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Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • August 20, 2018

    Magistrate Recommends Granting Insurer’s Appraisal Request In Hurricane Irma Suit

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A federal magistrate judge on Aug. 13 issued a report that recommended granting a homeowners insurer’s motion to compel appraisal of a Hurricane Irma coverage dispute, rejecting the insured’s argument that the insurer waived its right to appraisal (Alasyn Starling v. GeoVera Specialty Insurance Company, No. 18-60988, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138144).

  • August 20, 2018

    No Coverage Owed For Damage Caused By Wildfire, 10th Circuit Affirms

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 17 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an insurer owes no coverage for property damage caused by a wildfire known as the Waldo Canyon Fire, rejecting the insureds’ argument that there were errors in the jury instructions (Paul Macomber, et al. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Group, No. 17-1194, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22927).

  • August 17, 2018

    Court’s Error In Excluding Evidence Was Harmless, Panel Says In Hurricane Wilma Suit

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Aug. 15 found that a lower court did not err in its damages instructions to a jury in a negligence and unjust enrichment lawsuit brought against an insurance agent, further finding that the lower court’s error in excluding certain evidence was harmless (The Lexington Club Community Association, Inc., et al. v. Love Madison, Inc., No. 4D17-1843, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 11514).

  • August 17, 2018

    5th Circuit: Insured Fails To Cast Doubt On Reliability Of Insurer’s Estimate

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 15 held that an insured provided no summary judgment evidence that casts doubt on the reliability of an insurer’s estimate for her wind and hail property damage or that suggests the insurer’s decision to rely on its own estimate was unreasonable, affirming a lower federal court (Erica Chavez v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17- 40861, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22629)

  • August 16, 2018

    Insurer Paid Policy Limit For Property Of Others; No Additional Coverage Owed

    NEW YORK — An insured’s complaint seeking additional coverage for consigned property damaged by water after a pipe burst in a commercial building must be dismissed because the insurer paid the policy’s limit for property of others and the insured is not owed any additional coverage under the policy’s business personal property provision, a New York justice said Aug. 14 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Talisman Services Inc. v. Hermitage Insurance Co., No. 151351/2016, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

  • August 15, 2018

    Insureds Failed To Support Claims For Unfair Practices, Texas Insurance Code Violation

    McALLEN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Aug. 13 dismissed claims alleging violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act (DTPA)  and the Texas Insurance Code (TIC) after determining that the insureds failed to state facts in support of the claims, leaving the claims for breach of contract and bad faith to be decided in a hailstorm coverage dispute (Alfredo Murillo Jr., et al. v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co., No. 18-208, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136946).

  • August 15, 2018

    Insured’s Bad Faith Suit Stayed Pending Appraisal Of Hailstorm Damage Claim

    SHERMAN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Aug. 13 stayed an insured’s bad faith suit and granted an insurer’s motion to compel appraisal of the insured’s claim for hailstorm damages after determining that the insurer did not waive its right to invoke the policy’s appraisal provision (Rainey Rogers v. Nationwide General Insurance Co., No. 18-213, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136062).

  • August 10, 2018

    Judge Administratively Closes Tornado Coverage Suit After Settlement Reached

    OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma federal judge on Aug. 8 ordered a coverage dispute over property damage caused by a tornado administratively closed after the parties announced that they reached a settlement (Charles A. Shadid LLC v. Aspen Specialty Insurance Co., No. 15-595, W.D. Okla.).

  • August 10, 2018

    Policy’s Special Provisions Typewritten Terms Prevail To Bar Wind, Flood Coverage

    BEAUFORT, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on Aug. 7 ruled that a commercial inland marine insurance policy should be interpreted according to its typewritten Special Provisions section, which excludes coverage for wind, hail and flood damage, granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract and bad faith suit arising from three golf courses damaged by Hurricane Matthew (Greenwood Communities and Resorts, Inc. v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 16-3995, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132270).

  • August 8, 2018

    Federal Judge Dismisses State Law Claims In Coverage Suit Over ‘Great Flood’

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on July 12 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion to dismiss insureds’ claims for attorney fees, costs, expenses and interest, finding that they are preempted by federal law (Keith Favaro, et al. v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., No. 17-1711, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116735).

  • August 8, 2018

    Federal Judge Remands Dispute Over Louisiana Insureds’ Flood Damage

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on July 13 granted insureds’ motion to remand their lawsuit arising from flood damage to Louisiana court, noting that he has the discretion to remand supplemental state law allegations when the claims that provided the basis for original jurisdiction have been dismissed (James E. Miller, et al. v. American Fidelity Insurance Agency, Inc., et al., No. 16-00800, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117295).

  • August 8, 2018

    Insured Asks 2nd Circuit To Reverse No Coverage Ruling In Superstorm Sandy Dispute

    NEW YORK — An insured recently filed an appeal in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a lower federal court’s finding that an insurance policy unambiguously excluded coverage for the damage floodwaters caused to its facility as a result of Superstorm Sandy, arguing that the court erred in concluding that the wind endorsement does not alter unambiguous language that bars flood coverage (Madelaine Chocolate Novelties, d/b/a The Madelaine Chocolate Co. v. Great Northern Insurance Co., No. 17-3396, 2nd Cir.).

  • August 7, 2018

    Couple: 10th Circuit Should Reverse Ruling And Find That Insurer Owes Coverage

    DENVER — A Colorado couple recently appealed to the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, asking it to reverse a ruling by a federal jury and find that their insurer owes them coverage for damage to their home caused by a wildfire known as the Waldo Canyon Fire (Paul Macomber, et al. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Group, No. 17-1194, 10th Cir.).

  • August 6, 2018

    Florida Panel Reverses Court’s Denial Of Appraisal In Dispute Over Roof Damage

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on July 25 reversed and remanded a lower court’s ruling that denied an insurer’s motion to compel appraisal of its insureds’ claim for roof damage allegedly caused by a tornado, finding that the issues of causation and the "amount of loss" should be determined by an appraisal where the insurer has not "wholly denied" coverage (People's Trust Insurance Company v. Andrea Tracey, et al., No. 4D17-3945, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 10383).

  • August 1, 2018

    Texas MDL Agrees To Transfer 11 Hurricane Harvey Suits To Single Pretrial Court

    AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas multidistrict litigation panel on July 27 unanimously granted an insurer’s motion to transfer 11 Hurricane Harvey lawsuits to a single pretrial court for consolidated or coordinated pretrial proceedings, finding that transfer of the related cases would result in a “more efficient pretrial” (In Re: Farmers Insurance Company Hurricane Harvey Litigation, MDL No. 18-0547, Texas MDL, 2018 Tex. LEXIS 737).

  • July 30, 2018

    Judge: Appraisal Of Demolished Building Appropriate In Hurricane Irma Suit

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on July 23 granted an insured’s motion to compel appraisal of a commercial property that was demolished because of Hurricane Irma damage, finding that appraisal is appropriate considering the insurer has admitted that at least some of the loss is covered (Evanston Insurance Company v. Etcetera, Etc. Inc., et al., No. 18-103, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122154).

  • July 26, 2018

    Panel Affirms Choice Of New York Law In Superstorm Sandy Coverage Dispute

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 25 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that enforced a policy’s choice-of-law provision and granted an insurer's motion to compel arbitration of the insureds’ breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from Superstorm Sandy damage, rejecting the insureds’ argument that New Jersey and not New York law applies (Fin Associates, et al. v. Hudson Specialty Ins. Co., 16-3541, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20695).

  • July 25, 2018

    Insured Failed To Comply With SFIP Requirements For Additional Storm Damage Claim

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on July 16 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract lawsuit brought by its gas station operator insured, finding that the insured failed to comply with all of the requirements under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (Monticello Road, LLC, et al. v. Auto-Owners Insurance, No. 17-0730, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118690).

  • July 25, 2018

    Federal Judge Dismisses Request For Attorney Fees In Hurricane Irma Dispute

    MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on July 12 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s claim for attorney fees and costs in a Hurricane Irma dispute, finding that the state law claim is preempted by federal law (James Shawn Brown v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-10034, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118198).

  • July 18, 2018

    Judge Dismisses Breach Of Contract Suit Seeking $582,572.16 In Flood Coverage

    MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on July 10 dismissed without prejudice an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its alleged $582,572.16 in flood damage arising from a Sept. 10 hurricane after the parties filed a notice of voluntary dismissal (Enis Maritime Holdings LLC v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-21392, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116275.)