Residential Real Estate Civil Procedure Insurance

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Common Sense Prevails: State of Collapse Nonexistent Thirteen Years before Discovery of Decay

For years, property insurance policies that exclude rot damage have been called upon to cover rot because the policies extend coverage to “collapse”—an undefined term—caused by hidden decay, even if the structure remains...more

Property Insurance Diminution in Value Class Action: Georgia Federal Court Dismisses Declaratory Judgment Claim

A while back, I wrote about a Georgia Supreme Court decision, Royal Capital Development LLC v. Maryland Casualty Co., that held that diminution in value of real property is potentially covered under a property insurance...more

Texas Federal Court Rejects Insured’s Attempt To Destroy Diversity By Naming Adjuster As Defendant

The insured in Patel v. Acceptance Indem. Ins. Co., No. 4:15-CV-944-A, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10300 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 28, 2016), alleged that Acceptance Indemnity Insurance Company and its adjuster, Charles Payne, did not fully...more

Coverage for Direct Physical Loss Does Not Necessarily Include “Matching” or Require “Aesthetic Uniformity”

When a property insurance policy covers a multi-story building or multi-building property, and a portion sustains damage, there is often a question regarding the extent to which undamaged property should be replaced to ensure...more

“Insanity Defense” Fails To Preserve Coverage For Insured’s Arson

Missouri resident James Roller set fire to his garage in an attempt to commit suicide. When smoke and fumes surrounded him he changed his mind, fled the garage, and alerted his wife of the fire. Mrs. Roller called 911. A...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending January 22, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Condition Precedent: providing a notice of the assignment of mortgage loan, as required by section 559.715, Florida Statutes, is not a condition precedent to filing a mortgage...more

Florida District Court of Appeals Addresses Voluntary Payment By Insurer After Suit Filed

In a recent decision, another Florida District Court of Appeals weighed in on the issue of whether voluntary payment by an insurer after suit is filed is a “confession of judgment” for purposes of awarding the insureds’...more

Labor Depreciation Class Action Update

It’s been a while since I updated you on the status of class action litigation regarding the application of depreciation to labor costs on property insurance claims. There have been three decisions since my last update, with...more

Court Denies Motion To Dismiss By Bank And Its Affiliated Reinsurer In RICO Suit

This dispute involves class action claims under RICO, claims for unjust enrichment and allegations that Bank of America and its affiliate reinsurer engaged in a conspiracy to defraud home mortgage borrowers into funding sham...more

Florida’s Third District Upholds Multiplier To Increase Award Of Attorneys’ Fees To Insured

In Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp. v. Pulloquinga, 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 19453 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. December 30, 2015), the Third District affirmed a Miami-Dade trial court’s application of an attorney fee multiplier of...more

Construction Case Law Update - January 11, 2016

CGL Policies, Supplemental Payment Provision, and Attorney’s Fees - A contractor’s commercial general liability insurer appealed a final judgment in favor of homeowners that damages awarded to them in a construction defect...more

First Floods of 2016: Insurance Recovery Tips for Midwestern Businesses

The beginning of 2016 brought floods to the Midwest—and, tragically, loss of life and extensive property damage. With the floodwaters now receding and cleanup underway, affected businesses should consider obtaining insurance...more

To Stay or Not to Stay … That Is the Question

In the insurance arena, courts are often confronted with simultaneous lawsuits involving the same, or almost the same, parties. In the “underlying case” a claimant seeks damages from an insured defendant. Simultaneously, the...more

For Whom the Contractual Suit Limitation Period Tolls

Virginia’s Supreme Court recently addressed an issue of statutory interpretation that affects whether or under what circumstances a contractual suit limitation provision in an insurance policy may be tolled. In Allstate Prop....more

Appeal Court Applies Correctness Standard of Review for Standard Form Contracts, Distinguishes Sattva

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has held that appeal courts will review decisions interpreting standard form contracts on a correctness standard, as opposed to the more deferential standard of review of reasonableness....more

Title Insurance for Building Code Violations

When most lenders, owners and lawyers think of title insurance, they (quite rightly) think of insurance that covers risks associated with title matters. The answer is in the name, as it were....more

Reflections on Low-E Glass vs. Vinyl Siding

From luxury vehicles melting on the streets of London to sunbathers being attacked by a “death ray” at a Las Vegas pool, splashy news reports highlight unanticipated hazards associated with the use of low-e glass in new...more

Oregon Adopts Covenants Not To Execute/Assignments

This past week, the Supreme Court of Oregon overturned 42 years of precedent, holding that Stubblefield v. St. Paul Fire & Marine, 267 Ore. 397, 517 P.2d 262 (1973) erred when it decided that a covenant not to execute given...more

Connecticut Court Holds No Cause Of Action Against Independent Adjuster For Negligence

The states are divided over whether an independent adjuster can be sued for negligence by the insured, and no Connecticut appellate court has ever addressed that issue. Last Tuesday, however, one of the state’s federal...more

Avoiding Gamesmanship in Appointing Appraisal Umpires

Appraisal has long been utilized as a tool for resolution of disputes over the amount of loss at issue in property insurance claims. Unfortunately, the appraisal process has devolved in recent years. What was once considered...more

Insurance Benefit Assignment to Contractors: Not in Texas

In Florida and other states, a post-loss assignment of insurance benefits (or AOB) has become commonplace and a hot-topic issue. The typical scenario is that after suffering a loss, the insured assigns the right to policy...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC36382, AC36387 - Hilton v. Commissioner of Correction - AC36922 - Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v. Pasiak - This was Round Three of a case previously reported on. An...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending October 30 & November 6, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Eminent Domain: property owners forced to defend against excessive litigation caused by condemning authority entitled to attorneys’ fees: (1) for hours defending excessive litigation, fees should...more

Depreciation of Labor Class Action - Minnesota Supreme Court Oral Argument

I’ve been following closely a series of class actions around the country alleging that, in calculating the “actual cash value” of property damage under a homeowners or commercial property insurance policy, insurance companies...more

Insurance Coverage – Homeowner’s Insurance – “Imminent Loss”

Arthur Grebow, et al. v. Mercury Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second District (October 21, 2015) - Homeowners’ policies are not intended to require that all maintenance costs incurred to prevent collapse...more

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