Tag Archives: Expert Reports

FEMA Issues Bulletin on Use of Experts by WYO Carriers

As we enter a new year, FEMA has issued WYO Bulletin W-16091, “Guidance on the Use of Expert Services.” The purpose of the memorandum is “to ensure transparent and consistent claims handling for all policyholders” and to provide “guidance on the use of services provided by subject-matter experts as part of specific claims investigations.”… Continue Reading

Why The Tom Brady Decision is Similar to Insurance Altered Engineering and Damage Reports

The Tom Brady legal victory is being criticized, lauded, and talked about by millions in our fanatical football country. Unlike the vast majority of fans—and being a nerdy insurance lawyer—I read the report. While doing so, I was struck about the similarity between the court’s reasoning into the unfairness of Brady’s proceedings and altered insurance … Continue Reading

Unethical Claims Cultures Promote Outcome Oriented Expert Reports

Nicole Vinson‘s post State Farm Sued for Fraud for Katrina: More Altered Engineering Reports Alleged, a recent filing by my co-liaison counsel Steve Mostyn, and one by Javier Delgado, prompted me to write about how groups of people with power can dictate an unethical claims culture biased and driven to pre-determined outcomes. I strongly encourage those … Continue Reading

Former Flood Attorney in Hot Water

Gerald Neilson was National Flood’s "go to" lawyer for as long as I can remember. While I personally have gotten along with him, his never bending stance towards settlement and reliance on the most conservative aspects of the National Flood Insurance Act have made him the enemy of many of my colleagues. His firm’s stance … Continue Reading

FEMA to Re-Open and Review 144,000 Sandy Flood Claims

Because there have been recent allegations that some insurers in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) may have denied or rejected policyholders’ Superstorm Sandy flood damage claims based on falsified engineering reports, earlier this week FEMA agreed to re-open and review every flood insurance claim filed by Superstorm Sandy victims. It is important to note … Continue Reading

Coast Guardsman Takes Control of Superstorm Sandy Claims

FEMA officials appointed a person familiar with taking control of emergency situations when they appointed a retired United States Coast Guardsman to take control of the Superstorm Sandy mess. The mess was largely created by WYO “Dogs on a Leash” lawyers discussed in yesterday’s post, Insurance Company Lawyers Called "Dogs on a Leash." Unlike the … Continue Reading

Insurance Company Lawyers Called “Dogs on a Leash”

The CBS 60 Minutes documentary, The Storm After The Storm, called insurance company lawyers, "Dogs on a Leash." It raised the question whether insurers should be held accountable for acquiescing to unethical and wrongful misconduct by their own lawyers. Lawsuits naming insurance company lawyers and law firms for their complicity with aiding wrongful underpayments to … Continue Reading

Insurance Executive Pleads Fifth Over Altered Reports During Superstorm Sandy Hearing

Catastrophes breed controversies. Superstorm Sandy has a raging one involving altered engineering reports. Yesterday, Jeff Moore, a flood insurance executive with one of the largest National Flood Insurance participating insurers, pleaded the Fifth Amendment when asked questions regarding those altered reports. As reported by Christie Smyth of Bloomberg: In November, U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary Brown … Continue Reading

Kieserman Appointed to Lead FEMA Superstorm Sandy Investigation of WYO Claims Handling

My father was in the United States Coast Guard and eventually rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. So, I was happy to learn that FEMA’s Craig Fugate appointed a distinguished former Coast Guard Officer, Brad J. Kieserman, to investigate what has been going on regarding WYO insurance claims practices. Here’s an official, and good … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Rejects Insurance Carrier’s Argument (Again) that Insured “Concealed” Material Fact By Not Providing Sinkhole Report

A while back, my colleague, Shane Smith, wrote about a case, Herrera v. Tower Hill Preferred Insurance Company,1 where Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal considered – and then rejected – Tower Hill’s claim that its insured had violated the policy’s “Concealment or Fraud” and “Duties After Loss” provision by not disclosing their sinkhole expert’s … Continue Reading

New Jersey Federal Courts Expect Flood Carriers to Turn Over All Draft Engineering Reports on Superstorm Sandy Claims

Late yesterday evening, December 10, 2014, Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey sent a letter to several law firms handling Superstorm Sandy claims, Merlin Law Group included, concerning the potentially widespread issue of “Revised” engineering reports.… Continue Reading

Three Judge Panel Again Tells Insurance Company Attorneys: Turn Over “Revised” Superstorm Sandy Reports

What is better than one smart judge telling attorneys what to do? How about a three-judge panel at the same time? Superstorm Sandy policyholders got a great discovery ruling in New York yesterday from Magistrate Judges Cheryl Pollak, Gary Brown, and Ramon Reyes, that should be something courts do in all insurance controversies—require honest and … Continue Reading

New Jersey Senator Menendez Calls for Investigation into Manipulated Expert Reports

United States Senator Robert Menendez – the senior senator from New Jersey, today issued a letter seeking a full investigation into the fraudulent altering of reports by carrier friendly experts. Followers of our blog know that this has risen to the forefront of Superstorm Sandy flood litigation. Essentially, carriers and their experts are accused of … Continue Reading

Attorney Professionalism, Honest Candor and the Battering of Sandy Flood Policyholders

Attorney professional conduct, courtesy and honest candor were significant and possibly overlooked aspects in Magistrate Judge Gary Brown’s Raimey v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company Memorandum & Order. The press has picked up on the case highlighting the altered engineering report.1 I also highlighted these aspects of the case in Altered Engineering Reports Must Be Disclosed … Continue Reading
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