Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

Ask the Public Adjustor: Covering Life with Wisdom*

In December 2010, after sharing a few drinks with his classmates, Josh began driving a dump truck that didn’t belong to him. The police of Stow, Ohio, asked Josh to pull over, but he led them on a 50-mile chase at speeds up...more

New York’s High Court Finds Contractual Limitation Period Unenforceable, Where it Places Policyholder in Impossible Catch-22...

How is a policyholder supposed to obtain coverage under a policy that requires the insured to bring its claim within two years of the loss and also imposes preconditions on bringing a claim that cannot reasonably be satisfied...more

“California’s Right To Repair Act Is Not A Homeowner’s Exclusive Remedy When Construction Defects Cause Actual Property Damage.”

The California Court of Appeals recently issued two decisions holding that California’s Right to Repair Act (“SB 800”) is not the exclusive remedy for a homeowner seeking damages for construction defects that have also...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

Florida Insurer Waives Two-Year Requirement by Waiting That Long to First Raise It

Florida court recently held that the insurer could not rely on a policy requirement that conditioned recovery of the cost of complying with current building codes during reconstruction on having completed the work within two...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

Alabama Joins Recent Trend of States Finding Defective Work May Be Covered Under a Commercial General Liability Policy

The Supreme Court of Alabama recently held in Owners Ins. Co. v. Jim Carr Homebuilder, LLC that a contractor’s commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy provided coverage for property damage caused by the defective work of...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

Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Course, Finds Insurance Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Claims

Companies such as homebuilders, construction companies and contractors face significant financial risk from bodily injury and property damage claims arising from allegedly faulty workmanship or construction defects. Although...more

In Iowa, Rain is What Gene Kelly Sang In – Not Water From a Burst Drain Pipe

Earlier this year, an Iowa court recognized that rain becomes rainwater once it has fallen, and it held that policy language excluding loss caused by “rain” – without more – will not operate to bar coverage for water from a...more

Sixth Circuit Holds That Market Crash Cannot Be Considered in Determining ACV

In Whitehouse Condo. Group, LLC v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11708 (6th Cir. June 17, 2014), the insured condominium building located in Flint, Michigan was destroyed by a fire. The parties disagreed over the...more

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Construction Defects

Regional Steel Corporation v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (June 13, 2014) - There has been a split of decisions in California as to whether incorporation of...more

Insurers Say “Over My Dead Body” to Claims for Damage From Decomposition

Last April saw decisions handed down in Pennsylvania and Florida that addressed the ghoulish question of whether first-party policies cover property damage from a decomposing body, and the courts in both jurisdictions held...more

Certification Denied for Purchasers of Product Awash with Design Differences

The Central District of California denied Plaintiff’s motion to certify a class of purchasers of Defendant’s washing machines that contain an air hose connected to an air dome. Plaintiff alleged the connection between the...more

Disclaimer Requirement of N.Y. Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2) Held Not to Apply to Property Damage Claims

The New York Court of Appeals recently confirmed that the heightened timeliness of disclaimer requirement in New York Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2) does not apply to claims arising from property damage, in KeySpan Gas East Corp....more

Appellate Court Rejects “Explosive Corpse” Theory

So many perils beset Florida condominium owners— hurricanes, mold, floods—that they can be forgiven for overlooking the possibility that the undiscovered body of a deceased neighbor might pose a hazard to adjacent residents....more

Texas Federal Court Upholds Summary Judgment In Favor Of Insurer On Hail Damage Claim

Hamilton Props. v. Am. Ins. Co., No.: 12-cv-5046-B, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91882 (N.D. Tex. July 7, 2014) was an insurance dispute over coverage for hail damage to the roof of the insured’s commercial property. The insured,...more

Western District of Texas: An Expert Must Base a Determination of Bad Faith on the Facts Available to the Insurer When it Acted

Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 1:12-CV-491-DAE, 2014 WL 2711849 (W.D. Tex. June 16, 2014) - The Western District of Texas finds that a policyholder’s expert witness is not qualified to opine when he does not...more

Why Texas Insurers Need To Report Fraudulent Hail Claims

In Amarillo, Texas, with clipboard, camera and marking chalk in hand, a seasoned insurance company adjuster climbs his ladder onto the roof of an apartment building. He’s looking for hail damage following a recent hailstorm...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Case Law Update

Neutral Evaluation/Sinkhole Litigation: trial court erred in sustaining objection to insurer’s notice of stay to invoke neutral evaluation process in lawsuit for breach of contract and damages for sinkhole losses to property...more

Is The Employee Who Injured Me Responsible for My Injuries?

A tort is a civil wrong that causes an individual to suffer harm, loss, or other injury. Generally speaking, the person who commits the tortious act is legally responsible for the victim's injuries. The theory of tort law...more

Policyholders Must Be Vigilant for Construction Defect Exclusions, Including For Impaired Property to Combat Insurance Companies’...

Continuing the most recent trend in coverage litigation, insurance companies are increasingly engaging “Big Law” firms to develop legal arguments for narrower interpretation of their policies when troublesome claims threaten...more

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