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Jury Awards Insured $20 million in damages against its former insurance broker

On December 19, 2017 the Second Circuit affirmed a verdict previously rendered by a Federal Court jury in the Southern District of New York. As summarized by the Second Circuit, this was the second verdict handed down by a jury against Alliant Insurance Services Inc., a national insurance brokerage firm in connection with its negligently handling insurance coverage for buildings at Industry City/ Bush Terminal ahead of Hurricane Sandy. Cammeby's is a New York real estate management company with an excess of $1.5 billion in properties under management.

Following a claim for $30,000,000.00 worth of hurricane related damages at Industry City on October 29th 2012, Cammeby's insurance company, Affilliated FM, informed it that prior to the loss the coverage had been reduced by $20,000,000.00. Thereafter, Cammeby's retained the Insurance Coverage firm of Weg and Myers to sue Affiliated FM and its insurance broker, Alliant Insurance Services.

In August of 2014, the case was tried for the first time Following a two week trial, a jury returned a $20,000,000.00 verdict in favor of Cammeby's finding that Alliant was negligent. Thereafter, the verdict was set aside by Judge Rakoff based upon an instruction that had been given to the jury after they had begun deliberations The matter proceeded to a second trial before Judge Rakoff that began on June 8, 2016. On June 17, 2016, a second jury in as many years returned a second $20,000,000.00 verdict against Alliant in favor of Cammeby's. Accordingly, the amount now due to Cammeby's, with interest, will exceed $26,000,000.

Cammeby's was represented at trial and at the Second Circuit by Dennis D'Antonio and Joshua Mallin of Weg and Myers , PC, assisted by associate Daniel Belzil.

Alliant was represented at the first trial by Paul Kovner of Rubin Fiorella & Friedman LLP

Alliant was represented at the Second Circuit and at the second trial by Paul Kovner of Rubin Fiorella & Friedman LLP and Richard A. Simpson of Wiley Rein LLP

A copy of the 2nd Circuit decision is attached. Click here to read the Court's decision.

Southern District Court holds that a carrier cannot compel an insured to submit to an appraisal when coverage issues still must be resolved. Read the attached decision.

Second Circuit affirms verdict in warehouse loss against Travelers Insurance Company and confirms damage award of $1.1 million

On September 21, 2017, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan affirmed the District Court's decision finding that Travelers breached its contract with its insured, Warehouse Wine, and subsequently determined that the insured suffered damages in the amount of $1.1 million. Weg and Myers initiated suit against Travelers after it denied coverage for a theft of Warehouse Wines liquor inventory that was temporarily stored in a warehouse by the insured's transportation carrier. The transportation carrier and the warehouse were both operated by James Ceseretti. Mr. Ceseretti subsequently allocuted to the theft in a criminal proceeding. The District Court had granted Weg and Myers' Summary Judgment motion wherein it sought a determination, as a matter of law, that the entity who had stolen the inventory was a "carrier for hire", thus triggering coverage. A trial then took place with respect to the value of the inventory that was stolen. Subsequent to the District Court's entry of judgment in favor of the insured in the amount of $1.1 million, Travelers appealed. In rejecting Travelers' appeal the Second Circuit found that the evidence clearly established that Warehouse Wine had placed its inventory into the hands of a transportation carrier and that the theft of the inventory occurred while in its possession. The Second Circuit also rejected Travelers' attack on the Court's calculation of damages and the application of pre-judgment interest, holding that "Travelers cannot circumvent §5001(b) by denying coverage while conducting a nearly year-long investigation into Warehouse Wines' claims, and then, once it is adjudicated liable, avoid paying prejudgment interest from the 'earliest ascertainable date the cause of action existed'. The trial and appeal were handled by Dennis T. D'Antonio and Joshua L. Mallin and assisted by Amanda Peterson. Click here to read the entire decision.

Jury returns multimillion dollar verdict against a subsidiary of Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. as a result of the broker's failure to notify the carrier of the insured's Hurricane Irene Loss

On February 7, 2017 Weg and Myers successfully obtained a jury verdict in New York Supreme Court Sullivan County in favor of its client, Swan Lake Resort, against Swan Lake's insurance broker, Defendant T&H Brokers, a subsidiary of Alliant Insurance Services. With the inclusion of pre-judgment interest, it is estimated that the verdict will exceed $3.7 million. The case centered upon allegations that the broker failed to report to Swan Lake's property carrier that Swan Lake had suffered a loss as a result of Hurricane Irene. The carrier had successfully denied the claim and extricated itself from liability as a result of its receiving untimely notice of the loss. The broker claimed that it never received any notice from Swan Lake about this loss until February 2012, at the time that the insured changed insurance brokers. The jury, after reviewing all of the evidence, including various phone records, as well as hearing the testimony of representatives from Swan Lake and T&H Brokers, rejected the insurance broker's defense and returned a verdict in favor of Swan Lake after deliberating for less than one hour. The case was tried by Dennis T. D'Antonio and assisted by Joshua L. Mallin and Amanda Peterson.

The Swan Lake verdict represents the fourth trial verdict obtained by Weg and Myers in favor of its clients over a 12 month period. The cumulative amount of these verdicts total $35.5 million.

Court directs verdict in favor of Insurance Agent against Lincoln Benefit Life for unpaid commissions

The United States District Court in Nebraska directed a verdict in favor of a former Lincoln Benefit Life agent against the company as a result of the company's failure to pay him commissions in connection with the conversion of $29 million in life insurance. The directed verdict came after a complete presentation of the evidence and prior to submission of the case to the jury. This dispute was connected to an earlier dispute between Lincoln Benefit Life and a former insured with respect to whether life insurance policies sold by the Company contained a right to convert those policies to whole life policies. In April 2013 a jury in the Southern District of New York found that Lincoln Benefit Life wrongfully refused to convert the policies to universal life policies. Subsequent to that jury verdict, the insurance agent who placed those policies demanded contractually required commissions be paid to him. The company once again refused and resulted in this litigation and Memorandum and Order directing a verdict in favor of the agent. Click here to read this Memorandum and Order.

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Weg & Myers

Representing Insured for 40 Years

The law Offices of Weg and Myers extends our sympathy to those who have suffered property damage as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Please click on the following to access the most recent Emergency Orderissues by the State of Florida. As it relates to Hurricane Harvey House Bill 1774 should be reviewed. Click Here

As events unfold throughout the country, Weg and Myers, P.C. is called upon to represent policyholder interests. Weg and Myers has extensive experience in both counseling policyholders and representing them in litigations involving the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy as well as the destruction of the World Trade Center, the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the scandal engineered by Bernard Madoff.

Led by its three long time partners, Dennis T. Dantonio, Joshua L. Mallin, William H. Parash, Weg and Myers has been engaged for more than 40 years in the practice of insurance coverage litigation, representing policyholders from homeowners to Fortune 500 corporations in suits against insurance companies on questions involving policy coverage.

In addition to its insurance coverage practice, Weg and Myers litigation practice has expanded to include the representation of commercial property owners in suits against third parties who are responsible for causing damage to its real property, the representation of public adjusters and insurance brokers in suits against insurance companies and the prosecution of claims against insurance brokers in cases where their negligence has caused or contributed to coverage issues in connection with a policyholder's claim.

Although Weg and Myers, P.C. primarily represents its clients in courts in the Tri-State Area, the firm continues to be retained to handle insurance related matters in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, and Virginia, as well as in England, Italy, Panama and Thailand.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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