Bad faith and consequential damages has long been a thorn in the New York plaintiff attorney’s side as they are virtually impossible to recover in most breach of contract actions. Recently, one plaintiff was able to recover attorney’s fees and costs by meeting the stringent standard set forth by New York case law.
Continue Reading Plaintiffs in New York Recover Attorney’s Fees in First-Party Property Claim

Back on November 7 of last year (2017), I wrote about an important opinion in the world of property insurance litigation, Joyce v. Federated National Insurance Company,1 where the Florida Supreme Court reaffirmed that you could still obtain a contingency-fee multiplier where justified under Quanstrom and in so doing reversed the Fifth District Court of Appeal finding that such a multiplier should be limited to “rare” and “exceptional” circumstances. Tom Elligett and Amy Farrior represented the Joyces in this landmark case.
Continue Reading Policyholder Attorneys Beware: Make Sure Your Contingency Fee Multiplier Awards Are Airtight and “Anderson” Proof

William and Judith Joyce filed a claim with their insurer, Federated National, after suffering water damage to their home. Instead of agreeing to cover the loss, Federated National denied the Joyces’ claim alleging they made material misrepresentations on their insurance application by failing to disclose prior losses they had with their previous carrier.
Continue Reading Court Reaffirms on Contingency Fee Multipliers in Joyce v. Federated National

There are many rumors going around about House Bill 1774, better known as “The Hail Bill” or “The Blue Tarp Bill,” which will go into effect on September 1, 2017. It is important to debunk those rumors and explain exactly what the bill means to Texas policyholders and their rights in this state.
Continue Reading The Truth About “The Hail Bill” That Messes with Texas

Most states follow the “American Rule” when it comes to litigation. In other words, absent a specific statute or contractual provision to the contrary, each party pays their own legal costs and fees. However, the Oklahoma legislature passed, and on May 10, 2017, the governor signed into law, a bill which, in essence, abolished the “American Rule” in all civil cases. While it appears that this was the unintended consequence of House Bill 1470, the law will require the losing party in civil lawsuits to pay all court costs to the winning party, and can also place the losing party on the hook for the winning party’s legal fees. The law will take effect November 1.
Continue Reading “American Rule” Abolished in Oklahoma

Introduced on February 13, 2017, Texas House Bill 1774/Senate Bill 10, has been proposed by its sponsors as a way to curb hail storm lawsuit abuse. However, if signed into law, the bill could have a negative impact on Texas policyholders who have suffered any type of property damage relating to a natural disaster, hail or otherwise. The bill came before the Texas House on Thursday, May 4 and Friday May 5, 2017, and was passed by a vote of 92-55. It will now go to the Texas Senate for review before making its way to be signed into law.
Continue Reading Texas House of Representatives Passes House Bill 1774

On September 29, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court reaffirmed Florida’s protection for policyholders. In Johnson v. Omega Insurance Company,1 the Florida Supreme Court shredded insurance companies’ attempts to require malice before a policyholder is entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs under Florida Statute 627.428.

Continue Reading Florida Supreme Court holds Insurance Companies Accountable for their Claim Investigation

If an HOA is sued pertaining to a dispute over property damage, and the opposing party prevails and obtains an award of attorney fees, does the HOA’s liability insurance policy cover the attorney fee award?

According to a recent district court decision in Hawaii, the answer is yes.

Continue Reading Attorneys’ Fees Incurred and Awarded as a Result of a Property Damage Claim Are Covered Under HOA’s CGL Policy

On May 5th, I blogged about an important case pending before the California Supreme Court—Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company—that was set to address an important issue for policyholders forced to sue their insurers for bad faith and punitive damages. You can check out my prior blog addressing the issues in the case here.

Continue Reading California Supreme Court Decides That Policyholder Attorney’s Fees Are Included to Calculate Punitive Damages