August 10, 2023

Kelley Kronenberg Prevails on Motion for Final Summary Judgment and Averts $100k in Exposure

Kelley Kronenberg Partner, Jake Huxtable, with Attorney, Michael Bryan, secured a summary judgment on behalf of Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company in a lawsuit before the Circuit Court for Broward County, Florida. The Honorable Judge Jeffrey Levenson presided.  

In this case, Plaintiffs made an insurance claim with Defendant for a plumbing pipe leak below the slab of the kitchen floor, reporting a November 8, 2020, date of loss. Defendant denied coverage for this loss as it was excluded by the homeowner’s policy. Plaintiffs filed a breach of contract action after which Mr. Huxtable and Mr. Bryan commenced an aggressive defense of which the Motion for Final Summary Judgment was a part.  

Based the arguments and evidence presented by Jake and Michael during the hearing, the Court found it undisputed that there was no ensuing water damage to the dwelling or interior above the slab, and that there was no coverage for the alleged faulty plumbing system. This left one remaining issue: whether there was tear-out coverage to access the leaking pipe under the slab.  

Our first-party property insurance defense team argued that, as a matter of law, there was no coverage under the policy for tear-out and access as there was no ensuing loss to trigger coverage. In rebuttal, the Plaintiffs’ counsel argued the “trigger” was “direct damage to the foundation.” Judge Levenson rejected Plaintiffs’ argument based on the policy language and existing Florida case law, holding the “foundation” is not a part of the “dwelling” for which coverage is provided under Coverage A of the policy. 

The Court agreed fully with the arguments presented by Jake and Michael, entering Summary Judgment in favor of the defense. Using their extensive knowledge of the law and exquisite strategizing, our defense team shielded our client from exposure exceeding $100,000.00.