Verdicts & Settlements: Palm Beach Jury Awards Homeowners Full Roof Damages Caused By Severe Weather Storm

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Verdicts & Settlements: Palm Beach Jury Awards Homeowners Full Roof Damages Caused By Severe Weather Storm

Lake Worth, FL – The Firm’s First Party Property Practice scored another trial victory last week when a Palm Beach County Jury unanimously agreed with our clients’ property damage claim and awarded from their insurance company, Frontline Insurance, the full amount of the damages sustained to their home as a result of a severe weather storm.

In April 2021, our clients’ home suffered roof damage as a result of a severe weather storm, however they did not immediately notice any damage until December 2021 when it was time to hang Christmas lights outside of the second story. At that time, our clients observed some discoloration to the fascia board. A roofing contractor was coincidentally in the neighborhood doing work on some of the neighbors’ homes, and our clients had them perform a roof inspection. The roofing contractor advised of the damages and a claim was subsequently reported.

The insurance company sent a field adjuster who was unable to inspect the second story because his ladder was not long enough, but he did determine the interior water damages were caused by an opening in the roof. Thereafter, the insurance company hired an engineer, whose entire inspection lasted 15 minutes. After the inspections, the insurance company asked for a lot of documentation that our clients did not have. Just before trial, our trial team obtained a copy of the underwriting inspection report from 2018 and a home certification letter, where the insurance company certified the home was in good condition and there were no issues with the roof or the house. However, after the claim investigation, the insurance company denied the claim for wear and tear, construction defects, expansion and contraction, and failure to comply with post-loss duties.

Kanner & Pintaluga Partners Jeff Groover and Ardalan Montazer made every effort to resolve the claim with the insurance company prior to trial. After the jury was selected, the trial team even spoke with the insurance company’s VP of Claims, with defense counsel present, as a final attempt to resolve the case. Frontline Insurance rejected all offers, saying that our client could pay all of their costs to walk-away. The Firm was left with no option but to try the case.

Our strategy was to show that this case was not about failure to comply with post-loss duties and that it was about whether or not the severe weather event in April 2021 caused the damage. Our expert meteorologist testified the conditions at the property on the date of loss was 70-75 mph wind gusts and our forensic engineer testified that date was the only event that could have caused the damage. The jury returned a full verdict in our favor, awarding $115,000 after about 90 minutes of deliberations.

The case is Castillo and Stephenson v. First Protective Insurance Company d/b/a/ Frontline Insurance Company, Case No.: 50-2022-CA-004545-XXXX-MB in the Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County, Florida.

Get What you Deserve
Founded in 2003, Kanner & Pintaluga is a NLJ500 and Mid-Market Pro 50 law firm that has recovered over $1 billion for property damage and personal injury clients nationwide. With nearly 100 lawyers and more than 30 offices throughout the Central and Southeastern United States, our primary goal is to achieve the most favorable outcome for our clients, who have the absolute right to receive the maximum compensation for their damages. If we can assist you or if you’d simply like to speak to an attorney about getting the help you need, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is always available to discuss your rights and make certain that you and your family are protected.