & Events

Representative Experience

  • Southwest Disabilities Services and Support v. ProAssurance Specialty Insurance Co., 2018 IL App (1st)  171670 (Ill. Ct. App. 2018). Won motion for judgment on pleadings, which was affirmed on appeal, because claim was not first reported during the policy period. Insured argued that insurer was estopped from denying coverage because it did not defend under a reservation of rights or file a declaratory judgment action, and that duty to defend was created because ProAssurance was advised that an occurrence had taken place during its policy period.  Court agreed that duty to defend was not triggered because the claim was not reported during the claims made policy period. 

  • Mid-Century Ins. Co. v. Pizza by Marchelloni, 2018 WL 215758 (C.D. Ill. 5/10/2018).  Won motion for judgment on pleadings based on exclusion for bodily injury due to the use of an auto by any insured.  The plaintiff claimed that the driver of the auto at fault was not an “insured” under the policy, so the auto exclusion did not apply.  However, the driver was alleged to have been in the process of delivering a pizza for the named insured under the policy, and the policy defined “insured to include any employee of the named insured. 

  • Christmas v. Hugar, 409 Ill.App.3d 91 (1st Dist. 2011).  Represented Loretto Hospital and won motion to dismiss medical malpractice case with prejudice because the physician that authored the plaintiff’s report attesting to the merits of the case, as required by 735 ILCS 5/2-622, was not licensed as a podiatrist at the time he authored the report, even though he was licensed as an osteopathic physician at that time, since his criticism related to care provided by a podiatrist.  Appellate court affirmed the dismissal.

  • 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.


  • "Insurance and Contractual Indemnification: Reconciling Competing Indemnity Obligations with Insurance Coverage," Strafford Webinars, September 21, 2023
  • "Recent Developments in D&O Liability and Insurance Coverage," ABA Business Law Fall Meeting, September 9, 2023
  • "Carrier v. Carrier Litigation - The Double-Edged Sword," DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, New York, December 2021
  • "Issues with Medical Specialty Boards and Maintenance of Certification or Continuous Certification," American Society of Medical Association Counsel Fall Conference, October 14, 2021
  • "Tressler Talks: The Right to Independent Counsel and Beyond," Tressler Webinar, June 2020
  • "How to Avoid Being That Lawyer: Missed Opportunities and Other Pitfalls that Can Land You In Hot Water with your Carrier," DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, Chicago, April 2019
  • "Insurer v. Insurer Litigation," DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, New York, November 2018
  • "Complex Catastrophic Injury and Construction Defect Matters in the Midwest: Practice Pointers from Claims, Coverage and Defense Perspectives," CLM Construction Conference, Chicago, September 2018
  • ALFA International, 2017 Insurance Law Roundtable, Managing Multiple Limits, Additional Insured Endorsements, Primary/Excess and Multiple Scenarios, New York, June 2017
  • "Risk Shifting: the Use of Indemnity Agreements and Insurance Coverage to Allocate Risk Among the Parties to Multi-Defendant Tort Cases," DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute ,Chicago, April 2016
  • "Settling the Duty to Defend," PLRB 2016 Claims Conference, San Antonio, April 2016
  • "Risk Shifting: How Owners, Contractors, Subcontractors and Their Insurers Shift Liability to the Other Side," IDC Insurance Law Seminar, Chicago, January 2016
  • “Keeping the Bad Faith Industry in the Cottage – Strategies for Avoiding and Winning Bad Faith and Consumer Fraud Suits," ALFA International, 2012 EPLI & Professional Liability Seminar New York, New York, June 13-15, 2012
  • "The Attorney Client Privilege and Attorney’s Work Product Privilege for Corporations and Insurance Companies," ISBA Conference on Corporate Law,  Chicago, Illinois and Bloomington, Illinois, May 6, 2011 and June 10, 2011
  • "Getting The Best Deal You Can – Assessing, Settling And Trying Serious Personal Injury Cases," PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference,  Nashville, Tennessee, April 4-6, 2011
  • "Employers Liability Coverage for Construction Injuries," PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, San Antonio, Texas, March 22-24, 2010
  • "The Contours of the Duty to Defend – The Use of Extrinsic Evidence," PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, Seattle, Washington, March 22-25, 2009
  • "Wrongful Death Actions," PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference,  Boston, Massachusetts, April 14-16, 2008
  • "Maintaining the Attorney Client and Work Product Privileges In Insurance Claims," Safeco Claims Department,  Indianapolis, Indiana, May 6, 2008
  • "Construction Football, How Contractors, Subcontractors and their Insurers Shift Losses to the Other Side," Investors Underwriting Claims and Underwriting Departments, Red Bank, New Jersey, December 12, 2007
  • Panel Moderator, "Coverage For Construction Defects," IDC Insurance Symposium, St. Louis, Missouri, September 21, 2007
  • "Risk Shifting in Construction: Third Party Actions for Contribution & Additional Insured Coverage to Allocate Risk Among the Parties to Construction Projects," PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, Orlando, Florida, March 17-18, 2007
  • "New Developments In Case Law Construing The Commercial General Liability Policy," PLRB/LIRB Northeast Regional Conference,  Schaumburg, Illinois, September 6-7, 2006
  • "Physician, Insurer and Legal Counsel Relationship," ISBA Medical Malpractice Section Council, Chicago, Illinois, April 20, 2006