January 22, 2024

Kelley Kronenberg Obtains Summary Judgment in Property Damage Suit

Kelley Kronenberg Partner, Matthew Strauss, assisted by Legal Assistant Dayna Kasimier, secured a significant victory, obtaining Summary Judgment in a First-Party Property case pending before Florida’s Bay County Circuit Court. The Honorable Judge James Goodman presided.  

The case involved a claim arising from Hurricane Michael. Our client diligently adjusted the claim and issued multiple payments in compliance with the claim adjustment process. Despite the thoroughness of the carrier’s actions, the plaintiff prematurely filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract, with damages sought up to the policy limits.  

In response, Matthew raised the affirmative defense of the plaintiff’s failure to comply with post-loss obligations. In the legal analysis, it was emphasized that the plaintiff did not present any competing Actual Cash Value (ACV) estimate before filing the lawsuit. The absence of evidence disputing the amount paid by the defendant strengthened the defense’s position. While the plaintiff’s breach of contract action was based on the defendant’s alleged failure to pay the Replacement Cost Value (RCV) of damages, under the policy’s language, the defendant was only obligated to pay the ACV initially, which the plaintiff did not contest before initiating the legal proceedings. 

After hearing argument, the Court found in favor of our client, ruling that the plaintiff failed to fulfill post-loss obligations, specifically regarding the policy’s Loss Settlement provision. The Court determined that as a matter of law, there was no breach by the carrier, highlighting the plaintiff’s failure to comply with contractual obligations. 

By prevailing on their Motion for Summary Judgment, Strauss and Kasimier shielded our clients from exposure in excess of $200,000.00. We extend our gratitude to American Integrity for entrusting us with the defense of this matter.