Author Archives: Lian Skaf

Who’s on First: How First Party Claims Adjusters Add Value to Subrogation Recovery Efforts, Part 2


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In the most recent episode of the Subro Sessions Podcast, Matt FerrieGus Sara and Lian Skaf of the Subrogation Department are joined by Ihor Redkva, Field Property Claims Leader at Allstate, in part two of a discussion about the value first-party claims adjusters bring to subrogation efforts.

Did you miss Part 1 of this discussion? Click here to listen now. 

This entry was posted in Podcast.
Time

Hold on Just One Second: Texas Clarifies Starting Point for Negligence Statute of Limitations


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In construction or similar ongoing projects, problems often pop up. Sometimes they can pop up again and again. Making things even more complicated, one problem may affect another, seemingly new problem. When these construction problems result in property damage, timelines tend to overlap and determining when a statute of limitation begins to run for a particular claim can be difficult. Especially in states with short statute of limitations for tort claims like Texas, knowing when a statute begins to run is crucial for a subrogation professional. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Construction Defects, Negligence, Statute of Limitations-Repose, Texas and tagged , , , , .
Construction Materials

Waive It Goodbye: Despite Evidence to the Contrary, Delaware Upholds an AIA Waiver of Subrogation Clause


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Subrogation professionals have always been looking for ways to defeat onerous waiver of subrogation provisions in contracts signed by insureds. However, even when contracts are unsigned, if there is intent when the contract is made – usually long before a loss occurs – a waiver of subrogation can doom what otherwise may have been a strong case. The Superior Court of Delaware considered such a scenario to determine whether a waiver of subrogation provision applied to a multimillion-dollar subrogation case.

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This entry was posted in Construction Defects, Contracts, Delaware, Waiver of Subrogation and tagged , , , .

The Deal Stands: Finding of Good Faith Settlement in California Precludes Contribution and Indemnity


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Courts across the country have historically taken positions encouraging settlements between civil litigants. Thus, as long as there is good faith involved in the negotiation process, settlements and their effects on other parties are generally upheld. Recently, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California (District Court) considered whether a settlement between the plaintiff and one of several defendants met the good faith standard, thereby barring claims for contribution and indemnity from the co-defendants. Continue reading

This entry was posted in California, Cargo - Transportation, Contribution-Apportionment, Indemnification and tagged , , , , .
Gavel

Florida Court Gives Parties Assigned a Subrogation Claim a Math Lesson


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Although the focus of most subrogation cases is usually on proving liability, determining the appropriate measure of damages is just as important. Sometimes turning on a nuanced argument for recoverability, an adverse holding can significantly boost or reduce the total damages in a case. The Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District (Court) recently decided such an issue in a case involving subrogation, holding that the defendants owed much more than they originally anticipated. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Damages - Real Property, Florida, Subrogation and tagged , , , .
Gavel

Industry Standard and Sole Negligence Defenses Can’t Fix a Defect


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Strict products liability cases have been the subject of much fluctuation in the Pennsylvania courts over the last few years. Utilizing hope created by the courts in recent strict liability cases, defendants have tried to revive defenses based on meeting industry standards and the plaintiff’s contributory negligence. Recently, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania tempered that hope with limitations of how far strict liability defenses can extend. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Comparative-Contributory Negligence, Evidence, Negligence, Pennsylvania, Products Liability and tagged , , .
Gavel

What the Jury Doesn’t Know about Insurance Won’t Hurt Them


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The issue of whether a jury will be less inclined to award an insurance company plaintiff – versus an individual person or entity – a favorable verdict is a real one for subrogation professionals facing a potential trial. In states where the laws allow carriers to choose between filing in their own name or in the name of the insured, there are numerous factors attorneys must weigh before finalizing the caption. However, if a jury is allowed to know the extent of the carrier’s involvement, the notion of filing in the name of the insured becomes less appealing. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Evidence, Massachusetts, Parties, Subrogation and tagged , , , , .
Gavel

Washington Court Finds that Statute of Repose Fraud Exception Argument Lacks Energy


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Statutes of repose are generally meant to be absolutes, providing clarity to potential defendants such as contractors. However, in limited scenarios, some states have allowed for exceptions to the defense. For instance, fraud is one potential exception that has been recognized in several jurisdictions and is often raised by parties on the basis of public policy. In Puget Sound Energy, Inc. v. Pilchuck Contractors, Inc., No. 80162-7-1, 2020 Wash. App. LEXIS 2862 (unpublished), the Court of Appeals of Washington determined whether it would allow a fraud exception to its statute of repose for construction activity. The court upheld the trial court’s holding that the statute of repose barred the appellant’s claims, declining to entertain a fraud exception. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Construction Defects, Statute of Repose, Washington and tagged , , .
Broken Bricks

Illinois Federal Court Determines if Damages Are Too Remote


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Foreseeability is a tort concept that tends to permeate several aspects of legal analysis, often causing confusion in litigants’ interpretation of, and courts’ application of, foreseeability to their cases. In Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Progress Rail Services. Corp., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73967 (C.D. Ill.), the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois took on the task of analyzing a case dealing with foreseeability issues to determine if the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and if the damages were so remote as to violate public policy. The court held that since the defendant’s actions contributed to the risk of harm to the plaintiff and the facts satisfied the four-prong duty test, the defendant owed the plaintiff’s subrogor a duty of reasonable care. It also held that the plaintiff’s damage claim did not open the defendant up to liability that would violate public policy. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Damages, Illinois, Negligence and tagged , , , .

In Louisiana, If the Band Plays On, the Plaintiff Cannot Recover Loss of Use Damages


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In Jensen v. Matute, 2020 La. App. LEXIS 160, the Court of Appeal of Louisiana considered whether the plaintiff could recover compensatory, loss of use damages following a rear-end car collision. The court held that because the plaintiff was able to mitigate the loss of use and, consequently, suffered no actual loss of use damages, he had no recoverable claim. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Damages – Personal Property, Louisana and tagged , .