Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • August 15, 2017

    Florida Majority Reverses Ruling In Bad Faith Suit Over Sinkhole Damage

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A majority of a Florida appeals panel on Aug. 11 held that no Florida statute or case law precludes an insured from filing a civil remedy notice (CRN) while a demand for appraisal is outstanding, reversing and remanding a lower court’s ruling in favor of the insurer in a bad faith lawsuit arising from the insured’s claim for sinkhole damage (Phillip Landers v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 5D15-4032, Fla. App., 5th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 11543).

  • August 9, 2017

    Arizona Federal Judge Denies Motion To Remand Insured’s Bad Faith Suit

    PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on Aug. 4 denied an insured’s motion to remand after determining that the insurer has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds the federal jurisdictional minimum of $75,000 (Ziva Hoarau v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, No. 17-1594, D. Ariz., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123059).

  • August 9, 2017

    Florida Panel Affirms Ruling In Hurricane Wilma Coverage Dispute

    MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on Aug. 9 affirmed without discussion a lower court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a lawsuit arising from the insured’s alleged property damage caused by Hurricane Wilma (Waterview Condominium Association, Inc. v. Citizens Property Insurance Corp., Nos. 3D15-1760 and 3D15-2088, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.).

  • August 7, 2017

    Judge: Agency Did Not Breach Contract In Dispute Over Hurricane Irene Damage

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut judge on June 12 found that an insured did not establish that an insurance agency failed to procure sufficient flood insurance for the insured’s properties that were damaged by Hurricane Irene, affirming a lower court’s ruling (Pine Orchard Yacht and Country Club, Inc. v. Sinclair Insurance Group Inc., No. 126032519, Conn. Super., New Haven Jud. Dist., 2017 Conn. Super. LEXIS 3615).

  • August 7, 2017

    Deficient Expert Witnesses Doom Storm Damage Claims, Judge Rules

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on Aug. 4 awarded an insurance company summary judgment on claims for additional coverage for storm damage after finding that the business owners’ expert witness disclosures “were clearly deficient” and that even if they weren’t, the experts’ opinion are unreliable (Advanced Mechanical Services, Inc., et al. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company, No. 3:14-cv-388, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123277).

  • August 4, 2017

    New York Justice: Insurer Fails To Show Superstorm Sandy Suit Is Time-Barred

    NEW YORK — A New York justice on July 20 denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s lawsuit arising from Superstorm Sandy damage (Steven Swarzman v. AIG Property Casualty Co., No. 653618/2016, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2781).

  • July 28, 2017

    Panel Says It Lacks Jurisdiction To Entertain Appeal Of Hurricane Wilma Suit

    MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel held on July 26 that it lacks jurisdiction to hear a homeowners insurer’s appeal of a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, dismissing the appeal (Gulfstream Property & Casualty Insurance Co. v. David Coley, No. 3D16-885, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 10651).

  • July 28, 2017

    New York Justice: Fact Issues Preclude Summary Judgment In Superstorm Sandy Dispute

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York justice on July 11 denied both an insurance broker’s and insured’s motions for summary judgment in a coverage dispute arising from Superstorm Sandy damage (386 3rd Avenue Partners Limited Partnership, et al. v. Alliance Brokerage Corp., No. 500074/14, N.Y. Sup., Kings Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2683).

  • July 27, 2017

    Judge Grants Motion To Bifurcate Trial And To Hold Bad Faith Issues In Abeyance

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on July 18 granted an insurer’s motion to bifurcate an insured’s bad faith counterclaim from other claims in a hailstorm coverage dispute and to hold the discovery of bad faith issues in abeyance pending the resolution of the other claims (Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. SG&D Ventures LLC, No. 17-00105, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111956).

  • July 27, 2017

    3rd Circuit Affirms Verdict In Insured’s Favor In Collapsed Facade Dispute

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 26 affirmed a Pennsylvania federal jury’s verdict in favor of an insured after the stone facade on her home collapsed, rejecting the insurer’s argument that the main cause of the collapse is excluded under the homeowners policy (Ahsaki Gordon, et al. v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-3671, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13507).

  • July 27, 2017

    Federal Judge Rules On Summary Judgment Motions In Hailstorm Coverage Dispute

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri federal judge on July 24 granted in part and denied in part summary judgment motions and amended class definitions in a dispute over whether a homeowners insurer should have applied a deductible to the actual cash value (ACV) payment it issued the insureds for their hail damage loss (David Bond, et al. v. Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 15-04236, W.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114778).

  • July 26, 2017

    Insured Failed To Raise Fact Issue As To Why Appraisal Award Should Be Set Aside

    DALLAS — A Texas appeals panel on July 24 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit arising from a $73,000 appraisal award for the insured’s hailstorm damage (Floyd Circle Partners LLC v. Republic Lloyds, No. 05-16-00224, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6906).

  • July 26, 2017

    Federal Judge Substitutes Class Representative In Dispute Over Insurance Practices

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri federal judge on July 24 granted an insured’s motion to intervene as the representative of a class action alleging that a homeowners 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 114779).

  • July 24, 2017

    Fact Issues Exist As To Whether Insured Made Specific Request For Flood Insurance

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A New York appeals panel on June 30 found that there are triable issues of fact regarding whether an insured made a specific request for flood insurance coverage before an August 2009 flood that damaged its commercial food baking and production business operations, affirming a lower court (Petri Baking Products, Inc. v Hatch Leonard Naples, Inc., now known as First Niagara Risk Management, Inc., et al., No. 721 CA 16-02220, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5463).

  • July 24, 2017

    Florida Panel: Fact Issues Exist As To Adjustment, Payment Of ‘Actual Cash Value’

    MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on July 12 reversed and remanded a lower court’s ruling in favor of an insurer, finding that there are genuine issues of material fact as to the insurer’s adjustment and payment of the "actual cash value" of the insured’s alleged damage and as to the applicability of the policy's "wear and tear" exclusion “to a vague, unliquidated, and inchoate claim for damage to the roof itself” (Latonya Francis v. Tower Hill Prime Insurance Co., No. 3D16-2114, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 9982).

  • July 24, 2017

    Federal Judge Dismisses All Claims Against Insurer In Texas Flood Coverage Dispute

    SAN ANTONIO — A Texas federal judge held on July 19 that an insured’s state law tort causes of action as to how her federal flood insurer handled her claim are preempted by federal law, further concluding that it is undisputed that the insured failed to file an adequate proof of loss to support her breach of contract claim against the insurer (Patricia Hernandez v. National Lloyds Insurance Co., No. 15-1008, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112567).

  • July 21, 2017

    Iowa Majority Reverses Ruling As To Appraisal Award, Breach Of Contract Claim

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A majority of the Iowa Court of Appeals on July 19 found that a lower court erred in finding that a $1.4 million appraisal award in a hailstorm coverage dispute was not binding on an insurer and its insured,  reversing and remanding the lower court in part (Walnut Creek Townhome Association v. Depositors Insurance Co., No. 16-0121, Iowa App., 2017 Iowa App. LEXIS 722).

  • July 20, 2017

    Complete Diversity Of Citizenship Exists; Insured’s Motion To Remand Denied

    HOUSTON —  A Texas federal judge on July 13 denied a motion to remand after determining that complete diversity of citizenship exists because the insurer’s agent is not a proper defendant as the insured failed to state a claim against an insurer’s agent for misrepresentation (Howard Johnson II v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co., et al, No. 17-1206, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108530).

  • July 20, 2017

    Insured Reaches Settlement With Insurer, Reinsurer In Business Interruption Suit

    PITTSBURGH — A glass manufacturer insured, an insurer and a reinsurer have agreed to settle a coverage dispute over property damage and business interruption losses arising from the insured’s equipment breakdown, according to a Pennsylvania federal judge’s June 7 order (Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co., et al. v. International Glass Products LLC, et al., No. 08-1564, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135045).

  • July 19, 2017

    Full, Timely Payment Of Appraisal Award Leads To Dismissal Of Insurance Dispute

    HOUSTON — Dismissal of an insured’s insurance breach of contract claim against his insurer is proper because the insurer made a full and timely payment of benefits following the issuance of an appraisal award in a homeowners insurance dispute, a federal judge in Texas ruled July 14 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment and denying a summary judgment motion filed by the insured (Lee Losciale v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17-0016, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109389).