After a week of trial, a Seminole County jury delivered a verdict for Danahy & Murray clients against their homeowner’s insurance company, First Community Ins. Co. (of the Bankers Insurance Group). The jury agreed that the clients’ property and home were damaged by sinkhole activity. This was despite the fact that the insurance company’s experts and the “State Neutral Evaluator” (appointed by the State of Florida Department of Financial Services) testified that sinkhole activity was not present on the property. During trial, Danahy & Murray lawyers were able to demonstrate the flaws in the opinions of the insurance company experts that sinkhole activity did not exist on the property and that the damages to the clients’ home were caused by things excluded by the insurance policy.
The jury not only determined that there was coverage under the clients’ insurance policy for their sinkhole loss, but awarded the clients monetary damages for repairs of the home, and determined that insurance coverage must be provided to perform the recommended subsurface stabilization and foundation repairs.
Since the clients were successful in recovering against their insurance company at trial, Danahy & Murray attorney’s fees and court costs must, pursuant to Florida law, be paid by the insurance company.
Postscript: The presiding judge denied the motion for a new trial filed by First Community Insurance Company.