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Florida Supreme Court Rules Incorrect Denial of Insurance Benefits Can Trigger Award of Attorneys’ Fees to Insured

On September 29, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court held, in Johnson v. Omega Insurance Company (No. SC14-2124), that a homeowner is entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees after an improper denial of insurance benefits. The...more

Florida Sinkhole Statute And Recovery Of Attorneys’ Fees Without Bad Faith: Florida Supreme Court Reverses The 5th DCA And...

In Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co., 2016 Fla. LEXIS 2148 (Sept. 29, 2016), the Florida Supreme Court determined that the 5th DCA misapplied and misinterpreted two statutes, the first providing a presumption of correctness to the...more

What Standard Governs the Dismissal of a Relator's Claim for Violation of the False Claims Act's Seal Requirement in an Action...

In the aftermath of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Cori and Kerri Rigsby accused State Farm Fire and Casualty Company of falsely misclassifying wind damage as flood damage, among other misdeeds, leaving...more

Hurricane Matthew flood claims may not be entirely preempted by federal law

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew and its associated flooding (particularly in North Carolina and South Carolina), a recent case of first impression in the Sixth Circuit may be cited by both damaged businesses and insurers and...more

State-law Based Claims Against Parties Other than the United States Seeking Damages Arising Out of the Procurement of Flood...

Harris v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 4174381 (6th Cir. Aug. 8, 2016) - Case at a Glance - Plaintiffs purchased a home located in a federal flood zone, but they did not purchase...more

Can Disputes Related To Procurement Of Federal Flood Insurance Policies Be Litigated In State Court?

It is well-established that claim processing and wrongful denial of coverage disputes involving federal flood insurance policies belong in federal court because they present substantial questions of federal law. The U.S....more

Sometimes It’s Hard to Waive Subrogation: Pacific Indemnity v. Deming

According to the recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Pacific Indemnity Company v. Deming, 2016 WL 3607028, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12374 (July 5, 2016) common contractual provisions that...more

Court of Appeals Changes Calculation of Statute of Repose

Colorado law generally prohibits construction defect lawsuits against a construction professional brought “more than six years after the substantial completion of the improvement to the real property.” § 13-80-104, C.R.S....more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending September 16, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Vacation of Subdivision Plats: boards of county commissioners have limited authority under Fla. Stat. sec. 177.101(3) to grant or deny platted property owner’s request for vacation of plat; if...more

Subcontractor Exception Torpedoes Insurers’ Defense To Faulty Workmanship Claim

As this blog has reported, a line of cases deciding coverage disputes over faulty workmanship runs against (or, at least, around) a basic rule for interpreting insurance policies. Under that rule, the scope of coverage is...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending September 2 & 9, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE: Foreclosure/Standing: where copy of note attached to foreclosure complaint contained no endorsement and original note presented at trial had endorsement in favor of plaintiff, plaintiff required to...more

Tropical Storm Hermine | A Quick Reference Compliance Guide to Adjusting Storm Related Claims in Florida

..Once a wind storm is named as a hurricane by the National Weather Service, and a warning or watch for any part of Florida is issued, all wind losses in the state from that time until 72 hours after the last warning or watch...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending August 19 & 26, 2016

Real Property Update: - Lis Pendens/Subsequent Liens: lis pendens statute only serves to discharge liens that exist or arise prior to entry of foreclosure judgment but does not affect liens that arise after entry of...more

Missouri Western District Court of Appeals Reminds Us to Pay No Attention to the Headings for the Revised Statutes

The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court’s issuance of summary judgment and, in the process, reminded practitioners that the bold faced headings in the Revised Statutes are not part of...more

Washington Court Finds Coverage For “Collapse” Is Not Set In Stone

As this blog has documented, the language of insurance policies evolves; it changes to address new risks, and it also responds to new interpretations of old policy provisions. Even if a policyholder maintains a long-standing...more

The Nuts and Bolts of Tolling an Insurance Policy’s Suit Limitation Provision in New Jersey

A recent New Jersey Federal District Court decision provides a good example of how an insurance policy’s Suit Limitation period may be “stopped” and “re-started” by equitable tolling during the adjustment of a property...more

Second DCA Reaffirms Sinkhole Insurers' Contractual Right to Withhold Payment for Subsurface Repairs Until the Policyholder...

Two new opinions show the Second DCA continues to hold that if an insurance policy providing sinkhole coverage authorizes the insurer to withhold payment for subsurface repairs until the policyholder presents a signed...more

Workmanship and Earth Movement Exclusions Preclude Coverage for Collapse As a Matter of Law

A U.S. federal district court recently granted Peerless Insurance’s summary judgment motion, concluding that, as a matter of law, under Virginia law, a property policy insuring a building under renovation would not provide...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending July 22, 2016

Lis Pendens: a party seeking to maintain a lis pendens must establish a “fair nexus” between the party’s claim and the subject property by making “a minimal showing that there is at least some basis for the underlying claim...more

Don’t Mess with the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act: One Court’s Appraisal Result

Virtually all property insurance policies contain an appraisal clause, which outlines the appraisal procedure in broad terms. Those broad terms sometimes do not provide much guidance about the process, or about the effect...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending July 15, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Unclean Hands: defense of unclean hands insufficient where borrower alleges bank’s loan officer inflated borrower’s income and assets to qualify for loan where borrower signed off on...more

Second DCA Refuses to Allow Insurer to Obtain Settlement Information from Settling Co-Defendant

In Allen v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co., 2D15-3114 (Fla. 2d DCA June 10, 2016), a sinkhole plaintiff sued two insurers for the same damage, and then settled with one of them before trial. The non-settling insurer wanted to...more

More Common Sense: Coverage for Collapse Requires More Than an Engineer’s Finding of Substantial Impairment

In February this blog commented on Washington State’s newly-adopted definition of “collapse” in property insurance policies that contain no specific definition of the term. (Observer, February 8, 2016, Common Sense Prevails: ...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Narrowly Interprets the “Permanent Property Insurance” Condition in a Builder’s Risk Policy

In Fontana Builders, Inc. v. Assurance Company of America, Case No. 2014AP821, 2016 WL 3526408 (Wis. Jun. 29, 2016), the Wisconsin Supreme Court addressed whether the purchase of a homeowner’s policy by the occupiers and...more

Mississippi Supreme Court Rules In Insurer’s Favor In Windstorm Pool Assessment Dispute

In a dispute concerning a post-Hurricane Katrina assessment levied by a state-based windstorm pool, the Mississippi Supreme Court recently held that an insurer was entitled to submit revised information pertaining to its...more

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