Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • 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).

  • February 16, 2017

    Joinder Of Adjuster Was Improper, Federal Judge Rules In Denying Motion To Remand

    DALLAS — Finding that an insured improperly joined an insurance adjuster in a dispute over coverage for storm damage, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 14 denied the insured’s motion to remand and dismissed the claims against the adjuster without prejudice (Hutchins Warehouse Limited Partners v. American Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-3336, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20417).

  • February 15, 2017

    Judge Rules In Insurer’s Favor In Suit Arising From Superstorm Sandy Flood Damage

    CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 14 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by insureds seeking a declaration that they are entitled to coverage and compensatory damages stemming from the insurer’s purported mishandling of their Superstorm Sandy flood claim (Herbert Ruth and Danna Ruth v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 15-2616, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20534).

  • February 15, 2017

    Insured’s Breach Of Contract Is Barred By 2-Year Statute Of Limitations, Judge Says

    DENVER — A two-year statute of limitations precludes an insured’s breach of contract claim against its insurer for denied coverage for property damage to commercial properties, a Colorado federal judge ruled Feb. 13 (The Pinewood Townhome Association Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 15-01604, D. Colo.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19999).

  • February 13, 2017

    Texas Panel Finds Take- Nothing Judgment In Hurricane Ike Coverage Suit Was Proper

    HOUSTON — A Texas appeals panel held Feb. 9 that a take-nothing judgment against insureds is proper because a commercial insurer overpaid the actual cash value of Hurricane Ike property damage by more than $1.5 million based on the jury's findings as to actual cash value (Triyar Companies, LLC, et al. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., No. 14-14-00160, Texas. App., 14th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1126).

  • February 13, 2017

    Louisiana Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer’s Favor In Hurricane Isaac Dispute

    GRETNA, La. — A Louisiana appeals panel on Feb. 8 affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Isaac damage to a three-story building owned by the insured (Advanced Sleep Center, Inc., et al. v. Certain Underwriters At Lloyd's, London, No. 16-CA-525, La. App., 5th Cir.).

  • February 13, 2017

    Panel: Insureds Provide No Competent Evidence To Raise Fact Issue As To Occurrence

    FORT WORTH, Texas — A Texas appeals panel on Feb. 9 held that insureds have failed to produce competent evidence to raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether their property damage loss occurred during their homeowners insurance policy period, affirming a lower court’s ruling in favor of the insurer and its adjuster (Richard Seim, et al. v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, et al., No. 02-16-00050, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1154).

  • February 10, 2017

    Florida Panel: Evidence Of Insured’s Health Should Have Never Been Introduced

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 8 held that there is a reasonable possibility that the introduction of irrelevant and prejudicial evidence as to an insured’s health condition contributed to a jury verdict against an insurer in a dispute over coverage for roof damage caused by Hurricane Wilma, reversing for a new trial (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Dina Figueroa, No. 4D15-2698, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 1548).

  • February 10, 2017

    Judge: Developer Has No Insurable Interest, Is Not Entitled To Building Coverage

    TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 8 found that the developer of a condominium that is also a member of the insured condominium association does not have an insurable interest and is not entitled to building coverage under a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP), granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a dispute over coverage for flood damage caused when the Raritan River overflowed (Branchburg Commerce Park, LLC v. Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest, et al., No. 15-6719, D. N.J.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17518).

  • February 10, 2017

    Panel Finds Insured’s Flood Loss Barred, Affirms Judgment Notwithstanding Verdict

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Finding that a church’s cause of loss was a flood and, consequently, that the loss was excluded under its insurance policy, an Iowa appeals panel on Feb. 8 affirmed a trial judge’s granting of an insurer’s motion for judgment notwithstanding a $717,000 verdict in favor of the church (Salem United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids, Iowa v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-0170, Iowa App., 2017 Iowa App. LEXIS 122).

  • February 8, 2017

    Federal Judge Dismisses All But Breach Of Contract Claim In Flood Coverage Dispute

    HOUSTON — A Texas federal judge on Feb. 2 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion to dismiss all extracontractual state law claims brought by an insured in a coverage dispute arising from a heavy rainfall (Jianhua Ling v. Farmers Insurance Group d/b/a Fire Insurance Exchange, No. 16-2961, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14882).

  • February 7, 2017

    Judge Rules That Letter Is Written Denial That Triggered SFIP’s Statutory Period

    CAMDEN, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Feb. 2 found that a federal flood insurer’s letter that rejected its insured’s proof of loss for Superstorm Sandy damage constituted a written denial of the claim and, therefore, triggered a Standard Flood Insurance Policy’s (SFIP) one-year statute of limitations to bring a lawsuit (Anthony Migliaro v. Fidelity National Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 15-5688, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15497).

  • February 6, 2017

    New York Justice Allows Breach Of Contract Claim To Stand In Superstorm Sandy Suit

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A New York justice on Jan. 23 dismissed five out of six claims against an insurer in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute but allowed the breach of contract claim to proceed  (Elite Catering Company, Inc. v. National Specialty Insurance Co., No. 101041/2013, N.Y. Sup., Richmond Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 239).

  • February 6, 2017

    Judge: Insured Pleaded More Than ‘Mere Conclusions’ In Pleading Bad Faith

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — An insured has sufficiently pleaded more than just “mere conclusions” in making his insurance bad faith claim against his homeowners insurance carrier and, thus, his claim is sufficient pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a federal judge in South Dakota ruled Feb. 3 in denying the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Steven Haney v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-4113, D. S.D., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15154).

  • February 3, 2017

    Judge: Assignee Of Mortgage Is Not Entitled To SFIP Coverage For Sandy Damage

    CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge held on Feb. 1 that an assignee of a mortgage cannot collect on the insured mortgagee's standard flood insurance policies (SFIP) for a Superstorm Sandy loss that predates the assignment, granting two federal flood insurers’ motions for summary judgment (Goldstein Group Holdings, Inc. v. Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest, et al., No. 15-03851, D. N.J.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14560).