June 6, 2022

Kelley Kronenberg Partners Jake Huxtable and Melissa Usher Win Summary Judgment In Late-Reported Hurricane Claim

Kelley Kronenberg Business Unit Leader and Partner, Jake Huxtable, and Practice Group Partner Melissa Usher won a summary judgment on behalf of UPC Insurance in an insured’s lawsuit involving a 2-year late reported claim related to Hurricane Irma.

When presented with the late claim, UPC denied it based on an engineer’s report that determined the damage was not caused by wind, but rather foot traffic, wear/tear and deterioration. UPC’s denial letter did not mention anything about late notice or prejudice, which made this motion for summary judgment a tricky one for attorneys to introduce at trial.

However, during deposition, the plaintiff acknowledged she found hurricane damage right after the storm but failed to do anything about it until it worsened over time.  Based on that, the judge said UPC was not only presumed prejudiced by the two-year late notice, but that there was actual prejudice since UPC was never given an opportunity to inspect the initial damage, and adequately investigate the cause, but also the scope.  As a result, the attorney’s motion for summary judgment was granted.

Jake Huxtable is a Partner and Business Unit Leader focusing his practice on First-Party Property Insurance Defense, Third-Party Liability Insurance Defense, and Civil Litigation.

Melissa Usher is a Practice Group Partner at Kelley Kronenberg where she assists in handling matters related to First- and Third-Party Insurance Defense Litigation and Civil Litigation.



Kelley Kronenberg is a multi-practice business law firm with over 400 employees, more than 200 attorneys, and 12 locations throughout Florida and the United States. Founded in 1980, the firm is one of the fastest-growing law firms in Florida and amongst the largest in the U.S. The firm serves all types and sizes of public and private companies, including small businesses and individuals nationwide. Kelley Kronenberg has been recognized amongst the “Largest U.S. Law Firms” by the National Law Journal’s NLJ 500, Law 360 400, and Florida Trend in 2020, “America’s Top Corporate Law Firms” by Forbes and “Top 10” in NLJ’s “Women’s Scorecard” 2019. The firm has been the recipient of many accolades most recently including: “Best Multi-Practice Business Law Firm – USA,” Acquisition International; “Business of the Year,” “Top 100 Private Companies,” “Top Law Firms,” and “Largest Law Firms,” South Florida Business Journal; “Largest Law Firms,” Tampa Bay Business Journal, Orlando Business Journal,  and Jacksonville Business Journal; “Biggest Law Firms in Florida,” Florida Trend; “Top 100 Law Firms,” South Florida Business & Wealth; Florida’s Largest Law Firms,” American Lawyer’s, Daily Business Review “Review 100;” and “Best Law Firms,” U.S. News – Best Lawyers®. The firm earned the 2021 Ragan’s Top Places to Work and Top Workplaces USA award by Energage and “Top Workplaces for Communication, Top Workplaces for Clued-In Leaders, Top Workplaces for Top Leaders, and Top Workplaces for Innovation.” Kelley Kronenberg has also been recognized as a “Top Workplace” by the Sun-Sentinel and a “Best Place to Work” by the South Florida Business Journal for two consecutive years.  For more information, visit www.kklaw.com.

Erica Wander, Marketing and PR Manager