Fire Damage

News & Analysis as of

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2015 #3

Two Years, Too Long for Coverage Under Claims-Made-and-Reported Policy - Why it matters: Claims-made-and-reported policies require that the claim be both made against the insured and reported to the insurer within the...more

California Court: Appraisers Cannot be Directed to Assign Loss Values to Undamaged or Non-Existent Items in the Insured’s Scope

It is axiomatic that the appraisers’ task is solely to determine the amount of loss, as opposed to coverage or liability. In Li-Lin Sung v. California Capital Ins. Co., 2015 WL 3797827, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 530 (Jun. 18,...more

Tennessee Court Weighs in on Whether Arson is a Species of Vandalism and Malicious Mischief

Last month in what was a case of first impression in Tennessee, a unanimous panel of the state’s intermediate level appellate court joined those jurisdictions that have concluded that arson does not constitute a type of...more

Georgia Court: Policy Does Not Require Insured to Produce Recordings of Her Conversations With the Carrier

On May 20th, a federal court in Georgia held that the standard “requirements in case of loss” language compelling the insurer to turn over her books and records during the adjustment process did not require the production of...more

Arizona Court: Argument that All Business Income Loss Caused by a Wildfire is Covered is “Off Base”

Several weeks ago in White Mt. Communities Hosp., Inc. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1755372, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50900 (D. Ariz., Apr. 17, 2015), an Arizona federal court underscored that business interruption losses...more

Tenants Escape Liability for Fire Damage

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently found that a landlord could not pursue tenants for fire damage caused by the tenants.  In Gauthier v. Elkins, unpublished opinion* of the Court of Appeals, issued November 13, 2014...more

Squatter’s Warming Fire in Vacant Home Held Not to be Vandalism by Divided California Court

In February, we published a Post about a Florida decision that aligned that state with the clear majority of American courts that have held that the destruction of property by an intentionally set fire is encompassed within...more

Court Rules that Damage From Squatter’s Fire is Not Excluded as Vandalism or Malicious Mischief

In Ong v. Fire Insurance Exchange (No. B252773, filed 4/3/15), a California appeals court ruled that a vacancy exclusion limited to damage caused by “vandalism or malicious mischief” did not bar coverage for damage to a...more

Letters of the Law: 'F' is for Fire Safety

A to Z of Construction Law in Qatar Series - Achieving fire safety standards is paramount for the successful completion of many construction and engineering projects but what approval is needed, how does it affect the...more

Northern District of Indiana: No Bad Faith Where Insurer Has a Rational Basis for its Coverage Position

Thorne v. Member Select Ins. Co., No. 2:09 CV 87, 2014 WL 4700873 (N.D. Ind. Sept. 22, 2014). The Northern District of Indiana denies an insured’s motion for reconsideration of the court’s entry of summary judgment in...more

Southern District of California Denies Motion to Dismiss Bad Faith Claim in Homeowners Policy Dispute

Eastman v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 14cv0703, 2014 WL 5355036 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 20, 2014) - Southern District of California denies motion to dismiss bad faith claim in connection with coverage dispute under homeowners...more

Allegation That Court Itself Was Victim Of Fraud Causes Federal Judge To Recuse Himself, All Other Judges In The District

The biggest litigation you’ve probably never heard, the Moonlight Fire litigation, just took another twist. Following a huge Northern California wildfire, the State and the Feds sought tens of millions in damages from...more

Here Comes the Sun…

Manufacturers and Installers of Solar Panels Face Unique Risks from Residential House Fires - House fires have always been a major source of product liability litigation in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of...more

Property Policy’s Pollution Exclusion Not Subject to Proximate Cause Analysis

An insured’s argument to broadly apply an exception to a pollution exclusion was recently rejected by the British Columbia Supreme Court in Whitworth Holdings Ltd. v. AXA Pacific Insurance Co., 2014 CarswellBC 2648, 2014 BCSC...more

Oklahoma Court Excludes Evidence of Loss Reserves

Asap v. Starnet Ins. Co., No. CIV-12-461-D, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128609 (W.D. Okla. Sept. 15, 2014) is a decision involving multiple motions in limine in connection with a trial of a breach of contract claim brought against...more

Property Insurance Law 101 – A Primer from Texas

On the Fourth of July in 2011, a fire damaged a nightclub in Beaumont, Texas. The fire was not unusual, but the lawsuits it generated—O’Quinn v. General Star Indemnity Company, No. 1:13-CV-471 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 5, 2014), and...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

Indiana Changes Course on Application of Intentional Acts Exclusion in Homeowners Policies

In Deeter v. Ind. Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 999 N.E.2d 82 (Ind. App. 2013), the Indiana appellate court denied property damage proceeds to a husband when his wife admitted to intentionally causing the fire that burned down their...more

Connecticut Supreme Court: “Make Whole” Doctrine Is Default Rule, But Does Not Apply to Policy Deductibles

In Fireman’s Fund Ins., Co. v. TD Banknorth Insurance Agency, Inc., SC 18796 (Conn. 07/30/2013), the Connecticut Supreme Court answered two certified questions of first impression under Connecticut insurance law: - Is...more

Neutrals create streamlined process for resolving natural disaster cases

Originally published in the Daily Journal on March 15, 2013. With more than 2,000 lawsuits filed by homeowners in the wake of the fires that ravaged San Diego County in 2007, attorneys for plaintiffs and San Diego Gas...more

Receivers in Arbitration Proceedings

QUESTION: My client is involved in a partnership dispute. The partnership agreement provides all disputes are to be resolved by binding arbitration. I may want to have a receiver appointed to operate the partnership property...more

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