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Gregory B. Scher Victories

Gail Cooper and Greg Scher recently obtained summary judgment for an insurer client in a case involving water damage from an overflowing toilet.  The company paid the loss, as well as Additional Living Expense.  Plaintiff had a large dog and two tenants.  The claim representative calculated the Site Value Estimate (SVE) for a comparable property large enough for the tenants reside at the rental with the plaintiff at $6,318/mo. and agreed to pay that amount.  Plaintiff decided instead to rent a smaller property at $4,000/mo., so the tenants could not live there.

The company thus paid loss of rent at the $4,000 rate actually incurred, as provided by the policy.  Plaintiff then sued for the $2,318 per month difference between the initially-agreed rate and the rate incurred, arguing the company was bound by the company’s written “agreement” to pay the higher rate, asserting estoppel. 

The court granted summary judgment finding as a matter of law that nothing in the claim representative's letters altered, or could alter the terms of the policy, that all rental expense incurred was paid, and no reasonable detrimental reliance ensued.

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