Commercial property damage claims can be complex and expensive affairs. But in the case of a Florida condominium complex, the damage claim reached new levels, including federal litigation. The condo owners in Ormond Beach recently brought an end to the litigation nightmare and returned to some form of normalcy.

The claim began during the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Damage to the building led the homeowner association to seek an insurance claim for damages. The association president retained a management company to perform repairs and handle the damage claims. The president assigned the insurance benefits to the management company.

In turn, the management company hired a number of contractors to inspect and repair. It then claimed extensive roof damage to the complex and mold accumulation in many areas. As a result, condo owners were denied access to their homes or industrial sized fans and dehumidifiers were placed in their condos. Many shared areas, including entrances, were padlocked and independent inspectors were denied access.

The management company sued the insurance carrier for $66 million. However, the insurer claimed that all the roof damage was caused by the inspectors hired by the management company. Many of the condo owners questioned whether there was mold damage. Some hired their own inspectors who didn't find mold. The owners sought to have their association president replaced. The new president joined in the lawsuit as an interested third party.

Finally, the condo association and management company reached a settlement for $2.5 million. Some blame the escalation of the claim on attorney fees. In an insurance dispute, the claimant can often obtain attorney fees if a contested claim is successful. Part of a lawyer's job is to help make sure that their client comes out on top financially.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response