In the last post on Sunquest v Nationwide, SLABBED referred to a second case filed on another Sunquest-owned property in Jackson County, Mississippi:
Considering Nationwide’s success at dragging out the case thus far, it may very well be five years following Katrina before this case settles – and following along behind, Sunquest also has a second Jackson County apartment complex with a Katrina claim in litigation with O’Leary as an Expert Witness is that case, too.
Compass Point litigation, Sunquest v Nationwide II, is not only following behind the litigation on Katrina damage to the Carriage House property, it is all but a mirror image of Sunquest v Nationwide I. The Compass Point Complaint makes the same claims about Nationwide’s conduct and, like the Carriage House litigation, the dispute arises from the Sunquest request for an appraisal.
Nationwide also replicates its attack-strategy defense in Compass Point – or has prior to Judge Senter’s “now-do-you-get-it?” Order:
The Court has before it seven motions that are in many respects similar to the motions I ruled upon in Sunquest Properties, Inc. v. Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 1:08CV687 LTS-RHW. (Sunquest I) I intend to make the same rulings here, based on the same considerations, findings of fact, and conclusions of law…
Accordingly, it is ORDERED: Continue reading “Judge Senter issues a “think-you-got-it-now?” Order in Sunquest v Nationwide II re Jackson County’s Compass Point Apartments”
As first evident in Politz v Nationwide, the Company’s attorneys – including those in skirts – are difficult to distinguish from a gang of thugs. In Sunquest v Nationwide, it has become a distinction without a difference.
This past December SLABBED published Judge Senter completes his appraisal – Order says Nationwide on wrong side with objection to Lewis O’Leary and reported an Order that Judge Senter issued in the Sunquest case. More recently SLABBED provided an update on Sunquest v Nationwide in the post Chip Merlin’s “Gulf Coast case law update that ended with my saying, “I’ve read nothing in any document that indicates Lewis O’Leary is anything other than faithful – faithful to the truth”. I still haven’t; but, before reporting on recent events in this case, a bit of background is due and, for that, we turn to the Complaint:
The Plaintiff is a corporation organized under Louisiana law with its principal place of business at 3 Bancroft Circle, Monroe, LA 71201…At all material times, the Plaintiff was an insured for the buildings and property known as Carriage House Apartments, 1625 Martin Bluff Rd., Gautier, Jackson County, Mississippi 39553 under Nationwide’s Policy No. 63BP139742004 (the “contract”)…On August 29, 2005, the contract provided multiple coverages for windstorm damage to the buildings or damage by collapse.
The contract provides for multiple coverages, including coverage for direct physical loss of, or damage to, the apartment buildings described in the contract; personal property used to maintain or service the buildings or structures on the premises; business personal property; debris removal; actual loss of business income; and other property…On August 29,2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast and caused substantial damage to the insured property… Continue reading ““yo mama” Nationwide, she wants a real man like O’Leary on her side”
A few weeks back I was contacted by a journalist inquiring if we knew anything about a small time non-admitted carrier based out of Utah, Prime Insurance Syndicate as they had plastered a press release all over the internet trumpeting a jury verdict down here in their favor as something unique and GASP they found the local jury to be very fair. The press release was so over the top we did some checking and after pulling the case up on PACER we decided it was not worth wasting time or space here on Slabbed covering. Insurers have won several verdicts here including some cases we profiled in Aiken and Bossier so we considered the source and moved on. Then in one of those famous serendipitous Slabbed moments I ran across an article in Claims Magazine which covered the verdict. As the blue collar retirees that were through my office yesterday giving me their tax information would say let tackle this for shits and giggles. We begin with last month’s press release:
Prime Insurance Syndicate, Inc. was successfully defended in a Hurricane Katrina lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. This is believed to be the first jury verdict in Mississippi exonerating an insurer in a Hurricane Katrina claim.
After six days of trial, the jury unanimously rendered a defense/zero verdict on January 19, 2010. The Plaintiffs’ complaint, filed in October 2007, alleged bad faith refusal to pay the insurance claim, willful and negligent breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and other claims, for which Plaintiffs claimed over $7 million in compensatory and punitive damages. The jury returned a defense/zero verdict, finding that Prime Insurance Syndicate, Inc. did not breach its contract with the Plaintiffs.
A challenging case in the post-Katrina environment, Prime had already paid everything that was owed under the policy and had come to an agreement with the Plaintiff’s own representative.
Prime withdrew from the INEX Insurance Exchange on December 31, 2009. Continue reading “Let’s talk bad faith insurer Prime Insurance Syndicate and Appraisal”
Merlin lived up to his name when, like the magician, he pulled this list of case law out of his hat, so to speak, and posted it on his blog last week – providing the context for an update on several cases we’ve followed on SLABBED. Case law was the focus of Merlin’s presentation at a recent Windpool Conference session for adjusters and the listed cases are those expected to “affect those adjusting claims in Gulf Coast areas outside of Florida”:
- Fonte v. Audubon Ins. Co., 8 So. 3d 161 (Miss. 2009)
- Certain Underwriters at Lloyds London v. Law, 570 F.3d 574 (5th Cir. 2009)
- Guideone Mut. Ins. Co. v. Rock, No. 06-218, 2009 WL 1854452 (N.D. Miss., June 29, 2009)
- Corban v. United Services Automobile Association, 20 So. 3d 601 (Miss. 2009)
- Watson v. Allstate Ins. Co., Slip Copy, No. 07-3462, 2009 WL 1704730 (E.D. La., June 17, 2009)
- Dickerson v. Lexington Ins. Co., 556 F.3d 290 (5th Cir. 2009)
- Campbell v. Shelter Mutual Ins. Co., No. 07-1983, 2009 WL 56003 (E.D. La., Jan. 7, 2009) (Following Dickerson)
- Korbel v. Lexington Ins. Co., 308 Fed. Appx. 800 (5th Cir. 2009)
- Copelin v. State Farm Ins. Co., No. 06-4115, 2009 WL 36188 (E.D. La., February 12, 2009)
- Marketfare Canal, LLC v. United Fire & Cas. Co., 594 F.Supp 2d 724 (E.D. La. 2009)
- Grilletta v. Lexington Ins. Co., 558 F.3d 359 (5th Cir. 2009)
- State Farm Lloyds v. Johnson, 290 S.W. 3d 886, 52 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 1042 (Tex. 2009)
- Spicewood Summit Office Condominiums Ass’n, Inc. v. America First Lloyd’s Ins. Co., 287 S.W. 3d 461, (Tex. App.-Austin, 2009)
- Temcharoen v. United Fire Lloyds, 293 S.W. 3d 332 (Tex .App.-Eastland 2009)
- Moffett v. Computer Sciences Corp., et al., 647 F.Supp. 2d 517 (D. Md. 2009)
A second listing of related “practical points” followed and included, among others, two of particular interest: Continue reading “Chip Merlin’s Gulf Coast case law update provides context for SLABBED update on recent developments in selected Katrina cases UPDATED”
Lewis O’Leary is known to SLABBED readers as the Plaintiff’s appraiser in Kuehn v State Farm. Consequently, we took note of Nationwide’s objection to O’Leary as the appraiser in a commercial property case and have been following Sunquest Properties v Nationwide for some time.
Unlike State Farm’s “experts” in Bossier, Mr. O’Leary is qualified to offer testimony under related Mississippi law. Nonetheless, Nationwide wanted to get in the on the act and the “bright lights” of Nationwide legal filed a Motion to Strike Lewis O’Leary as Plaintiffs’ “Competent and Impartial” Appraiser.
… ample evidence of Mr. O’Leary’s partiality renders him unqualified to serve as a “competent and impartial appraiser,” as required by the appraisal clause in Plaintiffs’ policy. Simply put, a person who has been paid to work for several years on the development of a claim and continues to be paid to support that claim, is not sufficiently “impartial” to pass judgment of any kind upon that claim. Yet this is precisely what Plaintiffs suggest in nominating Mr. O’Leary as their purportedly “impartial” appraiser.
Judge Senter ruled on the Motion last week and Nationwide came out on the wrong side: Continue reading “Judge Senter completes his appraisal – Order says Nationwide on wrong side with objection to Lewis O’Leary”