Bad Faith – April 28, 2005 EastBirminghamChurch of God in Christ v. GuideOne Mut. Ins. Co., et. al. The plaintiff’s church building was damaged in three storms in less than two years. Plaintiff maintained property coverage with GuideOne. GuideOne paid claims made as a result of the first two storms but before repairs could be made, the third storm further damaged the building. The policy applied to direct physical loss to the facilities, but did not cover improper maintenance, workmanship or decay. GuideOne concluded that there was a substantial amount of pre-existing interior water damage to the building due to the fact the roof was not installed correctly when the facility was constructed, and it appeared the church did not use funds GuideOne paid for the prior storm claims to repair the interior of the structure. Both the plaintiff and defendant triggered the appraisal process provided for in the policy. However, the church took more than a year to identify an appraiser. Once identified, the two appraisers were unable to agree. GuideOne asked the church to work with it to select an umpire to complete the appraisal process. However, the church elected to file suit rather than having an umpire appointed. Plaintiff’s expert testified that repairs would cost $14,000,000. Defendant’s expert estimated the repairs at just over $23,000. VERDICT — $1,257,510 for Plaintiff on Breach of Contract Claim. VERDICT — For Defendant GuideOne on Bad Faith Claim.
Insurance Contract/Commercial General Liability Policy – August 11, 2005 Trammel, Harper & Williams, Inc. v. Gresham & Associates, Inc., et al., Plaintiff, an insurance agency/brokerage, had a Non-Exclusive Brokerage Agreement with Defendant Gresham & Associates, which was the Binding General Agent or Managing General Agent for Defendants Royal Surplus Specialty Underwriting, Royal Surplus Lines Insurance Company and Royal & Sun Alliance-USA. Plaintiff bought a commercial general liability policy from Royal Surplus Lines for its customer, Great Southern Fire Protection. Plaintiff paid Gresham & Associates a premium of $58,624.32 for the policy. Twelve days later, Gresham & Associates paid Royal Surplus Lines Insurance the same amount for the new policy. However, four months later, Great Southern Fire Insurance contested its own audit, leaving it unable to pay Plaintiff back for the policy. Plaintiff nullified the policy, but received no refund from either Gresham & Associates or Royal Surplus Lines Insurance. VERDICT — $72,694.12 for Plaintiff against Gresham & Associates (other Defendants were dismissed with prejudice).
Negligence – February 8, 2006 Peters v. Jefferson County Racing Association Plaintiff injured when she was knocked down by her car rolling back onto her in the parking lot. Plaintiff alleged the valet failed to put in the car in “park” after delivering it to Plaintiff. VERDICT — $19,000 for Plaintiff.