Residential Real Estate Civil Procedure Insurance

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Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal Holds “Wrongful Conduct” on Behalf of Insurer is Necessary Prerequisite to an Insured’s...

In Omega Insurance Co. v. Kathy Johnson, 2014 Fla. App. Lexis 13737 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Sept. 5, 2014), the Fifth District reversed a Marion County trial court’s grant of attorneys’ fees based upon Omega’s...more

Disparate impact cases against HUD: Illinois federal court issues decision; update on D.C. case

Because of their potential impact on the CFPB’s conclusion that the ECOA and Regulation B encompass disparate impact claims, we have been following two insurance industry lawsuits involving a challenge to HUD’s Federal...more

Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer Based upon Insured’s Failure to Submit a Timely Proof...

In Lloyd Oliver Hunt & Deborah Hunt v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co., 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1762b, (Fla. 4th DCA 2014), the Fourth District affirmed a Broward County trial court’s grant of summary judgment based upon the insureds’...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: August 2014 #2

former marital home entitled to homestead exemption under article X, section 4 of Florida Constitution because (1) decedent and former wife still owned home as tenants in common at time of his death; (2) decedent’s sons, whom...more

Texas Limits Scope of Anti-Technicality Statute and Material Breach Doctrine in Vacancy Clause Case

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court handed down an opinion that involved two unique (and somewhat troublesome) creatures of state law – the so-called “anti-technicality” statute and the material breach doctrine – and in Greene...more

NY Joins Texas In The Broad Use Of Appraisal

Virtually all property insurance policies include an appraisal provision to resolve disputes over the “amount of loss” for a covered claim. Historically, the phrase “amount of loss” was interpreted to limit appraisal to those...more

Court Grants Motion For Partial Judgment On The Pleadings In RESPA Class Action Regarding Private Mortgage Insurance

We have previously reported on a case styled Munoz v. PHH Corp., one of similar suits alleging putative class actions under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act arising from purported “sham” reinsurance transfers...more

Current Florida Sinkhole Statute Held to Apply Even Though Policy Used Prior Statute’s Formulation

Florida adopted a stringent, five-part definition of what constitutes a covered sinkhole loss in 2011, but many policies continue to employ the 2005 statutory formulation which merely defined “sinkhole loss” as “structural...more

RESPA Class Action Alleging “Captive Reinsurance Scheme” Allowed To Proceed

A Pennsylvania federal court recently denied a motion to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit in which homeowners claim violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 based on an alleged “captive...more

Illinois Case Law and Legislation Update

Effective January 1, 2015, Section 18.4 of the ICPA was amended to permit a condominium Board of Directors to adopt and amend its rules and regulations to allow for electronic delivery of notices and other communications...more

Texas' Progressive Claim Affliction Is Treatable

A case recently considered by Texas' Thirteenth Court of Appeals illustrates a fact pattern becoming all too familiar in Texas first-party property insurance claims. The story goes something like this....more

South Carolina: Admission of Cause & Origin Testimony by Fire Chief Was Prejudicial Error

In James D. Fowler v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Ins. Co., 2014 WL 3844215, 2014 S.C. App. LEXIS 209 (S.C. App., Aug. 6, 2014), South Carolina’s Court of Appeals recently held that it was prejudicial error to allow the jury to...more

Class Action Alleging Mortgage Kickback Captive Reinsurance Survives Dismissal Pending Discovery On Tolling Of Limitations

A court denied dismissal of a putative class action involving claims against Suntrust Bank subsidiaries and a captive reinsurer for an alleged illegal kickback scheme arising out of captive reinsurance covering Suntrust’s...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: August 2014 #1

Trial court erred in granting lender’s motion to vacate an order dismissing its foreclosure complaint for lack of prosecution without first giving borrower an opportunity to be heard at an evidentiary hearing. – Arcila v. BAC...more

Vermont: There is No Cause of Action for Negligence in Adjusting a Property Loss

Last week, the Vermont Supreme Court firmly rejected the notion that an insured can bring a cognizable claim for negligence against his or her carrier in connection with the inspection and handling of a first-party property...more

City May Be Liable for Damage to Home Caused by Falling Tree in Inverse Condemnation and Nuisance

During a windstorm, a tree owned by the City of Pasadena fell on Mr. O’Halloran’s residence, causing damage to his home. Mercury Casualty Company paid Mr. O’Halloran for the damage pursuant to his homeowner’s insurance...more

If A Tree Falls In The City, Is It Serving A Public Purpose?

Today’s posting has nothing to do with corporate law and everything to do with trees. On November 30 and December 1, 2011, the City of Pasadena experienced an unusually violent windstorm. Wind speeds in excess of 100 miles...more

Louisiana Court Upholds Proof Of Loss Requirement Of Standard Flood Insurance Policy

n Villemarette v. FEMA et al., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113667 (E.D. La.), the court analyzed whether plaintiffs were entitled to unpaid proceeds of a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP). Plaintiffs’ policy had coverage...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19089 - Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America v. Netherlands Ins. Co. - Travelers brought a declaratory judgment action, claiming that the Netherlands Insurance Company had to participate in the defense costs of...more

Judgment Against Insurer For Fire Loss Reversed Due To Admission Of Opinion Testimony Of Non-Expert Volunteer Fire Chief

The S.C. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a half million dollar verdict against a homeowner’s insurance company because the fire chief was allowed to testify regarding his opinion on causation. Fowler v. Nationwide...more

New Jersey Federal Court Examines Claim Dispute Under Standard Flood Insurance Policy

The court in Damiano v. Harleysville Ins. Co., Case No. 13-cv-07293-FLW-LHG, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97988 (D.N.J. July 17, 2014) recently addressed the scope of claims that can be asserted against property insurers issuing...more

District Court Figures Out What The Hail Is Going On

Seeing a significant increase in the number of hail damage lawsuits in her courtroom, it appears Judge Jane Boyle of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas has figured out "What the Hail is Going...more

Public Adjusters Do Not Have Free Pass To The Stand

In Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds, the Western District of Texas reminded litigants that licensed public adjusters are not immune from expert witness qualification requirements. Namely, a public adjuster’s license does not...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update

Eminent Domain/Deposit Funds: plaintiff’s right to interest on funds placed on deposit with Clerk during eminent domain proceedings pursuant to section 74.051, Florida Statutes (2007) needed to be resolved in initial takings...more

Sandy in the Courts

Hurricane Sandy (also known as Superstorm Sandy) struck the northeast coast of the United States in October 2012, causing an estimated $65 billion* in property damage, including wind damage, severe flooding and power outages....more

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