Engaged by policyholder counsel as an insurance expert witness to analyze Agents Errors & Omissions issues pursuant to an agent’s calculations of replacement cost for a high value dwelling. The agent’s worksheets showed artificially low values for square footage and quality of the home’s features. When a fire destroyed the home during the 3rd policy year, agent’s deficient calculations left the dwelling insured for ~50% of actual replacement cost. Attorney Rick Lombardo, Shafer Lombardo Shurin (816) 931-0500. Tolefree v. Farm Bureau, Case No. 2021-CV-000391 In The District Court Of Douglas County, Kansas.
Homeowners Insurance Expert Witness Cases
May 30, 2023David Deering
Retained by insurance company defense counsel to examine Homeowners Insurance underwriting and address Insurance Bad Faith allegations against the carrier. Policyholder significantly understated and misrepresented his dwelling square footage on the application resulting in policy limits well below replacement cost. Regardless that the carrier relied on misrepresentations he made on the application to issue the policy, plaintiff now alleges carrier was responsible for calculating replacement cost after a 2017 fire destroyed the structure. Attorney Bill Manning, Van De Poel, Levy, Thomas, Arneal, LLP (925) 034-6102. St. Martin v. IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company, Case No.: SCV-263296, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Sonoma.
Engaged by policyholder counsel to analyze Insurance Bad Faith issues relative to Homeowners Insurance claims handling custom and practice for a theft loss. Central to the dispute were the excessive depreciation factors used to calculate Actual Cash Value versus Fair Market Value, the carrier questioning ownership of the stolen contents, and long delays in processing the claim. Attorney Tom Friedman, Brown, Bonn & Friedman, LLP (702) 942-3900. Maxwell v. Travelers, Case No. 2:20-cv-01669-JAD-BNW In United States District Court District of Nevada.
Engaged by policyholder counsel to review claims handling custom and practice for Homeowners Insurance. Litigation resulted following a claim denial after a fire destroyed high value personal property stored off-premises during a home renovation. Case required in depth analysis of policy language relative to limits and coverage for personal property off-premises under specific circumstances and whether the carrier committed Insurance Bad Faith in denying the claim. Attorney David Heller (281) 599-8775. Tavakoli v. Clear Blue Insurance Company, Cause No. 2021-14612 In The 151st Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.
Engaged by policyholder counsel to review Insurance Agent Errors and Omissions relative to standards of care for placing Homeowners Insurance policies. Agent placed coverage with a ‘Cosmetic Roof Exclusion’ whereas prior carrier’s policy had no such exclusion for metal roofs. Policyholder suffered significant financial damage after denial of a hailstorm claim. Attorney Matt Montgomery, Hossley Embry, LLP. Permenter v. Assured Partners, Civil Action No. 3:31-cv-1325 In United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division.
Engaged by policyholder counsel to review issues of Homeowners Insurance Bad Faith claims handling for extensive mold damage to insured’s residence. Attorneys David Schack and Matt Segal, Barnes & Thornburg, LLP (310) 284-3873. Buccholz v. Crestbrook Insurance Company d/b/a Nationwide, Cause No. 1:20-CV-00449-AP In United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Engaged by defense counsel to respond to policyholder allegations of Bad Faith Claims Handling of a purported Homeowners hail claim. Dispute resulted after carrier’s adjusters could find no visible evidence of hail damage, including after reinspection. Case required analysis of public adjuster’s inflated Xactimate estimates and questionable findings of roof damage. Attorney Carin Marcussen, Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard (713) 766-7969. Hughes v. USAA, Cause No. 20-07-08642 In The 284th Judicial District Court of Montgomery County, Texas.
Retained by insurance company defense counsel to examine Homeowners Insurance underwriting and claims handling in response to Insurance Bad Faith allegations against the carrier. The homeowner abandoned the dwelling after a fire, failed to protect the premises from further damage, and insisted the dwelling was a total loss. Carrier made several inspections and calculated the fire damage at far less than a total loss, leading to eventual litigation. Attorney Daena Ramsey, Shields Legal Group (972) 788-2040. Hooks/Davis v. Southern County Mutual, Cause No. CV21-14932 In The District Court 1st Judicial District Newton County, Texas.
March 30, 2022David Deering
Engaged by policyholder counsel to opine on Insurance Bad Faith Claims Handling of a Dwelling Policy water loss. Case required analysis of Xactimate estimates and reasonable standards for claims handling custom and practice. Dispute resulted from carrier’s refusal to pay total cleanup and dry out costs, which lead to restoration contractor obtaining a judgment against owner. Attorney Jeremy Hugus, Platte River Injury Law, (307) 840-1064. Zamir v. Central Mutual Insurance Co., Case No. 2018CV130, In District Court, Arapahoe County, Colorado.
February 21, 2019Don Hirsch
Engaged by policyholder counsel to analyze issues of Insurance Bad Faith Claims Handling. Case required analysis of damage patterns from straight-line winds and whether construction defect caused the loss. Dispute followed carrier denying most of the damage from a windstorm claim asserting construction defect as the proximate cause of loss. Attorneys. Scott Blass and Erica Cross, Bordas and Bordas Attorneys, PLLC, (304) 242-8410. Thompson v. Allstate, Civil Action No. 5:18-CV-118, In The United States District Court For The Northern District of West Virginia, Wheeling.
October 27, 2018Don Hirsch
Engaged by policyholder counsel to calculate Superstorm Sandy damage to several buildings that would have been recoverable had agent properly placed NFIP policies. The case required preparation of proforma NFIP ACV and ICC claim values plus potential recovery under an excess flood policy. Attorney Jeff Schulman, Pasich, LLP (212) 686-5000. Ferguson v. Whitmore Group, Index No. 15-610192 / CAL No. 17-014260T, Supreme Court State of New York, IAS Part 38 – Suffolk County.
July 30, 2018Don Hirsch
Engaged by lender’s defense counsel to analyze Flood Insurance issues relative to the lapse of a NFIP renewal policy resulting in the dwelling’s Flood Zone being rated in a Special Flood Hazard Area. Engagement required analysis of lender forced place insurance, applicable NFIP rating rules and preparation of proforma NFIP worksheets to compare premium based on the old versus new Flood Zones. Attorneys Leo Ward and Christy McCann, Browning Kaleczyc Berry & Hoven, P.C. (406) 443-6820. Schneidt v. First Interstate Bank
April 12, 2018Don Hirsch
Engaged by policyholder counsel to analyze coverage under a Homeowners policy endorsed to insure a float home. Carrier’s claim denial for windstorm damage to the float home subsequently lead to litigation. Case required expertise with Agent Errors & Omissions relative to covered perils under Homeowners and Marine insurance policy forms. Eismann v. Farm Bureau, Case No. CV-2016-478 In First Judicial District Court Of The State of Idaho, County of Kootenai. Attorney April Linscott, Owens, McCrea & Linscott, PLLC (208) 762-0203.
February 2, 2017Don Hirsch
Engaged by defense counsel as their Homeowners Insurance claims handling expert. Case included homeowner allegations of bad faith claims handling regarding hail damage. Case required analysis of hailstorm weather patterns and carrier actions relative to Texas’ statutory timelines for insurance claims handling. Howell v. Germania Mutual, Cause No. 2016-519,324 In The District Court of Lubbock County, Texas, 72nd Judicial District. Attorney Dax Voss, Field, Manning, Stone, Hawthorne & Aycock, P .C. (806) 796-4000.
October 29, 2016Don Hirsch
Engaged by defense counsel as their Flood Insurance expert. Case required analysis of NFIP regulations and flood insurance rating for 23 lots deemed to be in FIRM Zone AE following FEMA flood zone map revisions. Claim included allegations by homebuilder of lost property values due to Inverse Condemnation based on FEMA’s revised Flood Insurance Rate Maps. Attorney Mike Shaunessy – McGinnis Lochridge & Kilgore, LLP (512) 495-6061. Woodlake v. Guadalupe County; Cause No. 11-1270-CV In The District Court Of Guadalupe County, Texas, 25th Judicial District.
December 3, 2015Don Hirsch
Engaged by defense counsel to evaluate Insurance Bad Faith and Agents Errors & Omissions allegations resulting from a dwelling total fire loss. Case required expertise with Homeowners insurance to value / replacement cost software used for underwriting. Attorneys Eric Van Beber and Leilani Leighton (913) 888-1000, Wallace Saunders Attorneys. Lawson v. Standard Fire Insurance Co, Case No. 1416-CV04078 In The Circuit Court of Jasper County Missouri, Division I, at Joplin.
October 26, 2015Don Hirsch
Engaged by policyholder counsel to analyze and opine on claims handling practices for cattle theft claims under a Farm & Ranch policy. Case required analysis of cattle buy/sell inventory records and inconsistencies in adjuster’s claims log entries. Attorneys Paul Bezney and Marlene Thomson (214) 740-2500, Adkerson, Hauder & Bezney, P.C. Linn v. Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Case No. CJ2014-38 In The District Court of Grady County Oklahoma.
August 2, 2015Don Hirsch
Engaged by policyholder counsel to evaluate Insurance Bad Faith relative to Homeowners policies claims handling custom and practice. Litigation resulted from a near-total dwelling fire loss, followed by a second total fire loss after repairs were substantially completed. The central issue in this matter was how and when limits are reinstated under a Homeowners policy as stages of repairs are completed. Attorney Manny Guerra, Guerra Law Office (713) 993-2342. Treviño v. Travelers; Case No. 7:15-cv-00034, In The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, McAllen Division.
July 29, 2015Don Hirsch
Engaged by counsel defending allegations of Agents Errors & Omissions and Bad Faith for “failure to advise”. Case required evaluation of Homeowners theft coverage underwriting standards for older homes relative to Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value policies. Attorney Shawna McCalip, Holden & Carr, (918) 295-8888. Allin v. Pritchard; Case No, CJ-2014-100 In The District Court of Comanche County, State of Oklahoma.
January 23, 2015burld
Engaged by counsel defending allegations of Agents Errors & Omissions for “failure to procure”. The case required evaluation of Homeowners insurance underwriting standards for Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value policies. Attorney Samantha Horner (816) 979-1522, Case Linden P.C. Blow v. Fairchild Insurance Services, Case No. 14CV31 In The District Court of Pottawatomie County, Kansas.
November 10, 2014burld
Engaged by policyholder counsel as their Homeowners Insurance Expert to review allegations of bad faith claims handling resulting from total denial of a theft loss. Case involved contrasting coverage and valuation issues for contents insured as personal property or under inland marine fine arts coverage. Attorney Ned Pillersdorf (606) 886-6090, Pillersdorf, DeRossett and Lane. Dye vs. Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Company; Floyd Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 13-CI-529
September 10, 2014burld
Engaged by defense counsel to analyze allegations of Agents Errors & Omissions for “failure to assess and update” and “underinsured” values on a Homeowners policy. The dispute resulted following a total loss during the 2011 Bastrop, TX fires. Case involved knowledge of agent standard of care relative to duty of inquiry. Attorney Brad Douglas (512) 807-2474, Naman Howell Smith & Lee, PLLC. Rizk v. Koehler-Barton Insurance Agency; Cause No. 28,787 In the District Court of Bastrop County, Texas, 335th Judicial District
June 2, 2014burld
Engaged by plaintiff counsel to evaluate coverage under Farm & Ranch, Personal Auto, Commercial Auto (Garage Liability) and Commercial Umbrella policies. Dispute resulted from an off-road vehicle fatality with issues of “Who is an Insured” under Personal Auto and Farm & Ranch policies, and whether garage repairs contributed to the accident. Chambers v. Harris, et al; Case No. C201400035 In The District Court Johnson County, Texas, 413th Judicial District. Attorney Dwain Dent, The Dent Law Firm (817) 332-2889.
May 23, 2014burld
Engaged by defense counsel to opine on alleged Agents Errors & Omissions stemming from a Homeowners Insurance liability claim denied under the motor vehicle exclusion. Case required knowledge of agent duties of inquiry and coverage procurement. Attorney Eric Edwardson,(409) 924-0845. Texas Farm Bureau v. Broussard; Cause No. 2013-08014 In The District Court of Harris County, Texas 157th Judicial District.
December 1, 2013burld
Engaged as a Property Insurance Expert by counsel defending allegations of Agents Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith. Litigation resulted from construction agreement insurance requirements, Inland Marine Builders Risk claim denial, and eventual Homeowners subrogation. Attorney Desmond Cooks, (214) 736-9433 The Willis Law Group; Stevens v. Trujillo Insurance Agency; Cause No. 048-248921-10 In the District Court of Tarrant County, Texas, 48th Judicial District.
July 1, 2011burld
Engaged by defense counsel as their Agent Errors & Omissions and Homeowners Insurance expert. Case involved a fire loss to a vacant home in Dallas, TX due to grass fire started by neighbor. Attorneys David Woodward and Stacy Hoffman (214) 220-5203, Cobb Martinez & Woodward. Greene v. Farmers Insurance, et al; Cause No. 08-11723-G, 134th Judicial District Court, Dallas County, Texas.
March 1, 2010burld
Retained by defense counsel for insurance agency as Agent Errors & Omissions, Homeowners and Flood Insurance expert. Case required expertise as to the effect revised FEMA flood zone maps have on available coverage. Seale v. Lyons Insurance Agency, No.: 2007-6427, 14th Judicial District Court, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Attorney David Calogero, Davidson Meaux Attorneys, (337) 237-1660.
February 1, 2010burld
Case included Agent Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith allegations by the carrier seeking to recover claim payments for a total fire loss. Engaged by counsel for MGA and carrier as their Property Insurance & Homeowners Insurance Expert. Attorneys Jeanie Tate Goodwin & Jerry Kimmitt (713) 917-0888, Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath Attorneys; TSG Insurance & Lloyds London v. Nickes Insurance, Cause No. 2008-76081, 189th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.
July 1, 2009burld
Retained by policy holder counsel as their Property Insurance Expert for a total fire loss to a dwelling. Case required analysis of Insurance Agent (Broker) Errors & Omissions issues and distinguishing Homeowners and Builders Risk coverage forms. Attorneys Bill Klain & Kevin Estevez (480) 947-1911, Lang & Baker, PLC. Cantor v. Farmers Insurance, et al Case No. CV2008-053871 & CV2008-052618 in Superior Court of the State of Arizona, County of Maricopa.
December 1, 2008burld
Designated by plaintiff counsel as their Property Insurance Expert regarding a horse barn insured under a Farm & Ranch Owners insurance program. Case involved the barn being significantly underinsured after a tornado caused a total loss. Runyon v. Goetz Insurors, et al; Case No. CJ-2005-3716 in District Court for Oklahoma County, State of Oklahoma. Attorney Joe Carson 405-604-5581, Buxton | Carson, PLLC.
December 1, 2007burld
Retained by counsel for Successor Federal Receiver as their Property and Homeowners Insurance expert regarding a total fire loss to an uninsured vacant dwelling. Case issues included responsibilities of Receiver in regards to insurable interest. Attorney Greg Ostfeld, Greenberg Traurig, LLP (312) 476-5056. Le Petomane v. J. Brian Hittinger, US District Court for The Northern District of Indiana, No. 2:98-CV-00012.
January 1, 2007burld
Engaged by counsel for plaintiff to assist with Agent Errors & Omissions and Homeowners claims issues in regard to Excess Flood Insurance. Attorney Peter Koeppel – Best Koeppel Attorneys (504) 598-1000. Best v. Independent Insurance Associates, Inc., Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana; No. 05-13441, Division “H”, Docket No. 12.; Best v. Independent Insurance Associates, Inc. and Employers Reinsurance Corporation; United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; No. 06-1130, Section “C”, Magistrate 5.
May 1, 2006burld
Retained by plaintiff counsel as Homeowners Insurance Expert to advise regarding Agent Errors & Omissions allegations for failure to replace Dwelling Fire Policy coverage, and claims handling “customs and practice”. Attorney Guillermo Cronfel – The Cronfel Firm (512) 347-9600; Olga Palacios v. AIC-Sunbelt Group, Inc., et al, Cause No. 276966 in The County Court at Law No. Two (2) of Travis County, Texas.
April 1, 2006burld
Engaged by plaintiff counsel as their Homeowners Expert regarding Texas Bad Faith claims handling practices by plaintiff’s insurance carrier. Attorney Andy Lydick (214) 739-1355; Cause # 04:05-cv-00046 Jeri James vs. Allstate Insurance, United States District Court Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division.
September 1, 2005burld