Update (December 18, 2014): Insurers lose coverage battles all the time. They lick their wounds, they cut the checks (to their adversary and to their lawyers, of course), they may change their policy language to avoid similar losses in similar cases and/or maybe they bump up their premiums. In games of chance (is insurance anything but?), the house always wins.
Last summer, I noted, that “American Family’s lawyer, Mark Bradford, seemed to face a skeptical Court” as he argued on behalf of an insurer who fought an appraisal panel’s decision on the scope of the insurer’s obligation with regard to replacing siding for a condo complex. My sense was correct. This week, American Family lost before the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Update (June 11, 2014) (under the Subject Line: “Watching paint dry…”): As it turns out, the drama of whether insurers have to replace building materials entirely or partially (discussed below) may be a frequent (if deadly boring) niche of legal disputes. The Minnesota Supreme Court heard argument this past week as to whether American Family can properly refuse to pay for replacement of all siding because there was only damage to some of the siding when the policy agrees to replace siding with “comparable” siding and there is no available comparable siding (maybe). An appraisal panel concluded that “the amount of loss included all of the siding” because, they concluded, the available new siding would not match the undamaged original siding. American Family’s lawyer, Mark Bradford, seemed to face a skeptical Court…
Original post (February 12, 2014): We are in an age where many perceive an epidemic of “attention deficit disorder” but some time ago I came across a clever person’s quip that maybe the problem is not with “hyperactive” people so much as the intolerably boring lives that this society forces so many of us to endure. The people who jump out of their chairs screaming, “I cannot take this any more” just might be the sane ones.
The prime example is how we treat children. The “abnormal” or “hyperactive” kids are the ones who cannot sit silently at a desk for hours on end…THEY’RE CHILDREN.
It could be that some unfortunate jury is going to have to sit through a trial as to whether particular roof shingle replacements are so different in color from the existing shingles that the insurer must pay to have all of the shingles replaced vs. whether the new shingles are “close enough.”
Let us all bow our heads for a moment in sympathy not only for the jurors but, most of all, for the lawyers who have been fighting out this riveting battle for over a year now…
It is not far-fetched, in my view, to suggest that lawyers are relatively highly rewarded in our society because what they do is often close to intolerable. It does not take a genius. It does not take any kind of dexterity, physical or intellectual. But it often requires a relentless and, sometimes grueling, doggedness.