Zissu and Van Dusen Obtain Appraisal for Disputed Amount of Loss
Clausen Miller Shareholder Jacob Zissu and Connecticut Office Managing Partner Matthew Van Dusen recently won a motion before the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut compelling appraisal on behalf of a market of Insurers in a large first-party property/builder’s risk fire loss. Our client Insurers promptly paid the Insured developer/landlord millions of dollars for its actual damages under the terms and conditions of the policies, but the Insured disagreed with Insurers’ valuation and demanded monies beyond the policy limits. Although the policies’ appraisal provision expressly exists to resolve disagreements over the amount of loss, the Insured refused to participate, forcing Insurers to file a motion under the Federal Arbitration Act. In rejecting the Insured’s arguments that it would be prejudiced by appraisal, the Court noted that both federal law and Connecticut law strongly favor arbitration as a means of resolving disputes and that appraisal is an appropriate vehicle to resolve factual disputes over the amount of loss for which an insurer may be liable. Residences at Quarry Walk, LLC v. New York Marine and General Insurance Company and Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Company, 2023 US Dist LEXIS 72531, No. 22cv871 (D.Conn., Apr. 26, 2023).