Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • March 22, 2017

    Judge: Fact Issue Exists As To Whether Insured Submitted Acceptable Proof Of Loss

    NEWARK, N.J. — Finding that there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether an insured complied with a provision of a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) regarding proof of loss, a New Jersey federal judge on March 20 denied a federal flood insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract lawsuit stemming from Superstorm Sandy (Thomas Tennis v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 15-5801, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39244).

  • March 21, 2017

    Federal Judge Rules On Dueling Summary Judgment Motions In Hailstorm Dispute

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri federal judge on March 16 granted in part and denied in part motions for summary judgment by insureds and a homeowners insurer in a class action alleging that the insurer committed breach of contract when it unlawfully applied a policy's $1,000 deductible to an actual cash value (ACV) payment in a hailstorm coverage dispute (Eric Lafollette v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-04147, W.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37755).

  • March 21, 2017

    New York Federal Judge Orders Appraisal To Be Reopened To Determine Mold Damages

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Feb. 22 ordered an appraisal panel to reopen an appraisal to determine if insureds sustained any covered losses as a result of mold (Simon Zarour, et al. v. Pacific Indemnity Co., No. 15-2663, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37328).

  • March 15, 2017

    Judge: Insured Improperly Used Motion For Reconsideration In Flood Coverage Dispute

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on March 14 denied an insured’s motion to reconsider a ruling in favor of an insurer in her lawsuit seeking coverage for structural damage to her home under a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP) (Marie Clifford v. Preferred Mutual Insurance Co., No. 12-1331, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35860).

  • March 14, 2017

    Panel Rejects Argument That Insurer, Agent Misrepresented Property Was Insurable

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 7 affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a federal flood insurer and an insurance agent in an insured’s lawsuit over Hurricane Ike flood damage, rejecting the insured’s argument that she reasonably relied on the defendants’ misrepresentations that her property in the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) was insurable (Danuta Lobeck v. Tina M. Licatino, et al., No. 16-40967, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4040).

  • March 10, 2017

    Texas High Court Refuses To Hear Insurer’s Suit Seeking Attorney Disqualification

    AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court denied an insurer’s writ of mandamus seeking review of an appeals court’s denial of its motion to disqualify an attorney and her law firm in a hailstorm coverage dispute, according to its March 10 orders pronounced (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., No. 16-0190, Texas Sup.).

  • March 10, 2017

    Insurer’s Investigation Did Not Amount To Bad Faith, Federal Judge Says

    OKLAHOMA CITY — An insurer conducted a reasonable investigation in adjusting an insured’s property claim following a tornado, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled March 8, granting summary judgment to the insurer on a bad faith claim (Shanta Inc. d/b/a Green Carpet Inn v. Nautilus Insurance Co., No. 15-872, W.D. Okla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32702).

  • March 8, 2017

    Judge Finds No Facts To Support Kentucky Law Claims Against Insurer

    LOUISVILLE, Ky.— A Kentucky federal judge on March 1 held that claims for bad faith and fraud related to coverage under an insurance policy for tornado damage should be dismissed, finding that the insured failed to assert facts to support a claim for violation of the Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act (KUCSPA) (Frasure v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 16-540, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28753).

  • March 8, 2017

    Negligent Work Exclusion Bars Coverage For Water Damage, Pennsylvania Court Says

    PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Feb. 28 held that although the lower court erred in finding that “surface water” caused the insured’s damage, it did not err in finding that the policy's "negligent work exclusion" precluded coverage for the water damage (The Ridgewood Group, LLC v. Millers Capital Insurance Co., No. 1138 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 764).

  • March 6, 2017

    Federal Judge: SFIP’s 1-Year Statute Of Limitations Bars Insured’s Lawsuit

    GULFPORT, Miss. — A Mississippi federal judge on March 3 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an insured’s lawsuit seeking to have the insurer fully comply with the appraisal provisions under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) (Reef Enterprises, a Mississippi Corporation doing business as Jordan River Steamer v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., formerly known as Fidelity National Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 16-22, S.D. Miss., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30317).

  • March 3, 2017

    Federal Judge: Public Adjuster’s Declaration Does Not Create Disputed Issue Of Fact

    CAMDEN, N.J. — Granting a federal flood insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute, a New Jersey federal judge on March 1 rejected the insured’s argument that there is a genuine dispute of material fact regarding his reliance on a public adjuster’s declaration as to damages (Dane Knutson v. Selective Insurance Company, et al., No. 16-306, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29322).

  • March 1, 2017

    Federal Judge: Fact Issues As To Economic Damages Defeat Summary Judgment

    DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on Feb. 16 held that there are genuine issues of material fact as to what $125,000 in economic damages awarded against an insured encompasses, denying an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in part in a dispute over commercial general liability coverage (Peerless Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Shane Colclasure, individually and d/b/a Sunrise Buildings, et al., No. 16-424, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22193

  • February 28, 2017

    Judge: Broker Is Liable For Breach Of Implied Contract; Damages Are In Dispute

    DALLAS — A Texas federal judge on Feb. 24 held that there is no genuine dispute of material fact regarding whether an insurance broker breached its implied contract to secure a total of $975,000 worth of federal flood insurance coverage for an insured, further finding that the amount of potential damages that the breach caused is in dispute (Hudson Henley v. Love Insurance Group, LLC, No. 15-3078, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26244).

  • February 24, 2017

    Judge Rejects Insurer's Request To Exclude Testimony On Sinkholes

    TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on Feb. 22 denied an insurer's motion to exclude expert testimony on sinkhole damage, finding that the expert's methodology is reliable and that the testimony will assist a trier of fact (Goetz D. Vehse v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, No. 8:16-cv-599, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24483).

  • February 23, 2017

    New York Panel: Insurer’s Expert Report Never Rose Above Level Of Speculation

    NEW YORK — A New York appeals panel on Feb. 21 found that an insurer failed to demonstrate prima facie that all of its restaurant insured’s claimed losses were caused by flood waters resulting from Superstorm Sandy (Pastabar Café Corporation v 343 East 8th Street Associates, LLC, et al. No. 2899, 652078/13, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1285).

  • February 22, 2017

    Texas High Court Dismisses Wind Coverage Dispute Following Settlement

    AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court lifted a Dec. 8 abatement order in a wind coverage dispute, reinstated the insurer’s petition for review and granted the insurer’s unopposed motion to dismiss the suit after the parties reached a settlement, according to its Feb. 10 orders pronounced (State Farm Lloyds v. Ginger Hanson, No. 16-0799, Texas Sup.).

  • February 21, 2017

    7th Circuit Reverses Ruling In Part In Airport Collapse Coverage Suit

    CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 17 partly reversed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute arising from the collapse of an airport terminal during construction (Indianapolis Airport Authority v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America, No. 16-2675, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2856).

  • February 17, 2017

    Texas High Court Refuses To Rehear Ruling On Discovery Order In Hailstorm Dispute

    AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court refused to revisit its ruling in a hailstorm coverage dispute that directed a lower court to vacate the part of its discovery order compelling production of management reports and emails and to re-evaluate the issue of sanctions against the insurer, according to its Feb. 17 orders pronounced (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., No. 15-0452, Texas Sup.).

  • February 16, 2017

    Newly Filed Complaint Warrants Remand To State Court Federal Judge Rules

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal judge on Feb. 8 granted a motion to remand insureds’ breach of contract lawsuit against their insurer, finding that their complaint makes no claims as to the insurer’s denial of their flood loss claim but instead asserts that the insurer’s procurement of the “worthless” insurance policy was “improper, misleading and deceptive” (Don Henderson, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No.16-839, W.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17926).

  • February 16, 2017

    Insureds Failed To Comply With Post-Loss Obligations, Florida Panel Says, Reverses

    MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 15 reversed a lower court’s ruling compelling appraisal against an insurer in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, finding that the insureds failed to comply with their post-loss duties under their insurance policy (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Jose R. Fernandez and Sandra Fernandez, No. 3D16-1441, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 2004).