Author Archives: Katherine Dempsey

Stop Suing Yourself: A Brief Discussion on the Anti-Subrogation Rule


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The newest episode of the Subro Sessions podcast is out now. This episode is entitled, “Stop Suing Yourself: A Brief Discussion on the Anti-Subrogation Rule” and is hosted by Gus Sara, Partner, and Katherine Dempsey, Associate. Gus and Katherine share their expertise on the Anti-Subrogation Rule by discussing its history, purpose and how it applies in various states across the country.

Listen to all of our episodes here. 

This entry was posted in Subrogation.

Beware: A Security Company’s Contract May Eliminate Your Causes of Action


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In Jewels by Iroff, Inc. v. Securitas Tech. Corp., No. 1:23-CV-556-TWT, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172391, a Georgia federal court addressed a suit against a security/alarm company arising from a break-in at a jewelry store where the thieves stole over $1 million in jewelry. The court addressed numerous provisions in the alarm company’s contract – such as a waiver of subrogation, exculpatory and limitation of liability provision – and concluded that the provisions were enforceable. Thus, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint (although it gave the plaintiff the opportunity to try and amend its complaint to state a cause of action).

In February 2022, a break-in occurred in Alpharetta, Georgia at Jewels by Iroff, Inc. (Iroff). Iroff’s insurer, Jewelry Mutual Insurance Company (Insurer), reimbursed Iroff for more than $1.2 million in losses following the incident. Insurer then filed a subrogation action against Iroff’s alarm security contractor, Securitas Tech. Corp. (Securitas), alleging gross negligence, breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation.

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This entry was posted in Contracts, Georgia, Limitation of Liability, Subrogation, Waiver of Subrogation and tagged , , , , , , .

This Girl is on Fire: A Conversation with Senior Fire Investigator, Rachael Klein


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The newest episode of the Subro Sessions podcast is out now. This episode is hosted by Katherine Dempsey and Melissa Kenney who are joined by Rachael Klein, Senior Fire Investigator at EFI Global. Rachael discusses what the procedures are for fire investigators when they arrive at a loss site, detailing how she finds the area of origin by identifying fire effects and patterns, preserving the scene and if there is potential for subrogation.

If you want to hear more about relevant subrogation topics, tune in on the third Tuesday of every month for the newest episode of Subro Sessions.

Check the all of our Subro Sessions podcast episodes.

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Signing Agreement

Insurer Doomed in Delaware by the Sutton Rule


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In Donegal Mut. Ins. Co. v. Thangavel, No. 379, 2022, 2023 Del. LEXIS 227, the Supreme Court of Delaware (Supreme Court) considered whether the Sutton Rule prevented the plaintiff from pursuing subrogation against the defendants. As applied in Delaware, the Sutton Rule explains that landlords and tenants are co-insureds under the landlord’s fire insurance policy unless a tenant’s lease clearly expresses an intent to the contrary. If the Sutton Rule applies, the landlord’s insurer cannot pursue the tenant for the landlord’s damages by way of subrogation. Here, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s decision that the Sutton Rule applied because the lease did not clearly express an intent to hold the tenants liable for the landlord’s damages.

In Thangavel, the plaintiff, Donegal Mutual Insurance Company (Insurer), provided property insurance to Seaford Apartment Ventures, LLC (Landlord) for a residential property in Delaware. Sathiyaselvam Thangavel and Sasikala Muthusamy (Tenants) leased an apartment (the Premises) from Landlord and signed a lease. Insurer alleged that Tenants hit a sprinkler head while flying a drone inside the Premises which caused water to spray from the damaged sprinkler head, resulting in property damage to the Premises. Landlord filed an insurance claim with Insurer, who paid Landlord $77,704.06 to repair the damage. Insurer then sought to recover the repair costs from Tenants via subrogation.

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This entry was posted in Delaware, Landlord-Tenant, Subrogation, Sutton Doctrine and tagged , , .
Flood Building

Insurer Springs a Leak in Its Pursuit of Subrogation


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In Nationwide Prop & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Fireline Corp., No. 1:20-cv-00684, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104241, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland (District Court) considered whether the events giving rise to the plaintiff’s claims fell within the scope of a previously formed agreement, thereby rendering the plaintiff’s claims subject to the agreement’s time limitation and waiver of subrogation provisions. The District Court found that the claims fell within the scope of the agreement. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Maryland, Statute of Limitations-Repose, Subrogation, Waiver of Subrogation and tagged , , , , .