Statute of Limitations

With wildfire season in full swing, it is worth revisiting the laws surrounding the deadlines to file suit and ensuring that coverage counsel properly writes the lawsuit to avoid dismissal. Last week, a federal court ruled that an insured’s lawsuit was filed too late based on the allegations the insured herself set forth. The court ruled, consistent with California law, that the deadline is firm and missing the deadline bars the lawsuit. The case is Rosenberg-Wohl v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company.1
Continue Reading Not Following California’s Intricate Suit Limitations Rules Dooms Yet Another Unsophisticated Insured

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen deserves a big shout out for issuing a Bulletin on July 26 warning policyholders of the impending statute of limitations for a derecho that struck Iowa on August 10, 2020. He is calling on insurance companies to be liberal granting extensions to file lawsuits and warning derecho claimants to file suit or get an extension before August 10—next week! This Bulletin provides:
Continue Reading Iowa Derecho Statute of Limitations Quickly Approaching—Policyholders, Public Insurance Adjusters, and Contractors Beware!

Recently the New York Statute of Limitations has become a heated topic of litigation. Governor Cuomo issued Executive Orders tolling the Statute of Limitations, but the question has become, what is the effect of those orders? The Statute of Limitations in New York is generally six years,1 however, this can be altered by contract. Many Insurance Policies shorten this six-year period to only twelve months.
Continue Reading New York Statute of Limitations and the Effect of the COVID-19 Closures

We are often asked by insureds about the timeframe in which they must file a lawsuit against their insurance carrier related to property damage caused by a storm where the insurance carrier refuses to fully pay for the damage or has denied the claim for damage. This is referred to as the statute of limitations in the legal realm and typically starts at the time of the breach or failure to do the thing that is the subject of the insurance agreement.1
Continue Reading Time Limit for Filing Lawsuit in Nebraska Related to Insufficient/Nonpayment of Your Property Damage Claim

Seven years ago, Merlin Law group attorney Shane Smith wrote a blog post on how insurance policies often shorten Tennessee’s statutory limitations.1 The statute of limitations as applied to contracts is stated in Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-109(a)(3) and limits the time in which an insured may bring suit against their insurance company to six years. Shane noted that Tennessee courts have held that shortening how soon a case must be brought before a court from six years to one year remains valid Tennessee law and enforceable under any Tennessee insurance policy. But what if this one-year limitation has expired? Is there anything an insured can do? Fortunately, there is!
Continue Reading Contractual Limitation Defense: Using Equitable Estoppel against Tennessee Insurance Policies

It is important that a policyholder review and understand the various conditions and duties required of them in the event of a loss. One of the most important conditions contained in many insurance policies is the limitation placed on a policyholder’s right to sue an insurance carrier when there is a disagreement on the amount of damage or loss caused by the event.
Continue Reading Understanding Your Colorado Insurance Policy – Legal Action Against Us Clause

Southwestern South Dakota has experienced a series of severe hail storms over the past several months with multiple reports of hail well in excess of 2-inches in diameter. These storms have prompted various questions concerning South Dakota, including time limit considerations that should be considered by policyholders that have been impacted by these hail storms.
Continue Reading South Dakota Hail Claims and Insurance Disputes—Do Not Let Hail Damage Dollars Go Unpaid, and the South Dakota Statute of Limitations

Nearly two years ago, Albuquerque was struck by one of the largest hailstorms in its recent history. With the two-year anniversary of the July 2018 hailstorm quickly approaching, policyholders in New Mexico should be mindful to review their insurance policies for time limit considerations that could prevent them from pursuing delayed or denied insurance benefits for damages from the hailstorm.
Continue Reading New Mexico Allows an Insurance Policy to Reduce the Statutory Period to File a Lawsuit

With all that is going on in the world, it is a logical extension to think that insurance companies or states might extend the period for filing suit. For example, most recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order suspending “any specific time limit” on the start or filing of any legal action, notice, motion or “other process or proceeding.” The wide-ranging executive order suspending the statute of limitations applies but is not limited to, criminal procedure law, civil practice law and the courts of claims act. The order pausing those rules goes through April 19, 2020. Likewise, the Supreme Court of Georgia has tolled the statute of limitations in civil cases through April 13, 2020. However, for most states right now, it appears as though it is business as usual when it comes to complying with the statute of limitations. Therefore, it is important that insureds, public adjusters, and attorneys all be aware of any impending suit limitations periods.
Continue Reading Limitations Period Requiring Suit within One Year of “Date of Loss” Does Not Mean the Date of Breach