GRETNA, La. — A Louisiana appeals court on Oct. 17 held that a lower court erred in awarding insureds $10,088.12 in depreciation associated with their property loss claim arising from Hurricane Isaac, reversing and remanding (Catherine Percoraro, et al. v. Louisiana Citizens Insurance Corporation, No. No. 18-161, La. App., 5th Cir., 2018 La. App. LEXIS 2066).
SHREVEPORT, La. — A Louisiana appeals panel on Sept. 26 amended a lower court’s judgment in favor of an insured to reflect that interest on the attorney fees award should begin to accrue from the date of the final judgment and awarded the insured an additional $1,500 in attorney fees for the insurer’s appeal in a coverage dispute over flood damage to the insureds’ vehicles (Michael J. Jacobs v. Geico Indemnity Company, No. 52,372-CA, La. App., 2nd Cir., 2018 La. App. LEXIS 1833).
NEW YORK — A New York justice on Oct. 5 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit over Superstorm Sandy damage, finding that the policy’s water exclusion bars coverage (The Glazier Group, Inc., et al. v. Nova Casualty Company, et al., No. 159101/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4591).
CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 16 held that insureds’ supplemental proof of loss seeking $248,750 in additional Storm Jonas damages “falls short of an affirmative acknowledgment of perjury” and does not satisfy the “signed and sworn” requirement under their Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) (Hagstotz, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, No. 17-2491, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177218).
MIAMI — Insureds on Oct. 10 filed a breach of contract lawsuit against their federal flood insurer in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, asserting that the insurer underpaid their loss caused by Hurricane Irma (Joan Rodriguez Grau, et al. v. Selective Insurance Company of the Southeast, et al., No. 18-24188, S.D. Fla.).
GALVESTON, Texas — In a breach of contract lawsuit brought against a federal flood insurer in a Texas federal court on Oct. 11, an insured alleges that the adjuster that was dispatched by the insurer to estimate his Hurricane Harvey damage failed to abide by the insurance policy terms, the insurer’s general claims handling standards and/or with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims manuals (Morgan Harris v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-00329, S.D. Texas).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida insured filed suit in a federal district court on Oct. 11, alleging that his federal flood insurer failed to adequately compensate him for his structural building damage caused by Hurricane Irma (Keith Chatman v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-01204, M.D. Fla.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal flood insurer on Sept. 25 moved for a New Jersey federal court to dismiss an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit, contending that the insured’s flood damage claim involving its commercial warehouse is untimely (Hakim International Trading, et al. v. The Standard Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-02874, D. N.J.)
EL PASO, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Oct. 9 granted an insured’s motion to compel production of the insurer’s claim investigation file regarding one of the insured’s properties for which coverage was provided after determining that the file is relevant to the insured’s claims that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying coverage for another of the insured’s properties that was damaged on the same day by the same storm (Gary B. Crossland d/b/a Gold Cross Properties v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 18-85, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173878).
HOUSTON — Texas insureds on Oct. 8 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, alleging that their federal flood insurer committed breach of contract in its handling of their flood damage claim arising from Hurricane Harvey (Justin And Rebecca Blumberg v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-3659, S.D. Texas).
TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 9 ruled that insureds in a homeowners insurance dispute failed to show that their insurer acted in bad faith in denying their claim for coverage because the insurer relied on information provided by two engineers showing that property damage to the home was not covered under the insurance policy (Natalie Orban, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 16-3050, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173212).
DENVER — A Colorado chief federal judge on Sept. 18 denied an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, finding that at the very least, there is a genuine dispute of fact regarding whether the insurer suffered any prejudice by the insured’s late notice of its hail damage claim (Hiland Hills Townhouse Owners Association, Inc. v. Owners Insurance Company, No. 17-1773, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160024).
AUSTIN, Texas — In an Oct. 2 brief submitted after oral arguments, two attorney organizations urge the Texas Supreme Court to find that communications between counsel and a party’s employee who is acting as an expert witness are still protected by attorney-client privilege in a dispute over Hurricane Ike insurance coverage (In re Dickinson, No. 17-0020, Texas Sup.).
AUSTIN, Texas — An insured recently told the Texas Supreme Court that its lawsuit seeking recourse against its insurer pursuant to the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (TPPCA) is important to the state’s jurisprudence because it invites the high court to explain how the principles of USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Menchaca apply when an insurer invokes appraisal after the onset of litigation (Barbara Technologies Corporation v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17-0640, Texas Sup.).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on Sept. 28 entered a take-nothing judgment against an insured after adopting in its entirety a magistrate's report that recommended dismissal of the insured’s lawsuit alleging that he was wrongfully denied $141,274.50 in insurance proceeds for Superstorm Sandy damage to his Long Beach, N.Y., home (David Clutter v. William B. Long, et al., No. 17-4833, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171038).
HOUSTON — A majority of a Texas appeals court on Oct. 4 refused to reconsider its May 31 finding that a school district insured failed to establish causation and damages as a matter of law based solely on a $10.8 million appraisal award in a Hurricane Ike coverage dispute (Texas Windstorm Insurance Association v. Dickinson Independent School District, No. 14-16-00474, Texas App., 14th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 8083).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 26 held that because of conflicting evidence in the record, there is a genuine issue of fact regarding the cause of insureds’ floor damage following an August 2016 rainfall in East Baton Rouge Parish, denying dueling motions for summary judgment on breach of contract claims against a homeowners insurer and a federal flood insurer (Eric Graham, et al. v. Republic Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-00505, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166934).
HOUSTON — A Texas chief federal judge on Sept. 28 denied insureds’ motion to remand their lawsuit arising from Hurricane Harvey damage, finding that federal-question subject matter jurisdiction exists under 28 U.S. Code Section 1331, 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (Younas Chaudhary, et al. v. Chubb & Son, Inc., et al., No. 18-2179, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167496).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals panel on Sept. 25 affirmed a lower court’s finding that an insurer owes no coverage for the discoloration of limestone slabs that were stored outdoors at the appellants’ property following Hurricane Irene, noting that despite the flood-prone nature of the appellants’ neighborhood, they “admittedly chose not to purchase flood insurance coverage” (Emerald Bay Developers, LLC, et al. v. Lenyk Automotive, Inc., et al., No. A-2875-16T1, N.J. Super. App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2125).
SAN ANTONIO — A majority of a Texas appeals court on Sept. 26 conditionally granted a commercial property insurer’s petition for writ of mandamus ordering the parties to engage in the appraisal award process and abate its insured’s breach of contract lawsuit pending appraisal (In Re Acceptance Indemnity Insurance Company, No. 04-18-00231, Texas App., 4th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 7795).