Scott Cockrum has an active litigation practice focused primarily in the area of insurance coverage litigation, including automobile, property, construction loss and bad faith claims, in addition to products liability litigation, medical device litigation and complex general tort liability matters. Mr. Cockrum also handles professional liability defense matters for a variety of professionals, including insurance agents and brokers, as well as medical malpractice defense for physicians, dentists, hospitals and other health care providers. Mr. Cockrum’s practice also encompasses legal malpractice matters, mortgage and consumer financial actions and contractual liability and indemnity claims.
Mr. Cockrum joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in April 2003 and became a partner in 2006. Previously he was, for five years, an associate at Eichhorn & Eichhorn in Hammond, Indiana.
He served for five years as an adjunct professor in the Paralegal Program at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Indiana.
Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana
- Indiana State Bar Association
Honors & Awards
- Holds the BV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
Mr. Cockrum has extensive and varied litigation experience. He is frequently before Indiana state and federal courts in a variety of cases. He regularly handles declaratory judgment actions for insurers, as well as the defense of insurance companies in breach of contract, UIM, bad faith, and other claims In 2014 and 2015, Mr. Cockrum was counsel for a German museum that successfully recovered its collection of Frida Kahlo replica art in litigation in the United States District Court, Northern District of Indiana. In 2014, he successfully defended his client in a contested hearing for sanctions in United State Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Indiana. He has handled multiple bench trials for the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund in petitions for excess damages under Indiana's Medical Malpractice Act.
In June 2016, Mr. Cockrum was lead counsel in a five-day jury trial representing a physician in a medical malpractice claim. Mr. Cockrum secured a defense verdict in Lake Superior Court, Hammond, Indiana in Baum v. Schwartz, 45D01-1403-CT-00052. The trial involved an OB/GYN who was alleged to have negligently performed laparoscopic surgery on a patient with a very complicated medical and surgical history. The plaintiff, prior to surgery, complained repeatedly of severe abdominal pain. The defendant physician recommended the removal of her left ovary (the right had been removed by him in a prior surgery). Approximately three days after the procedure, the plaintiff was readmitted for a bowel perforation. Plaintiff alleged that the OB/GYN should not have performed the surgery and exercised poor judgment in recommending surgery and, instead, should have referred the case to a specialist. Plaintiff claimed and sought in excess of $1.6 million in damages. The Jury returned a defense verdict after over five hours of deliberation.
In 2015, Mr. Cockrum secured a declaratory summary judgment on a contested coverage matter involving alleged illusory coverage in Nautilus Insurance Co. v. Sunset Strip et al., 1:14-cv-01273.
He has also represented companies in damages or indemnity/breach of contract claims with successful results. See, e.g. Galardo v. Transportation Insurance Co., 1:10-CV-0004 (S.D. Ind. 2012) (summary judgment granted) and Mittal Steel v. Pekron Consulting, Inc., 2:07-CV-241-TS (N.D. Ind. 2010) (summary judgment granted).
In May 2010, Mr. Cockrum defended an oncologist in a claim involving the death of a 29-year-old mother of two related to a complication of chemotherapy in Lake Superior Court, Lake County, Indiana. LaDere v. Drasga, Cause No.: 45D10-0901-CT-13. After a five-day trial, Mr. Cockrum obtained a defense verdict for his client, while plaintiff obtained a $5 million verdict against three co-defendants. In 2007, Mr. Cockrum obtained a defense verdict in a bench trial involving a plastic surgeon.
In March 2006, he first-chaired a medical malpractice jury trial to verdict: Estate of Donald Custer et al v. Richard Wolfe, D.O., Cause No.:46D03-0001-CT-00052, in LaPorte County, Indiana. Jury verdict for plaintiff for less than estate’s claimed medical expenses.
Mr. Cockrum has extensive appellate experience as well, having handled over 40 appeals. He has argued before Indiana's Court of Appeals in the following:
Merrillville 2548 v. BMO Harris Bank, 45A03-1409-MF-00345, May 14, 2015 https://publicaccess.courts.in.gov/docket/Search/GoToOralArgument?DocumentID=1798
Wertz v. Asset Acceptance, 71A03-1305-CC-00175, February 25, 2014 (Opinion 3/21/14) https://publicaccess.courts.in.gov/docket/Search/GoToOralArgument?DocumentID=1635
Brant v. Krilich, 45A03-0411-CV-514
His reported cases include:
- Wertz v. Asset Acceptance, 5 N.E.3d 1175 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014)
- Chaffins v. Kauffman, 995 N.E.2d 707 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013)
- Breeden v. Hoffmeister-Repp, 2010 WL 4925629 (Ind. App. 2010)
- Estate of Mintz v. CGLIC, 905 N.E.2d 994 (Ind. 2009)
- Surfware, Inc. v. Allied Specialty Precision, 876 N.E.2d 1156 (Ind. App. 2007)
- Rood v. Saber, 844 N.E.2d 502 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006)
- Brant v. Krilich, 835 N.E.2d 582 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005)
- McGarrity v. Berlin Metals, 744 N.E.2d 71 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002)
- Loomis v. Ameritech Corp., 764 N.E.2d 658 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002)
- Gallant Ins. Co. v. Oswalt, 762 N.E.2d 1254 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002)
- Palmer & Sons Paving v. Northern Indiana Public Service Co., 758 N.E.2d 550 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001)
- In Re: Estate of Meyer, 747 N.E.2d 1159 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001)
J.D., Notre Dame Law School, 1998
- Member, Moot Court Board, 1997-98
M.A., Indiana State University, 1995
B.S., University of Southern Indiana, 1993
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana