Tag Archives: Expert Witness

Appellate Court Reverses Summary Judgment Where Battle of Experts Created a Jury Question

Generally, in Florida, when there is a difference of opinions between each party’s expert, the jury gets to decide who’s right, not the judge. But there has been a trend by insurance companies in the first-party property context of taking their expert’s report before the judge and arguing, in essence, “our expert’s right, the insured’s … Continue Reading

Experts Regarding Causation Can Be More Important Than Witnesses — or, Don’t Believe Your Lying Eyes When Your Insurance Company Hires an Expert

Insurance companies hire all kinds of experts to help them for all kinds of reasons. The problem is that some experts are not honest and never try to find the truth. The other problem is some policyholders or their under-financed attorneys do not hire experts or very good experts.… Continue Reading

Collapse Claim Highlights the Importance of Retaining Experts Early in the Claim Process

A recent case filed in the Western District of Texas highlights the importance of retaining experts to assist in evaluating the cause of loss early in the claim process. In White Lodging Services Corporation et al v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company,1 a hotel development and management company filed suit against Liberty Mutual over a … Continue Reading

Missouri’s New Expert Witness Standard

Missouri has adopted a new standard for expert witness testimony. The old standard was based upon a statute, while the new standard follows the Daubert1 standard. In Daubert, the United States Supreme Court held that the enactment of the Federal Rules of Evidence overturned the Frye2 standard which had been in place since 1923. Frye … Continue Reading

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

Public Adjusters on a Contingent Fee May Not Testify As Expert Witnesses in Pennsylvania

A question lawyers representing insureds often must answer when preparing for trial in a first-party property insurance claim is, “In what capacity can I use the public adjuster as a witness?” In Pennsylvania, the Court of Common Pleas for Lycoming County has stated that a public adjuster on a contingent fee may not testify as … Continue Reading

Wind Driven Rain v. Hail Damage

Hail storms across Texas have brought out the worst conduct in some insurance companies. We have found some, if not many, insurance adjusters making assessments of damage without closely inspecting for roof damage. It is hard to find subtle indicators of hail damage and water leaks on roofs without climbing up there and looking for … Continue Reading

Prevent Insurance Defense Counsel From Presenting Junk Science To The Jury

In Colorado, insurance companies often deny claims based on exclusions for “wear and tear,” “repeated seepage and leakage,” or “failure to maintain.” Often insurance companies will hire experts to examine the property months or years after a loss, hoping the expert is willing to perform an outcome oriented examination—aimed at substantiating the insurance company’s denial … Continue Reading

Daubert’s Continued Influence

On November 16, 2012, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed the need for plaintiffs and their attorneys to not only ensure their experts are well qualified but also that they can prove it to the court’s satisfaction before heading to trial.1… Continue Reading

Is Your Valuable Premium Paying For Valuable Claim Adjustment?

Virtually every insurance company I have deposed or talked with (whether corporate representative, adjuster, or some other representative) has properly agreed with the following, non-exhaustive list of non-delegable claim handling standards (many of which are codified in states such as Florida, see, e.g., Fla. Stat. § 626.9541 and Fla. Admin. Code § 69B-220.201): (1) Insurers … Continue Reading