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Another Insurance Denial Overturned with the Help of RSJ

RSJ attorneys Alex Jadin and Tim Johnson won another victory for a couple whose claim was denied by their insurance company.

In the case of State Farm v. Tafuri, the homeowners owned a lake home in Aitkin County, Minnesota. During a snowstorm, a two-mile long ice sheet formed on the lake and wind drove it into their home. The impact from the ice sheet caused major damage to the home, nearly knocking it over completely. The property was a total loss. The insurance company hired an engineer to determine what caused the loss, and the engineer concluded that an ice sheet had pushed earth into the house. In turn, the insurance company denied the claim based upon several policy exclusions, including the "earth movement" exclusion.

The insurance company then sued the homeowners to get a judicial declaration from the court that its coverage position was valid. The homeowners retained RSJ and the parties argued their case before the Aitkin County District Court. At a summary judgment hearing, RSJ argued that the engineer's opinion did not support the insurance company's coverage position and that the homeowners were entitled to full coverage for the total loss. The Court agreed with RSJ that (1) the insurance company's engineer's opinion was not reliable; and (2) that the multiple policy exclusions cited by the insurance company did not apply to the loss. The Court granted RSJ's motion and awarded the homeowners full coverage for the damage to their home.

If your insurance company denies your claim, RSJ can help. If you believe your claim was wrongly denied, call us today!


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