Home Insurance Law Frivolous Lawsuits, Poor Lawyering, or Lawsuits That are Not Dangerous Religion? | Property Insurance coverage Protection Regulation Weblog

Frivolous Lawsuits, Poor Lawyering, or Lawsuits That are Not Dangerous Religion? | Property Insurance coverage Protection Regulation Weblog

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Frivolous Lawsuits, Poor Lawyering, or Lawsuits That are Not Dangerous Religion? | Property Insurance coverage Protection Regulation Weblog

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I just lately appeared on a Public Broadcasting Service present discussing the continued insurance coverage disaster in Florida. Through the section, an insurance coverage business knowledgeable attributed insurance coverage firms’ skyrocketing premiums, unresolved claims, and monetary troubles to what they termed as ‘frivolous lawsuits’, together with the contingent charges of legal professionals and public adjusters. As I listened, it struck me how there’s a obtrusive lack of accountability from the insurance coverage business’s aspect on this scenario. The reality usually appears obscured, with business representatives habitually deflecting blame fairly than partaking in sincere self-reflection.

Conversely, I got here throughout a freeze loss lawsuit just lately gained by AmGuard.1 This case serves as an essential reminder for policyholders in regards to the significance of totally vetting the credentials, expertise, and observe report of legal professionals earlier than hiring them. It’s essential for legal professionals to carefully assess claims earlier than initiating authorized motion, making certain the legitimacy of the declare and the lively involvement and settlement of the consumer concerning the litigation course of, which is inherently difficult.

Of their eagerness to safe a consumer, I’ve noticed that some legal professionals would possibly make overly optimistic statements comparable to, “Don’t fear, these instances all the time settle.” My recommendation is to be cautious of such assurances. Choosing a fast settlement usually ends in accepting far lower than what’s honest or deserved, based mostly on a false impression that litigation is simple or ‘straightforward.’ As a lawyer, it’s important to strategy the collection of your legal professional with discernment and discover one who’s dedicated to in search of justice for you fairly than an expedient decision to acquire a fast payment.

It isn’t a secret that our legislation agency has been following AmGuard, as famous in Dangerous Religion Verdict Upheld. So, I studied how this case was misplaced and located that the one particular pleading that indicated any particular versus normal details was this one, and the one factor particular was the greenback quantity of the dispute:     

From and after the time Plaintiffs Declare was introduced to Defendant, Defendant’s legal responsibility to pay the total declare in accordance with the phrases of the Coverage was moderately clear. Nevertheless, Defendant has refused to pay Plaintiff in full, regardless of there being no foundation in anyway on which an affordable insurance coverage firm would have relied to disclaim the total fee. Particularly, Defendant erroneously undervalued Plaintiffs declare by erroneously figuring out her declare to be price solely $1,671.85; actually, Plaintiff’s declare is not less than valued at $56,126.67. As such, Defendant’s conduct constitutes a breach of the frequent legislation obligation of excellent religion and honest dealing.

The higher trendy observe of legislation is to position particular particulars into the criticism with dates, proof, and details that reveal why extra is owed and why the insurance coverage firm acted in unhealthy religion. To do that, attorneys should spend time with the consumer earlier than the lawsuit is filed to make sure that the case has a stable factual foundation. Simply because the insurance coverage firm has one estimate of harm totally different from the policyholder’s estimate doesn’t imply the insurance coverage firm has carried out something improper in its claims dealing with.    

AmGuard ultimately moved for abstract judgment, and in response, the policyholder’s legal professional filed nothing aside from to maneuver to withdraw from the lawsuit. The legal professional apparently despatched a letter months earlier to the consumer saying he was not in a position to get in contact with the consumer. The consumer needs to be on board with the work that’s going to be required and an lively participant. I don’t know why the legal professional didn’t file a movement to withdraw a lot sooner.

The outcome might be predicted by anybody. With no proof introduced to rebut the movement for abstract judgment, the court docket discovered for AmGuard.

Was this a frivolous lawsuit—one with no advantage on the time it was filed? Who is aware of? There was actually nothing carried out by the legal professional for the policyholder. Possibly that legal professional had good purpose to do nothing. However I have no idea of a purpose to do nothing if the case had been correctly ready earlier than submitting the lawsuit. There definitely gave the impression to be proof that extra was owed, however the legal professional didn’t file something in response to the movement.   

My expertise and perception is that it’s uncommon that property insurance coverage lawsuits are frivolous. The quantities owed could also be lower than what could be gained after listening to all sides to the story. Nevertheless, the quantities claimed are all the time way more than the insurance coverage firm has paid and the policyholder truthfully believes is owed. But, instances just like the one cited above do nothing however beg for questions on why the declare was filed within the first place and the way it might so simply have been misplaced.

Thought For The Day    

If there have been no unhealthy individuals, there can be no good legal professionals.

—Charles Dickens


1 Castro v. AmGUARD Ins. Co., No. 4:22-cv-00291 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 8, 2023).

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