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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.


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

On Friday, June 17th, at 5:00pm, a Federal Court jury in the Southern District of New York handed a second knockout blow to Alliant Insurance Services Inc., a national insurance brokerage firm that had bungled the 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 highly regarded Insurance Coverage firm 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 by Weg and Myers' partner, Dennis D'Antonio. Prior to the first trial, a $1,000,000.00 settlement offer had been turned down. 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. More recently, after turning down a $4,000,000.00 offer from Alliant, the matter proceeded to a second trial before Judge Rakoff that began on June 8, 2016. At the second trial, the case was again tried by Dennis D'Antonio and his partner Joshua Mallin. On June 17th, 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.

Cameby's was represented by Dennis D'Antonio and Joshua Mallin of Weg and Myers , PC, who were assisted by associates Krysta Ku and Daniel Belzil.

Cammeby's trial attorney is Dennis D'Antonio, Esq. who is the managing Partner and lead trial lawyer for Weg and Myers, a boutique Manhattan Insurance Coverage firm representing the real estate industry in insurance coverage matters for over 30 years. Mr. D'Antonio's largest single insurance recovery to date is $150,000,000.00.

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

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

For further information, please contact Dennis D'Antonio at 212.227.4210; 646.361.0693 or ddantonio@wegandmyers.com. Click here to read a copy of Judge Rakoff's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

The effects of Superstorm Sandy has put insurance in the forefront of people's minds once again. It has become clear that many insurance claims remain unresolved. As a result, in an unprecedented move, both the States of New York and New Jersey have instituted mediation programs for certain Sandy claims that have been denied or remain unresolved. While New York has limited this program to residential non-FEMA claims, the announcement out of the New Jersey Governor's Office indicates that its program, not yet codified will include non-FEMA commercial claims as well. Click here to see a copy of the New York regulations. You can also click here for a copy of the press release in connection with the New Jersey mediation program. Once this becomes codified we will post this on our website. In addition, as a public service, we have prepared a basic checklist that all policyholders can review in connection with claims that they may have. This checklist only covers the basics as it relates to claim presentations and is primarily geared to the homeowner who may be confronted with these insurance issues for the first time . Please click here to access this checklist. In addition, since preparing this checklist, FEMA has issued a Bulletin which suspends various Proof of Loss filing requirements for Superstorm Sandy claims that were referenced in the checklist. Click here to access a copy of that Bulletin. For more sophisticated business and homeowner claim issues, we are available for consultation.

Second Department affirms reformation of insured's policy and orders carrier to defend. Click here to read a copy of the Second Department's decision in Essex Ins. Co. v. Vickers.

Court rejects carrier's use of the "earth movement" exclusion to disclaim coverage as a result of dewatering activities at adjacent property. Click here to read a copy of the Court's decision.

Appellate Division reinstates verdict in favor of Public Adjuster's right to its fee, in connection with a litigated coverage action. Click here to read the Appellate Division's decision in PAB v. Seward Park.

Weg and Myers wins at the Court of Appeals. Reinstating a victory won at the Supreme Court level, the Court of Appeals, adopting the position advocated by Weg and Myers in its entirety, ruled that violation of New York City Administrative Code Sec. 27-1031(b)(1) imposes absolute liability on a defendante whose excavation work caused damage to an adjacent property. While the violation of an Administrative Code violation usually does not impose absolute liability on the violator, the Court ruled that because a historical analysis of the section in question revealed that it had its origins in State law, the imposition of absolute liability was appropriate. Click here to read the Court's decision in Yemen v. 281 Broadway Holdings, et al.

Appellate Division affirms decision allowing plaintiffs to pursue punitive damage claims against various contractor defendants. Click here to read the Court's decision in 11 Essex v. Tower Insurance Company et al.

Court compels Subcontractor's Carrier to Defend Contractor. Issue of whether subcontractor's activities took place while working at job site is an issue yet to be decided but is not a basis to deny defense coverage to contractor. 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.


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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.

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