January 3, 2024

Kelley Kronenberg Achieves Victory Exposing Insurance Fraud in Plumbing Loss Case

Kelley Kronenberg Partners, Jake D. Huxtable and Melissa A. Usher, alongside Associate Zachary A. Schiffman, secured a momentous and decisive victory in a contentious first-party property insurance case.   

This controversy involved an insurance claim for a plumbing loss at a duplex in Broward County, Florida. The carrier investigated the claim and opened partial coverage. During the investigation, the plaintiffs submitted an executed sworn proof of loss claiming $244,630.39 in damages predicated upon their public adjuster’s replacement cost value estimate. After thorough analysis, our team aggressively defended the case and identified evidence of insurance fraud. Specifically, our team determined that the plaintiffs were claiming replacement of the kitchen cabinetry for both units despite receiving substantial compensation for the same for two prior insurance claims but never replaced them. At deposition, the insured falsely testified that she replaced the kitchen cabinetry in both units with the prior insurance funds, thus paving the way for our team to move for summary judgment.   

Our team faced an uphill battle to secure summary judgment by raising legal arguments about the insured’s failure to file a supplemental insurance claim for the actual cash value of the claimed damages and fraud. The attorneys faced a heightened burden of proof regarding the fraud allegations. We presented the Court with photographs taken during the investigation of the prior insurance claims, the insured’s deceptive deposition testimony, and photographs taken during the investigation of the subject insurance claim. As such, the team proved the kitchen cabinetry in both units was never replaced and that the insured lied under oath at her deposition. Predicated upon the evidence presented, the Court entered summary judgment against the insureds in favor of our client, stating the insureds should be referred to the prosecutor’s office for a criminal inquiry. Our client is now positioned to recover its attorney’s fees and costs due to an expired Proposal for Settlement.  

This victory cements Kelley Kronenberg’s reputation, skill, and commitment to fighting insurance fraud.