January 18, 2024

Kelley Kronenberg Secures Victory in Late-Reported Wind Claim Defense

Kelley Kronenberg Partner, Sunita “Nita” Smith, successfully defended against a late-reported wind claim that had been denied following inspection. The plaintiff, seeking $61,550.00 in damages, filed a Breach of Contract suit. However, Ms. Smith identified overlapping damages with prior claims, raising doubts about the credibility of plaintiff’s reported losses. 

The core policy defenses focused on the lack of a peril-created opening, wear and tear, pre-existing damages, and the plaintiff’s failure to fulfill policy duties. Ms. Smith argued that the plaintiff failed to prove the existence of a peril-created opening in the roof, crucial for the alleged damages. This weakened the basis for insurance coverage under the case facts. 

Facing Ms. Smith’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and recognizing the strength of the defense’s argument, the plaintiff’s counsel chose to negotiate a walk-away with no payments by the insurer and each party bearing its own fees and costs. Plaintiff’s counsel filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal with prejudice to avoid the summary judgment hearing.