July 2, 2023

Kelley Kronenberg Obtains Final Summary Judgment for the Defendant in Water Loss Suit

Kelley Kronenberg Practice Group Partner, Christian Williams, obtained Summary Judgment for the Defendant in this first-party property insurance case, in Hillsborough County, Florida. The Honorable Lisa Ann Allen, of Florida’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, presided. 

In this first-party property insurance suit, Plaintiff reported a claim for water loss to his homeowner’s insurance carrier and our client, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens”). After being notified of the loss, Citizens sought to inspect the property and the inspection was rescheduled three times due to the fault of Plaintiffs or Plaintiffs representatives. Additionally, Citizens made multiple formal requests for additional information, including a recorded statement from the insured(s), and Plaintiff failed to comply with these requests. Following these failures, Citizens denied the claim for prejudice.  

Christian filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of Citizens, arguing Citizens was irreversibly prejudiced in its investigation of the claim due to Plaintiffs’ failure to timely report the claim, failure to show the damaged property, failure to provide a recorded statement, failure to cooperate with the investigation of the claim, and failure to provide evidence that a loss had occurred. The Court agreed with Christian’s position and ruled that Plaintiffs’ failures constitute a material breach of the policy that preclude coverage under the policy. 

While Plaintiff submitted an affidavit in support of his position, the judge found the affidavit did not create an issue of material fact and was not sufficient to rebut the prejudice suffered by Defendant. Therefore, the Court entered an Order Granting Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment.  

Christian’s strategic and tenacious efforts shielded our client from liability and any exposure for the damages sought in Plaintiff’s complaint. Additionally, as the Court reserved jurisdiction regarding attorney’s fees and costs, Christian paved the way for our client to recover the monies spent in defense of this matter.