News Brief

Francoeur and Singh Obtain Directed Verdict after Three-Week Trial in Broker Negligence Case

June 12, 2019

Joseph Francoeur (Partner-New York) and Naomi Singh (Associate-New York) obtained a directed verdict dismissing all claims against our client / insurance broker after a three-week trial in New York Supreme Court, Queens County. The case involved a fire at plaintiff’s home; after a claim was made for damages from the fire, the insurance carrier denied coverage for the loss. Plaintiff then sued the carrier and our client/ broker. In 2010 our client purchased an insurance brokerage book of business that included plaintiff’s account. In 2012, plaintiff purchased a second home and requested that the broker procure a homeowner’s policy it. The broker asked about the first home, and plaintiff said she planned to rent it, so the broker advised that she would need a landlord policy at double the cost. Plaintiff immediately claimed she would still live there on weekends to care for her parents and later rented out both units without telling the broker.  A year later plaintiff texted the broker that there had been a fire and disclosed, for the first time, that both units were rented. Plaintiff filed a claim with her insurance carrier, which was denied since plaintiff did not have a landlord’s insurance policy. Plaintiff sued the insurance company and broker for the value of the home, plus contents and interest. Joseph and Naomi obtained dismissal of all causes of action against the broker and the court found that the facts were undisputed that the plaintiff never requested a landlord policy and there was no evidence that she advised the broker that she was renting both units of the property. 

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