Tag Archives: Subrogation

Getting Control of an Accident Scene and Ensuring Evidence is Preserved


This entry was posted by on .

The newest episode of the Subro Sessions podcast, hosted by associates, Ryan Bennett and Melissa Kenney, is entitled “Getting Control of an Accident Scene and Ensuring Evidence is Preserved.” Ryan and Melissa discuss fire scene preservation and safeguarding evidence on water damage claims and in fire loss cases. They share three examples of scenarios in which acting fast, retaining proper investigators and evidence technicians can ensure that the client is in the best position to evaluate subrogation potential.

Listen to all of our episodes on Libsyn. 

You can also listen to Subro Sessions on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , .
Gavel

Subrogation Waiver Unconscionable in Residential Fuel Delivery Contract


This entry was posted by on .

In a matter of first impression, the Superior Court of Connecticut (Superior Court), in American Commerce Ins., Co. v. Eastern Fuel Corp., No. CV-206109168-S, 2024 Conn. Super. LEXIS 380, held that a waiver of subrogation provision in a consumer fuel service/delivery contract violated public policy. The Superior Court overruled the motion for summary judgment filed by Eastern Fuel Corporation (Eastern) and determined that the clause was impermissible as the contract was entered into by two parties with unequal bargaining power.

American Commerce Insurance Company (American) provided property insurance to Arlene and James Hillas (the Insureds) for their home in Woodbridge, Connecticut. The Insureds hired Eastern to service their heating system on or around October 25, 2018. The service work at the property included inspecting the oil filters and flushing the fuel lines. On November 1, 2018, when the Insureds turned the heating system on for the first time that season, the two oil tanks on the property were allegedly full. After a series of deliveries, claims that the oil levels were lower than expected, discovering oil staining on the floor and Eastern’s replacement of the oil lines, Eastern delivered another 429 gallons. However, after the delivery, additional leaks were discovered relating to the oil line replacements. Ultimately, the Insureds submitted a claim to American and American paid in excess of $59,000 for the damage incurred.

Continue reading

This entry was posted in Connecticut, Contracts, Public Policy, Subrogation, Uncategorized, Waiver of Subrogation and tagged , , , , , .
Signing Agreement

Missouri Protects Subrogation Rights


This entry was posted by on .

The point at which an insurance carrier possesses the equitable right of subrogation is an issue on which the states have differed. Some allow carriers to pursue rights of subrogation immediately upon payment and some have taken stricter approaches. Missouri falls into the latter group. By not allowing the carrier the right to file suit against third-party tortfeasors until the insured provides its carrier with an assignment of all its rights, Missouri’s approach has opened the door for challenges to subrogation rights.

In Megown v. Auto Club Fam. Ins. Co., 2024 Mo. App. LEXIS 82, the plaintiff-insureds Michael and Jane Megown (the Megowns) suffered a house fire on February 8, 2016. Their insurance carrier, Auto Club Family Insurance Company (Auto Club) reimbursed the Megowns for their property damage in the amount of $722,433.56. Subsequently, the Megowns sued Auto Club for breach of contract and later amended their complaint to add claims against Tyberius Enterprises, LLC d/b/a Crag Electric (Craig Electric), the third-party tortfeasor, for direct negligence, alleging both property damage and personal injuries. Auto Club intervened in the Megowns’ claim against Craig Electric to protect its interest as subrogee for its property damage payment to the Megowns. Craig Electric settled prior to trial, paying $1,000,000.00 to both the Megowns and Auto Club, to be allocated at a later date. After a bench trial that apportioned the settlement with $722,433.56 paid to Auto Club and $277,566.44 paid to Megowns – and a jury trial awarding no further damages – the Megowns appealed.

Continue reading

This entry was posted in Assignment, Missouri, Parties, Public Policy, Subrogation and tagged , , .

Pursuing Claims Against Minors and Their Parents


This entry was posted by on .

Chris Konzelmann, Partner, hosts the newest episode of the Subro Sessions podcast entitled: “Pursuing Claims Against Minors and Their Parents.” In this episode, Chris revisits a case and discusses the problems that may arise when subrogation efforts are targeted towards children and their parents and whether either can be held responsible for tort claims.

Listen to all of our episodes here. 

This entry was posted in Subrogation and tagged , , .

A Matter Judged: Subrogating Insurers Should Beware of Prior Suits Involving the Insured


This entry was posted by on .

In New Jersey Mfrs. Ins. Co. v. Lallygone LLC, No. A-2607-22, 2024 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 120, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey (Appellate Division) considered whether New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company (the carrier) could bring a subrogation action after its insured, Efmorfopo Panagiotou (the insured), litigated and tried claims related to the same underlying incident with the same defendant, Lallygone LLC (the defendant). The Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s finding that the prior lawsuit extinguished the carrier’s claims. Continue reading

This entry was posted in New Jersey, Res Judicata, Subrogation and tagged , , , , .

Investigating Residential Electrical Fires – Part 1


This entry was posted by on .

Matt Ferrie, Partner, is returning to host the newest episode of Subro Sessions. This episode is the first part of a series entitled “Investigating Residential Electrical Fires.” Joining Matt is Bert Davis, Principal for Romauldi, Davidson & Associates and BDA Engineering. Matt and Bert address common misconceptions and factors to consider when investigating property damage subrogation cases in residential electrical fires.

Check out all of our Subro Sessions podcast episodes.

This entry was posted in Subrogation and tagged , .

Reasonable Expectations – Pennsylvania’s Case by Case Approach to the Sutton Rule


This entry was posted by on .

In Mutual Benefit Ins. Co. a/s/o Michael Sacks v. Koser, No. 1340 MDA 2023, 2023 Pa. Super. LEXIS 574, 2023 PA Super 252 (Mutual Benefit), the Superior Court of Pennsylvania discussed whether a landlord’s property insurer could file a subrogation action against tenants that had negligently damaged the landlord’s property. Despite there being more than one clause in the lease holding the tenants liable for the damages, the court held that because there was a provision requiring the landlord, not the tenants, to insure the leased building, the insurer could not subrogate against the tenants.

In Pennsylvania, a tenant’s liability for damage to a leased premises in a subrogation action brought by a landlord’s insurer is determined by the reasonable expectation of the parties to the lease agreement. Under this approach, to determine if subrogation is permitted, the court considers the circumstances of the case and examines the terms of the lease agreement. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Landlord-Tenant, Pennsylvania, Subrogation, Sutton Doctrine and tagged , , , .
Gavel

The Sounds of Silence: Pennsylvania’s Sutton Rule


This entry was posted by on .

In Westminster Am. Ins. Co. a/s/o Androulla M. Toffalli v. Bond, No. 538 EDA 2023, 2023 Pa. Super. LEXIS 626, 2023 PA Super 272, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania (Appellate Court) recently discussed the impact of silence on the Sutton Rule with respect to the landlord, Androulla M. Toffalli (Landlord), securing insurance. After holding that the tenant, Amy S. Bond (Bond) t/a Blondie’s Salon – who leased both commercial and residential space in the building pursuant to written leases – was not an implied “co-insured” on Landlord’s insurance policy, the Appellate Court reversed the decision of the trial court.

In this case, Bond rented the ground floor of a property located in Monroe County pursuant to a written commercial lease (Commercial Lease) and operated Blondie’s salon out of the leased location. In addition, Bond rented and lived in a second-floor apartment pursuant to a residential lease (Residential Lease). Both leases required the tenants (Tenants) to obtain insurance for personal items. The leases, however, did not require Landlord to obtain fire insurance for the property.

Continue reading

This entry was posted in Anti-Subrogation Rule, Landlord-Tenant, Pennsylvania, Subrogation, Sutton Doctrine and tagged , , , , .

Workers’ Compensation Subrogation – Tales by the Water Cooler: Part II – We Got a New Claim, Now What?


This entry was posted by on .

Brett Tishler, Partner, and Michael Abed, Associate, are back to host the newest episode of Subro Sessions. This is the second of a two-part #podcast series, entitled “Workers’ Compensation Subrogation – Tales by the Water Cooler: Part II– We Got a New Claim, Now What?” Brett and Michael are joined again by a surprise guest, Rob Caplan, Partner, to discuss a new workers’ compensation #subrogation case. Rob talks about a new loss and gives a critical look into the specifics into the investigation, experts, and other factors to determine if there is potential for recovery.

Check the all of our Subro Sessions podcast episodes.

This entry was posted in Subrogation and tagged , .

I Spy Claims Against Amazon


This entry was posted by on .

A federal court in West Virginia recently ruled that a negligence claim could proceed against Amazon related to a spy camera used to take unsolicited photos of a teenage girl.  M.S. v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 3:23-cv-0046, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 213236 (S.D. W. Va. Nov. 30, 2023). The negligence claim is specifically interesting for subrogation professionals as it potentially provides an additional avenue for recovery against Amazon in addition to a product liability claim.

In 2021, the plaintiff, M.S. (a minor), visited the United States as a foreign-exchange student.  During her stay, she lived with Darrel Wells, a 55-year-old man. Mr. Wells purchased a spy camera that was disguised as a bathroom towel hook on Amazon. The camera was listed for sale by an unknown third party and satisfied through the “Fulfillment by Amazon” program.  The product description showed the camera serving as a towel hook with the caption: “It won’t attract any attention[:] A very ordinary hook,” as shown in the photo below from the pleading.

Continue reading

This entry was posted in Negligence, Products Liability, Subrogation, West Virginia and tagged , , , , , .