News & Analysis as of

Fire Damage

Repair Cost Exceeding Actual Cash Value Does Not Establish “Total Loss” Under Fire Insurance Policy

In California FAIR Plan Assn. v. Garnes (No. A143190, filed 5/26/17), a California appeals court ruled that “total loss” under Insurance Code section 2051 refers to physical damage or loss, not the economic fact that the cost...more

Defence & Indemnity - February 2017: IV. PRACTICE ISSUES B.

by Field Law on

In an action by homeowners against a chimney sweep, it was held that deficiencies in the plaintiffs’ expert Investigation and reports deprived the court and the other trial experts from being able to determine what actually...more

Innocent or Unintentional Mistake in Application is Irrelevant: NY’s Second Department Finds Rescission Appropriate and Affirms...

When an insurer finds that the insured misrepresented a material fact in an application for insurance, the insurer may rescind the policy of insurance, and take the position that no coverage exists for a claimed loss. In a...more

Gatlinburg Property Owners Affected by Wildfires May See Tax Relief

Property owners affected by the Gatlinburg fires last fall could receive tax relief – thanks to a bill approved by the Senate State & Local Government Committee this week....more

Emotional Distress Damages Not Distinct from “Annoyance and Discomfort” Damages in Case Arising from 2007 California Wildfires

In Hensley v. San Diego Gas & Elec. Co., (No. D070259, filed 1/31/17), the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District held that emotional distress damages are available on claims for trespass and nuisance as...more

Defence & Indemnity - December 2016: IV. PRACTICE ISSUES

by Field Law on

Successful application to dismiss the plaintiffs’ action pursuant to Rule 4.33 on the basis that three or more years had passed without a significant advance in the action and the new 3-year drop dead Rule applies...more

Insurance – Coverage – Pyrolysis as an “Occurrence”

by Low, Ball & Lynch on

Tidwell Enterprises, Inc., et al. v. Financial Pacific Ins. Co., Inc. - Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District (December 20, 2016) - According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Pyrolysis is a “chemical...more

The Impact of the Smart Home Revolution on Product Liability and Fire Cause Determinations

by Wilson Elser on

The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) has existed for more than 15 years. Technology pioneer Kevin Ashton is widely credited with coining the term in 1999 to describe the connection of physical objects to the internet...more

Defence & Indemnity - August 2016: I. INSURANCE ISSUES

by Field Law on

A. In a commercial lease, the covenant of the tenant to insure the landlord along with itself fixes the tenant with the risk of loss. Failure to add the landlord to the policy, as required by the lease, does not allow the...more

Blogster's Miscellany: From a Cape Cod Reef to Those Ever-Risky Backyards of MA

by PretiFlaherty on

AS EXCITING AS LAWMAKING. In March, federal funds and proceeds from the sale of state recreational saltwater fishing licenses were used to create an artificial reef in the Atlantic Ocean, two miles south of Saquatucket...more

If Your Expert Doesn’t Know the Product he is Testifying on, You’re Gonna Have a Bad Time

by Field Law on

Most will remember the case McDougall v. Black & Decker Canada Inc. as being the leading Alberta case on the issue of spoliation. A fire occurred which burned down the Plaintiffs' house. The Fire Department who initially...more

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

by Cozen O'Connor on

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

Product Liability Verdicts in Arizona

by Snell & Wilmer on

Product liability cases show a strong defense trend in Arizona. Since 2011, Arizona juries have given twelve defense verdicts and three plaintiff’s verdicts. Here are all of the Arizona product liability verdicts over the...more

Michigan Consumer Protection Act Claims Do Not Require Proof of Intent to Deceive

by Dickinson Wright on

Because the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) was derivative of common law fraud, many have argued that all claims brought under the MCPA require a plaintiff to prove fraud-like elements in order to create liability...more

Is Cannabis Inventory Covered by Commercial Property Insurance?

by Wilson Elser on

A lingering question for the growing cannabis industry has been to what extent insurance could, would or should cover product inventory. Now we have a preliminary answer thanks to a recent decision denying summary judgment to...more

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

by Cozen O'Connor on

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

Insurance Coverage Issues for Hotel and Apartment High-Rises Damaged by Fire

Just before fireworks exploded across the sky to usher in 2016, a massive fire engulfed the Address Downtown Hotel in Dubai. At nearly 1,000 feet tall, this five-star hotel and luxury apartment building —with about 200 hotel...more

Fourth Circuit Holds Consequential Damages Exclusion Bars $19 Million Fire Loss Claim Case Background

by Poyner Spruill LLP on

Poyner Spruill represented the defendant pesticide applicator, Industrial Fumigant Company (IFC), in Severn Peanut Co., Inc. v. Industrial Fumigant Co., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS (4th Cir. Dec. 2, 2015). IFC was sued in the...more

Can You Burn the House Down and Still Recover From Your Homeowners Insurer? An Illinois Judge Says Yes!

by Cozen O'Connor on

Someday the editors of this blog will have to create a “Hall of Shame” for most witheringly wrong-headed pieces of first-party property insurance jurisprudence, and a clear contender is a federal decision out of Illinois that...more

Maximizing Homeowner Insurance Coverage Benefits After a Fire

Before worrying about an insurance claim, first ensure that you and your family, including pets and extended family, have their immediate needs met. When you are ready to begin the recovery process, we have outlined three...more

Maximizing Business Insurance Coverage Benefits After a Fire

If your business has sustained a fire loss, below are steps for you to take in working with your insurers to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits under any applicable insurance policies. Step 1 – Locate Insurance...more

Insurance Coverage – Fire Insurance – Power of Appraisal Panel

by Low, Ball & Lynch on

Lee v California Capital Ins. Co. - Court of Appeal, First District (June 18, 2015) - All fire insurance policies issued in California must be on a standard form that includes an appraisal provision as set forth in...more

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

by Cozen O'Connor on

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

by Cozen O'Connor on

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

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