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Huge Liability Win for Insurer

Jan 12, 2010 - News by

Alienated Premises Exclusion Applies to Damage Occurring Subsequent to Property Sale

In a marathon-like victory, requiring three hearings and over four hours of argument for summary judgment, Judge Edward Fine granted final summary judgment in favor of the insurer based on the alienated premises exclusion.

Here, the buyers of property brought suit against the insured for damages arising out of the insured’s misrepresentations as to the condition of the home.  Damage to the property existed prior to the sale of the home, but the buyers did not incur damage until they acquired the property.

In the declaratory judgment action that followed, the buyers argued that the relevant case law required property damage to occur after the sale of the property before the alienated premises exclusion could apply.  In response, we argued that it was irrelevant when the property damage occurred, so long as the damage arose out of the sale of the property, which was the clear and unambiguous reading of the exclusion.

Judge Fine ruled in favor of the insurer, finding there was no duty to defend or indemnify the insured in the suit brought against him by the buyers, following receipt of numerous binders full of case law and supplemental memorandums which was read in their entirety by the Judge.  This was a huge win, as the potential exposure to the insurer exceeded $16 million.

John P. Joy (Ft. Lauderdale), Kelly M. Corcoran (Ft. Lauderdale), and Sara M. Sandler (Ft. Lauderdale) successfully represented the insurer in the declaratory judgment action.
Real Estate, Zoning and Land Use

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