Tag Archives: Expert Reports

Appellate Court Reverses Summary Judgment Where Battle of Experts Created a Jury Question

Generally, in Florida, when there is a difference of opinions between each party’s expert, the jury gets to decide who’s right, not the judge. But there has been a trend by insurance companies in the first-party property context of taking their expert’s report before the judge and arguing, in essence, “our expert’s right, the insured’s … Continue Reading

Insurance Fraud – It’s a Widespread Industry Problem

Fraud is generally defined as an act done with the intent to deceive or misrepresent others in order to attain or secure some unlawful gain or deprive a victim of a legal right. Different courts, states, and bodies of law throughout our country have their own unique causes of action based in fraud, or where … Continue Reading

Collapse Claim Highlights the Importance of Retaining Experts Early in the Claim Process

A recent case filed in the Western District of Texas highlights the importance of retaining experts to assist in evaluating the cause of loss early in the claim process. In White Lodging Services Corporation et al v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company,1 a hotel development and management company filed suit against Liberty Mutual over a … Continue Reading

Condominium Association Sues Carrier for Damages Sustained During Hurricane Joaquin

Riggings Homeowners, Inc. (“Riggings”), has filed suit against Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest (“Hartford”) for damages sustained to Building 1 of the condominium association during Hurricane Joaquin. In a 10-count complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina,1 Riggings alleges that Hartford “has a pattern and practice of … Continue Reading

Did State Farm Buy Its Way Out of a Billion Dollar Judgment?

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. It is listed as the 35th largest company in the Fortune 500. Big companies sometimes have big problems. State Farm had a one billion dollar judgement problem that now may be a seven billion dollar problem.… Continue Reading

FEMA Issues Bulletin on Use of Experts by WYO Carriers

As we enter a new year, FEMA has issued WYO Bulletin W-16091, “Guidance on the Use of Expert Services.” The purpose of the memorandum is “to ensure transparent and consistent claims handling for all policyholders” and to provide “guidance on the use of services provided by subject-matter experts as part of specific claims investigations.”… Continue Reading

Why The Tom Brady Decision is Similar to Insurance Altered Engineering and Damage Reports

The Tom Brady legal victory is being criticized, lauded, and talked about by millions in our fanatical football country. Unlike the vast majority of fans—and being a nerdy insurance lawyer—I read the report. While doing so, I was struck about the similarity between the court’s reasoning into the unfairness of Brady’s proceedings and altered insurance … Continue Reading

Unethical Claims Cultures Promote Outcome Oriented Expert Reports

Nicole Vinson‘s post State Farm Sued for Fraud for Katrina: More Altered Engineering Reports Alleged, a recent filing by my co-liaison counsel Steve Mostyn, and one by Javier Delgado, prompted me to write about how groups of people with power can dictate an unethical claims culture biased and driven to pre-determined outcomes. I strongly encourage those … Continue Reading

Former Flood Attorney in Hot Water

Gerald Neilson was National Flood’s "go to" lawyer for as long as I can remember. While I personally have gotten along with him, his never bending stance towards settlement and reliance on the most conservative aspects of the National Flood Insurance Act have made him the enemy of many of my colleagues. His firm’s stance … Continue Reading

FEMA to Re-Open and Review 144,000 Sandy Flood Claims

Because there have been recent allegations that some insurers in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) may have denied or rejected policyholders’ Superstorm Sandy flood damage claims based on falsified engineering reports, earlier this week FEMA agreed to re-open and review every flood insurance claim filed by Superstorm Sandy victims. It is important to note … Continue Reading

Coast Guardsman Takes Control of Superstorm Sandy Claims

FEMA officials appointed a person familiar with taking control of emergency situations when they appointed a retired United States Coast Guardsman to take control of the Superstorm Sandy mess. The mess was largely created by WYO “Dogs on a Leash” lawyers discussed in yesterday’s post, Insurance Company Lawyers Called "Dogs on a Leash." Unlike the … Continue Reading

Insurance Company Lawyers Called “Dogs on a Leash”

The CBS 60 Minutes documentary, The Storm After The Storm, called insurance company lawyers, "Dogs on a Leash." It raised the question whether insurers should be held accountable for acquiescing to unethical and wrongful misconduct by their own lawyers. Lawsuits naming insurance company lawyers and law firms for their complicity with aiding wrongful underpayments to … Continue Reading

Anatomy of an Altered Engineering Report

Most readers of this blog are aware of the issues surrounding altered engineering reports in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Often attorneys get a gut feeling about a case and believe that the other side may be trying to hide the ball. This has been true in many of our Sandy cases. On one such … Continue Reading

Insurance Executive Pleads Fifth Over Altered Reports During Superstorm Sandy Hearing

Catastrophes breed controversies. Superstorm Sandy has a raging one involving altered engineering reports. Yesterday, Jeff Moore, a flood insurance executive with one of the largest National Flood Insurance participating insurers, pleaded the Fifth Amendment when asked questions regarding those altered reports. As reported by Christie Smyth of Bloomberg: In November, U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary Brown … Continue Reading

Kieserman Appointed to Lead FEMA Superstorm Sandy Investigation of WYO Claims Handling

My father was in the United States Coast Guard and eventually rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. So, I was happy to learn that FEMA’s Craig Fugate appointed a distinguished former Coast Guard Officer, Brad J. Kieserman, to investigate what has been going on regarding WYO insurance claims practices. Here’s an official, and good … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Rejects Insurance Carrier’s Argument (Again) that Insured “Concealed” Material Fact By Not Providing Sinkhole Report

A while back, my colleague, Shane Smith, wrote about a case, Herrera v. Tower Hill Preferred Insurance Company,1 where Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal considered – and then rejected – Tower Hill’s claim that its insured had violated the policy’s “Concealment or Fraud” and “Duties After Loss” provision by not disclosing their sinkhole expert’s … Continue Reading