Jonathan Barger is a Senior Associate with the Chicago office of Butler. His primary focus is first-party property claims and related coverage litigation, from large, complex commercial claims to personal lines claims. Jon also has significant experience in large loss property subrogation, defending third-party liability claims related to large property losses, and international commercial litigation. He has worked on claims in excess of $250 million dollars throughout the Midwest and across the United States.
Jon has substantial trial and litigation experience both regionally and nationally. He routinely handles all aspects of litigation and has tried numerous jury trials, including serving as lead trial counsel.
Jon has significant experience with fire losses and the multiple issues that can arise from fire investigation methods and techniques, fire cause and origin determination, fire spread, and fire suppression system performance. He volunteers as an instructor for training and continuing education for fire investigators with the Illinois Fire Service Institute at the University of Illinois, as well as the Illinois chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators (“IAAI”).
Jon assists insurers with first-party claim issues ranging from legal assistance with claims investigations, conducting examinations under oath, and providing coverage opinions. He defends insurers against allegations of breach of contract, bad faith, and other extra-contractual relief. In addition to his fire loss background, he has handled cases involving water, mold, wind damage, as well as other kinds of property damage.
Jon advises internationally-based insurers on claims involving significant liability exposures throughout the United States, including product liability, D&O liability, and financial lines claims. His international experience includes working with European market insurers and defending European companies in U.S. Courts. His international background and expertise places him in a unique position to handle cases with complex jurisdictional issues.
Jon is a frequent insurance industry speaker and educator, providing training sessions and speaking at insurance industry conferences across the country on a wide range of property insurance and other topics. He has spoken at the annual PLRB Claims Conference, the PLRB Regional Adjuster Conferences, and at various claim adjuster associations.
Jon received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French language and literature from Vanderbilt University in 1997. He studied with the Vanderbilt-in-France program in Aix-en-Provence and with the Centre International d'Études Françaises (“CIEF”) at the Université Lumière Lyon 2. He is fluent in French, with full business proficency. He received a Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2002, along with a Certificate in International and Comparative Law.