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Summary Judgment Victory

Blerina Hysenlika

Recently, one of Walton Lantaff Schroeder & Carson’s Senior Associates, Blerina Hysenlika from our Tampa office, successfully argued and prevailed on a Motion for Summary Judgment in favor of the Defendant on the issue of “no coverage under the policy for unnecessary services rendered by an engineer” in Orange County, Florida.

In this case, the Plaintiff, AOB, filed a first party breach of contract action, seeking payment for a forensic engineering inspection and report. The cause of loss was hurricane Irma; the homeowner reported the loss to the carrier and the carrier adjusted and afforded partial coverage. The parties entered an appraisal process, during this time, Plaintiff/AOB performs a Forensic Engineering Inspection and Report for the Insured to determine the cause and origin of the loss. As a result, Plaintiff/AOB brings suit seeking payment for said report and inspection that occurred eleven months after the date of loss. However, although the subject Policy outlines specific coverages, no provision in the Policy provides coverage for a forensic engineering inspection and report performed. The cause and origin of the loss was not necessary as the Defendant had conceded that Hurricane Irma was the cause of loss.

Here, the services were not emergent, as Plaintiff/AOB inspected the property eleven months after the date of loss. As a result, Plaintiff failed to meet their burden to show which part of the Policy provision would provide coverage for their alleged Forensic Engineering Inspection and Report. Therefore, the Court found that there was no material issue of fact, granted final summary judgment as a matter of law and dismissed Plaintiff’s Complaint with prejudice.

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