Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • February 21, 2020

    Insured, Insurer Fail To Meet Summary Judgment Burden In Hailstorm Suit, Panel Says

    FORT WORTH, Texas — A Texas appeals panel on Feb. 20 held that an insured and her homeowners insurer failed to meet their summary judgment burden in the insured’s lawsuit stemming from hail damage, finding that the insurer did not meet its burden to prove the applicability of a policy exclusion and that the insured did not conclusively prove her claim under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act as a matter of law (Jerlene Tippett v. Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana, No. 02-19-00152, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 1453).

  • February 12, 2020

    Flood, Irma Suits Dismissed Against Wright National In Florida Federal Court

    KEY WEST, Fla. — In the third dismissal order against the same Write-Your-Own insurer in the same federal court in four days, U.S. Judge Jose E. Martinez for the Southern District of Florida on Feb. 7 dismissed with prejudice a Hurricane Irma coverage lawsuit after the parties filed a joint stipulation for voluntary dismissal after indicating that a settlement was reached (Augustus and Sheila Purdy v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-10242, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22913).

  • February 12, 2020

    Florida Panel Affirms Order Requiring Parties To Submit To Appraisal In Irma Suit

    MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 5 affirmed a lower court’s order that required insureds and their homeowners insurer to submit to an appraisal of a Hurricane Irma coverage dispute and dismissed the remainder of the insureds’ appeal for lack of jurisdiction (Erick Baptiste, et al. v. People's Trust Insurance Company, No. 3D19-1462, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 1347).

  • February 11, 2020

    10th Circuit Affirms Ruling In Insurer’s Favor In Hailstorm Coverage Dispute

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 7 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit brought by a condominium association insured over hailstorm damage, finding that the insured’s violation of the policy’s fraud clauses and the resulting voidance of the policy preceded any alleged breach by the insurer (Sunflower Condominium Association, Inc. v. Owners Insurance Company, No. 18-1478, 10th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 3806).

  • February 10, 2020

    Liquidator:  $150M Hurricane Dispute Against Reinsurers Must Start In Liquidation Court

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A liquidator for an insolvent insurer argues in a Feb. 6 omnibus reply brief to reinsurers that a Puerto Rico federal judge should alter a decision sending a $150 million hurricane loss case to arbitration because the dispute over assets owed under reinsurance agreements must begin in the liquidation court (Integrand Assurance Co. v. Everest Reinsurance Co., et al., No. 19-01111, D. Puerto Rico).

  • February 10, 2020

    Federal Judge Dismisses Hurricane Michael Coverage Suit For Improper Venue

    TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Jan. 14 granted a Write-Your-Own (WYO) insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit over Hurricane Michael damage for improper venue and transferred the lawsuit to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Panama City Division (Gulf Coast Vacation Properties, LLC v. Gulfstream Property & Casualty Insurance Company, No. 19-2470, M.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5962).

  • February 07, 2020

    Judge: Insurer’s Argument As To Which Statement Of Values Applies Is ‘Disingenuous’

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Feb. 5 granted an insured’s renewed motion for summary judgment on the issue of which statement of values applies in a Hurricane Irma coverage dispute, finding that the insurer’s argument that “it actually meant something else or that it could be referring to another document is disingenuous” (Aligned Bayshore Holdings v. Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Company, No. 18-21692, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18754).

  • February 06, 2020

    Insurer Compelled To Submit Reinsurance Info In Hurricane Coverage Case

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal magistrate judge on Jan. 28 ordered an insurer to turn over reinsurance information he found to be relevant to an insured’s bad faith coverage dispute over property damage sustained from Hurricane Maria (Lamar Advertising Co. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 18-1060, M.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13891).

  • February 06, 2020

    Bad Faith Claim In Flood Dispute Is Preempted By Federal Law, Judge Rules

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on Jan. 31 granted a Write-Your-Own (WYO) insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s bad faith claim and request for consequential and punitive damages and attorney fees in a flood coverage dispute, finding that the bad faith claim is preempted by federal law and the Standard Flood Insurance Policy does not confer a right to allege extracontractual claims against WYO insurers (Allison A. Knapp v. Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest, et al., No. 19-1969, D. S.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18291).

  • February 05, 2020

    Federal Judge:  Proof Of Loss For Hurricane Harvey Damage Fails To Comply With SFIP

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on Feb. 4 granted a Write-Your-Own (WYO) insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract lawsuit over Hurricane Harvey flood damage, finding that the insureds’ proof of loss does not comply with the requirements of their Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) (Frank Hilton Morgan, Jr., et al. v. Texas Farmers Insurance Company, No. 18-401, S.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17495).

  • February 04, 2020

    Court Denies Motion For Status Conference In Hurricane Maria Coverage Dispute

    ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands— A federal court in the Virgin Islands on Jan. 31 denied a restaurant insured’s motion for a status conference to discuss pending motions in its lawsuit over the adjustment of its property damage claim and business interruption losses arising from looting after Hurricane Maria, according to a text entry on the docket (The Doctor and the Professor LLC v. Those Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London, et al., No. 19-0004, D. Virgin Islands).

  • January 31, 2020

    Insurer: Insured’s Opposition Argument In Superstorm Sandy Dispute Is ‘Without Merit’

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A federal flood insurer recently replied to a pro se insured’s opposition argument that called its motion to dismiss a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute “moot,” contending that the policies “plainly contradict and refute any right to relief” asserted by the insured (Mohammed Keita v. American Security Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-00879, E.D. N.Y.).

  • January 31, 2020

    Insured Not Entitled To Attorney Fees Against FIGA, Florida Panel Says In Reversal

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Jan. 29 held that an insured was not entitled to recover attorney fees under a Florida statute because the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association Inc. (FIGA) never denied his claim by affirmative action before he filed a lawsuit  (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association v. Adam Rubin, No. 4D18-3147, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).

  • January 30, 2020

    Judge: ‘At Least Plausible’ That Attorney Fees May Be Paid From Federal Funds

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Jan. 15 held that “it is at least plausible at this point in the litigation” that an insured’s request for attorney fees and costs may be paid from federal funds by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, denying a federal flood insurer’s request to strike the insured’s request for attorney fees and costs under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) (Martin Shapiro v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No.19-679, M.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6766).

  • January 29, 2020

    Insurer’s Obligation Under Loss Payment Provision Was Not Triggered, Judge Rules

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Jan. 15 denied an insured’s motion for partial summary judgment in its breach of contract lawsuit arising from Hurricane Irma damage to its luxury tennis academy and boarding school, finding that the insurer’s payment obligation under the policy’s loss payment provision was not triggered because there is no evidence that the parties reached an agreement as to the amount of the insured’s loss (Rigby Enterprises LLC v. Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Company, No. 19-228, M.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6769).

  • January 29, 2020

    Insured: Insurers ‘Devised A Scheme’ As To The Adjustment Of Woolsey Fire Claim

    LOS ANGELES — An insured sued its homeowners insurer and its affiliate for breach of contract, bad faith and unfair business practices in a California court on Jan. 17, alleging that they “devised a scheme and plan” that relinquished adjustment of his wildfire claim to “Hired Consultants” who denied or lowballed the claim under the defendants’ “directive, consent and approval” (Kambiz Aramnia v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, et al., No. 20VECV00077, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • January 29, 2020

    Insureds Sue Insurer Over Hurricane Matthew Damage, Seek Attorney Fees Under EAJA

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida insureds filed suit in a federal court on Jan. 27, alleging that their Write-Your-Own insurer committed breach of contract by not paying for certain losses they incurred “as a direct result of a peril” that is covered under their Standard Flood Insurance Policy and seeking attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (Jason Dean, et al. v. American Strategic Insurance Corp., No. 20-00068, M.D. Fla.).

  • January 24, 2020

    Judge Dismisses Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims, Allows PPCA Claim To Proceed

    MCALLEN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on Jan. 21 dismissed an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith claims against his homeowners insurer in a coverage dispute over wind and hail property damage but allowed the insured’s claim under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (PPCA) to remain (Fred Lopez v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, No. 18-260, S.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9390).

  • January 24, 2020

    Judge: 5-Month Delay In Notifying Insurer Of Loss Fails To Meet SFIP Requirement

    GALVESTON, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on Jan. 23 said that “[w]ithout question,”  insureds’ five-month delay in notifying their insurer of their Hurricane Harvey loss does not satisfy their federal flood insurance policy’s prompt notice requirement (Hector Ibarra, et al. v. Texas Farmers Insurance Company, No. 18-00358, S.D. Texas).

  • January 23, 2020

    Reinsurers Oppose Motion To Alter Ruling Sending $150M Loss Case To Arbitration

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Reinsurers in Jan. 21 opposition briefs argue that a Puerto Rico federal judge should deny an insolvent insurer’s liquidator motion to alter a decision sending a $150 million hurricane loss case to arbitration because there was no manifest error with the ruling (Integrand Assurance Co. v. Everest Reinsurance Co., et al., No. 19-01111, D. Puerto Rico).