Lori Vanderlaan and Mathew Hargrave prevailed on an Appeal taken by a Plaintiff challenging the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of BVH's insurance carrier client.04/22/2012
Lori Vanderlaan and Mathew Hargrave prevailed on an Appeal taken by a Plaintiff challenging the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of BVH's insurance carrier client.
The insurer canceled the subject insurance policy for a former insured restaurant effective several days before the Plaintiff's decedent was injured on the premises. The Plaintiff filed suit against the former insured premises owner and the insurer denied coverage on the basis of policy cancellation. The former insured then settled with the Plaintiff for a nominal sum plus an assignment of any rights against the insurance carrier and also obtained a $150,000 judgment in the underlying action against the former insured. Plaintiff sought to collect on that judgment by filing a Declaratory Judgment Action against the insurer, claiming improper cancellation of the policy and a finding that the insurer owed a defense and indemnity to the insured and was therefore liable for the entire $150,000 judgment. BVH counterclaimed on behalf of the insurer on the basis that the policy was properly canceled pursuant to a failure to comply with mandatory loss requirements in the policy at issue. At Summary Judgment and on Appeal, Plaintiff argued that the former insured provided notice of its compliance with the mandatory loss requirements to its insurance agent prior to the policy's expiration, and that such notice of compliance should be imputed to the insurer. The trial court and appellate courts agreed with BVH's position that the insurer had properly canceled the policy at issue.