New York Insurance Law
New York Insurance Lawyer Attorney Profiles Practice Areas Articles
News & Events Verdicts and Settlements Decisions Of Interests Contact Us

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.

See other Weg and Myers News by clicking on our News & Events Tab.

Federal Plaza 52 Duane Street, New York, NY 10007

FIRST PARTY PROPERTY INSURANCE COVERAGE

Weg and Myers has been representing policyholders with respect to their property insurance claims for over forty years. The firm's representation of its client's interests may commence as early as days after a catastrophic event. However, at other times, Weg and Myers representation of its clients begins at the time that an Examination Under Oath is demanded or when a claim is denied by the insurance carrier.

While some of the firm's recent achievements have resulted from successful trial verdicts and/or that verdict's subsequent affirmance on appeal, , see Federal Insurance Company v. Keybank National Association, 340 Fed.Appx. 5 (2 nd Cir. 2009.) Weg and Myers, P.C. has also been successful in achieving coverage for our clients through mediation as well as successfully defeating insurance company motions to dismiss the insured's claims, thus leading to the subsequent resolution of the coverage claim, see One Beacon Insurance Company v. Old Williamsburg Candle Corp.,386 F. Supp. 394 (SDNY 2005). The nature of the property insurance claims that this firm has been retained on vary from coverage for multi-million dollar commercial machinery to the gas pipe distribution systems of high rise condominium complexes to 124 foot luxury yachts to  multimillion dollar mansions. Coverage for a loss is usually only part of a successful outcome. Numerous issues arise as it relates to the proper manner in which the property in question is to be valued and/or to what degree is the value limited by the policy of insurance. Rainbow USA, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Company, 711 F. Supp. 655 (E.D.La 2010). Finally, depending on the jurisdiction, the conduct of the carrier is analyzed to determine whether the carrier has acted in Bad Faith and the consequences of that conduct.

In addition to its representation of policyholders, Weg and Myers' attorneys have been featured as speakers at numerous seminars and conventions in connection with various issues involving first party insurance coverage. (The Innocent Co-Insured Doctrine)

 

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.

Address: Federal Plaza 2nd Floor 52 Duane Street New York, NY 10007 Phone: (212) 227-4210