Property Damage Lawsuit Outcome Property Damage Lawyers
Transcription of Video
Whitney M. : Back again with Bill and Clay Hopkins. We are going to talk about a recent- Was it a recent case out of Florence that you guys settled?
Bill Hopkins: That’s correct, Whitney, yes. It’s a property damage case that arose out of a hurricane. And of course, we’re just getting into hurricane season. And as you’ve may have seen, they are really expecting or predicting a very active hurricane season this year.
One of our previous sessions, Clay, was talking about commercial or business insurance policies in business interruptions, well another aspect of that is when your business or your building is damaged by a hurricane. What are your rights? So, we had a case where a piece of commercial property in Florence, South Carolina was damaged during a hurricane. So, we hired experts to go evaluate and inspect the building. And our experts determined that it was really a combination of both poor workmanship, poor installation, issues with the product, as well as damage from the hurricane. So, in that instance, we had some interesting issues with possible defendants being the manufacturer, the seller of the product, the installer of the product, and whether there was a claim against the insurance policy for the hurricane damage. Again, these types of cases really depending larger, Whitney, on the specific language of your insurance policy.
A lot of language in insurance policies, it’s what we call boiler plated. It’s identical in every policy. But some are not, especially in commercial policies. So, we would have to look at your individual policy to see. Is it covered by hurricane, wind damage, flood, water damage? There are some exclusions, some coverage. And there may be some defenses to the insurance company for the damage. But we were happy that we were able to successfully resolve the case on behalf of our client whose roof was badly damaged. We ultimately brought a suit against all three. That would be the installer of the roof, the manufacture of the roof, and the insurance policy which provided coverage because our expert determined that at least some of the damage was not attributable to the product or installation but was in fact as a result of wind lift. And this particular insurance policy provided coverage for wind damage.
And then, as a result, some of their inventory was damaged because of the water. The roof leaking, now you have water damage. So, we had some issues as to whether there was insurance coverage for water damage or flooding. Then you get into, of course, once the storm goes away and the sun comes out, there is going to be mold. A lot of insurance issues regarding mold coverage. Many policies specifically exclude mold coverage or damages. So, a lot of issues.
But we would encourage you this hurricane season, we absolutely hope that none of you, that nobody has any hurricane damage. But if you suffer hurricane damage, either you or your business or your building, give us a call and we’d be happy to look into it for you. We will hire the appropriate experts and determine if you have a claim.