I have been following this case from Hurricane Sandy in the New York Federal District Court for a few posts now and the most recent activity may be a derailment of the $1 billion damage claim from Sandy. I do not like having to report on such situations as it can mean that a policyholder does not obtain the recovery that looked substantial following Sandy. However, I was shocked when I read an article just the other day written with an update on the case in an insurance publication.
Apparently, Amtrak stated in a motion filed with the court that it is no longer chasing compensatory damages and just wants to be compensated for the insurance carriers’ delay in paying the $61 million already paid in the Sandy claim.1 Amtrak stated in its motion it wants to recover the legal fees it had to spend to force the insurance carriers to pay up. The defendant insurance carriers asked the court to “imagine [their] shock” when they learned that Amtrak was abandoning its billion-dollar bid.
As is to be expected when over $1 Billion was claimed, there were layers of excess insurers involved in the case who would not have been responsible for dollar one until Amtrak had exhausted $125 million in coverage.
Apparently, there is not as much at stake in the case following this report, however the litigation gamesmanship will not end yet. The insurance carriers have stated that they may seek sanctions.
1 Joe Van Acker, Insurers Blast Amtrak For Flip-Flopping On Damages, June 11, 2015, Law360, available at: http://www.law360.com/insurance/articles/666729/insurers-blast-amtrak-for-flip-flopping-on-damages (subscription required).