Tag Archives: Court Opinion

State Farm Claims Whistleblowers Win in United States Supreme Court and May Get Additional Evidence of Wrongdoing

The Rigsby sisters have now prevailed in the highest court of the land in their decade long fight against State Farm.1 The Rigsby sisters were catastrophe adjusters working for State Farm on Hurricane Katrina claims. I have noted this case for some time: The Insurance Adjuster’s Dilemma: Tell the Truth and Face the Consequences By … Continue Reading

Bad Faith Finding in NFIP Flood Case

It is the general understanding when one brings a lawsuit on a flood claim under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that the only recovery available to the policyholder is actual damages. The policyholder is not entitled to attorney fees or bad faith (extra-contractual) damages, which might be recoverable in other first-party property damage cases. … Continue Reading

A Hail Dented Roof is Covered Direct Physical Damage and Loss

Only insurance company claims managers and their paid for lawyers could argue that a hail dented roof is not a covered loss under a property insurance policy which specifically covers hail damage. A federal appellate court decision issued last week1 helps put an end to these crazy attempts by insurance company lawyers that argue virtually anything … Continue Reading

Medical Marijuana Grow House Goes “Up In Smoke”

Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company may be off the hook after a recent ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals For the Sixth Circuit that there is no coverage for the fire loss because the policyholder failed to notify Nationwide that they had converted the basement to a marijuana grow house.… Continue Reading

Bad Faith Case Against Safeco Abated, Not Dismissed, in Florida

Recently the Fourth District Court of Appeal (“4th DCA”) abated a bad faith case brought against Safeco. The underlying issue of coverage was also involved in the lawsuit. We have often discussed how Florida law requires a determination of liability and extent of damages before a bad faith action can proceed. The 4th DCA decided … Continue Reading

Federal Judge Finds “Reckless” and “Grossly Negligent” Conduct By BP Led to 2010 Oil Spill

The almost 4-year long court battle surrounding the BP Oil Spill seems to have taken a turn for the worst for BP. Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana determined the London-based company’s gross negligence and willful misconduct led to millions of gallons of oil being spilled into the Gulf … Continue Reading

In Florida, An Appraisal Award May Be A Final Determination Of Liability For A Bad Faith Case – Update

On August 30, 2014, I wrote about a hot topic in Florida that concerns whether a policyholder can pursue a bad faith case against their insurance company after the claim proceeds through the appraisal process and an award is entered: In Florida, an Appraisal Award May Be a Final Determination of Liability For a Bad … Continue Reading

Recent Florida Case on Submission of Proof of Loss – Why is There Not a Fact Question for the Jury to Decide?

Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeals (“4th DCA”), recently issued an opinion relating to compliance with post-loss duties in a property insurance case.1 The issue centered on whether the policyholder breached their duties under the insurance contract by not timely submitting a sworn proof of loss. The trial court decided that the policyholder could not … Continue Reading

Late Notice in New York – Part II Recent Court of Appeals Ruling Rejects Expansion of Current Law

In a recent blog I discussed how a Second Circuit Court of Appeals case, Fabrozzi v. Lexington Insurance Company,1 interpreted the law regarding “Late Notice” expansively in favor of policyholders. A recent New York State Court of Appeals ruling has failed to continue this expansion and has left the law as it was regarding a … Continue Reading

Another Case on Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Property Insurance Claims

Recently, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion in a case involving Florida’s Statute of Limitations for property insurance claims.1 The question in this case, as well as many others recently, involves a 2011 amendment to §95.11(2)(e), which states that the limitations period in an action for breach of a property insurance contract begins … Continue Reading

Stranger Than Fiction: Property Insurance Policies Do Not Cover…Exploding Corpses!!?!

Certainly the majority of an attorney’s work in any given field has a certain amount of repetition, whether returning clients or similar claims. However, occasionally a case comes along unlike any you’ve ever seen before: Last week, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that damage caused to a home due to an exploding corpse was not a … Continue Reading

Florida Case on Policy Cancellation Reveals the Importance of Making Sure Mailing Address on Policy Is Up-To-Date and Accurate

Check the mailing address on your policy and double check it again to make sure it is accurate. That is the best advice I can give after reading a recent Florida appellate court case involving a policy cancellation notice the insurer mailed to its insured.1 The address shown in the insurance policy for the mailing … Continue Reading

New York Policyholder Appeals Court Order Dismissing Bad Faith Allegations Against Insurer

A topic of interest in New York, where courts are currently hearing Superstorm Sandy cases, is whether policyholder allegations of bad faith claims handling against insurers state a cause of action under state law. Needless to say, policyholder and carrier advocates do not agree on this issue. It is a hot topic too, with thousands … Continue Reading

Compliance With Examinations Under Oath – Supreme Court of Florida Authority Hot Off The Press

Many moons ago (on October 26, 2012, to be precise), I blogged about compliance with examination conditions. That blog noted conflicting views as to what is required of a policyholder under the policy’s condition for examination under oath (in the property insurance context) or compulsory medical examination (in the health, disability, or long-term care insurance … Continue Reading

Insurable Interest of a Property Management Company in Commercial Managed Property

Last week, I discussed the concept of insurable interest in Florida and the effect of a foreclosure judgment on a party’s insurable interest in property. Let’s continue the discussion of insurable interest this week. Does a property management company have an insurable interest in commercial property which it manages but does not own?… Continue Reading

Insurance Carriers’ Challenges To Assignments Of Benefits

Oftentimes policyholders that have suffered a loss turn to representatives that will be able to help them in emergency situations. These companies may take assignments of the insurance claim proceeds as payment for their services. Examples are water dry-out companies, emergency services contractors, and fire cleanup companies. Insurance carriers have been challenging these types of … Continue Reading

New York’s Highest Court Supports an Expansive View of Vandalism Coverage Under Property Insurance Policy

New York’s highest appellate court holds an expansive view of property insurance coverage for vandalism losses. Back in January, 2013, I wrote a post: So There Is An Excavation Company As Your Next Door Neighbor; Could It Trigger Vandalism Coverage To Your Property, about a question the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit … Continue Reading