In June, we noted in Louisiana Appellate Court Finds Coverage For Covid Business Losses, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal opinion1 reversing a trial court’s judgment against an insured business affected by COVID-19. The case, Cajun Conti LLC, Cajun Cuisine 1 LLC, and Cajun Cuisine LLC d/b/a Oceana Grill v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London and Governor John B. Edwards in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Louisiana, and the State of Louisiana, involves a popular New Orleans restaurant, known as Oceana Grill, which requested the trial court declare Business Interruption coverage existed under their policy. This type of request is referred to as a “Petition for Declaratory Relief,” as opposed to a request that a court compels another party to pay for losses that were caused by that party (referred to as a “Petition for Damages”).
Continue Reading The Difference in the Outcome of Your COVID-19 Business Interruption Suit May Depend on Which Court You File In

The Louisiana Court of Appeals found that coverage exists for loss or damage caused by “direct physical loss of or damage to” the insured premises as a result of contamination by COVID-19.1 I have previously discussed the case following the trial in Chip At @2 Will Be At 2:30 With Update on New Orleans Oceana COVID Trial Won By the Insurer, and attached briefs and various depositions. John Houghtaling and other attorneys representing the policyholder deserve a big shout-out for bringing home a win. It was not easy.
Continue Reading Louisiana Appellate Court Finds Coverage For Covid Business Losses

A decision by the Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal held that an insured may electronically record an insurer’s appraiser during an inspection of the insured’s property.1 In the current case, a Florida policyholder appealed an order denying her motion for summary judgement, ruling that unless all participants consent, no one may record an insurer’s appraiser inspection in their home. The trial court reasoned that under Florida law, “the only way to record by way of video or by audio is with the full consent of all parties participating.”2 The appellate court disagreed.
Continue Reading Policyholders Can Record Appraisal Inspection

A recent Florida case1 has a lengthy discussion about cases where changing valuations by the insured are then used by clever insurance company attorneys to argue that a post-loss fraud has occurred. This is now a common practice in litigation throughout the country as policyholders, public adjusters, and contractors make differing estimates of loss and have different opinions about what the measure of the loss should be.
Continue Reading Insurance Company Attorneys Often Wrongfully Argue That a Fraud Occurs When Parties Only Have a Difference of Opinion

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria caused catastrophes through its passing by Puerto Rico. As mentioned in past blogs,1 many policyholders filed their insurance claims and as soon as they received their response from the carrier along with a check, they proceeded to deposit the check unaware that even if they did not agree with the amounts, these were considered “total and final” payments and therefore, a waiver to their right to claim. Since then, as I have discussed on other blog posts, many policyholders have battled in court as to the application of accord & satisfaction doctrine to their claims.2
Continue Reading Accord & Satisfaction: Puerto Rico Supreme Court Rules for Policyholder in Hurricane Maria Claim

Insurance companies in Florida are increasingly invoking a right to make repairs. It creates a hornet’s nest because the policyholder may get left with a delayed and insufficient repair. Then, what happens?
Continue Reading Has Your Insurer Elected to Repair Your Damage? It Needs to Do the Work In a Reasonable Time and Correctly

Courts across the country have split on the key COVID-19 coverage question of whether a policyholder’s inability to fully operate its business caused by COVID-19 restrictions would satisfy the policy’s business interruption coverage requirement that the “loss” had to be a result from a “suspension of operations” caused by “direct physical loss of or damage to covered property.”
Continue Reading Multi-District Litigation Policyholders Win a Business Interruption Coverage Battle Over “Direct Physical Loss”

Insurance companies in Florida can cause foreseeable harm to their policyholders and not be held accountable pursuant to a recent opinion by the Florida Supreme Court.1
Continue Reading Florida Supreme Court Issues Anti-Consumer Opinion and Holds Insurance Companies Are Immune From Foreseeable and Consequential Damages When They Breach Contracts

The California Supreme Court emphasized that the notice-prejudice rule in first-party insurance contract is a fundamental public policy that can override a choice-of law provision in certain circumstances.
Continue Reading Is the California Notice-Prejudice Rule a Fundamental Public Policy For Purposes of Choice of Law Analysis?