Affirmance on Appeal of a Defense Verdict in a First Party Homeowner's Insurance Case Secured
Posted in Verdicts and Settlements on May 11, 2023
Samuel Spinner, appellate associate, and Hinda Klein, appellate partner, recently obtained an affirmance on appeal of a defense verdict in a first party homeowner's insurance case brought by an assignee roofing company. At trial, which was handled by partner Robert Horwitz, the jury returned a verdict for the insurer, finding that the roofing company failed to demonstrate that the property's roof was damaged by Hurricane Irma.
The roofing company appealed to the newly created Sixth District Court of Appeal. After oral argument—our firm's first before the new court—the Sixth District per curiam affirmed the final judgment for the insurer. The Court rejected the roofing company's argument that it met its burden to prove a loss during the policy period based on the homeowner's testimony that there was damage to his pool screen enclosure as a result of Hurricane Irma. We successfully argued on appeal that, since the roofing company's estimate was limited solely to replace the property's roof, any damage to other areas of the home were irrelevant to its claim. The jury properly weighed competing expert testimony as to the date of any roof damage and found that the roofing company failed to prove any damage during the policy period.