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Connecticut Partner Prevails in First-Party Property Coverage Case

Simsbury Partner Kathleen F. Adams recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of our insurance company client in a complex high exposure case that involved first-party property coverage and various extra-contractual claims.

In March 2010, Plaintiff’s property sustained damage during a storm. Subsequently, Plaintiff filed a first-party claim under a homeowner’s policy issued by our client. Since both parties were unable to agree on the value of Plaintiff’s claim and the scope of damage, the matter went into appraisal where the appraisal panel issued an award that Plaintiff contested. In addition to challenging the award, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against our client and alleged claims for breach of contract, bad faith and unfair trade practices. Plaintiff also claimed damages in excess of $2 million and sought additional living expenses, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

Kate filed a motion for summary judgment in the Connecticut Superior Court based on numerous defenses, including res judicata and statute of limitations. On the eve of trial, the Court found that there were “genuine issues of material fact,” and denied our client’s initial motion. Kate appealed the trial court’s denial to the Connecticut Appellate Court, and argued that our client had the right to immediate appellate review based on Connecticut authority that allows appeals under analogous circumstances. Plaintiff contested the appeal and filed a motion to dismiss, which Kate successfully opposed.

On appeal, Kate persuasively briefed and argued that the trial court’s decision to deny summary judgment for our client should be overturned, and the matter should be remanded for further consideration. The appellate court agreed with our attorney, overturned the trial court’s decision and remanded the case for a summary judgment hearing wherein Kate re-argued the motion.

In October 2022, the Connecticut Superior Court granted Kate’s motion in its entirety based on various defenses, which relieved our client of any liability and established a final judgment on all claims in favor of our client.

Kate has extensive experience analyzing first- and third-party coverage issues. Her practice includes the litigation of cases under automobile liability, commercial general liability, homeowners and property policies, as well as bad faith, unfair insurance practices and extra-contractual liability. Kate also has experience handling general liability, commercial liability and appellate matters.