News Brief

Natal Obtains Summary Judgment and Costs Incurred for Insurance Carrier

March 23, 2022

Derrick Natal (Associate-Orlando, FL) obtained summary judgment in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida on behalf of an insurance carrier. The plaintiff’s lawsuit alleged damages to an apartment complex as the result of Hurricane Irma and sought coverage in excess of $200,000. Though the carrier’s expert engineer observed damage consistent with the hurricane, the plaintiff failed to promptly notify the carrier per the policy’s conditions. The plaintiff’s attorney argued the damage could be observed through satellite images of the property, but the court agreed with Derrick and noted presumption of prejudice is not rebutted when the carrier is “forced to rely on images of the exterior damage taken from 300 miles over the surface of the earth.” Derrick then moved to recover defense fees and costs incurred by the client. The court granted the motions, awarding the carrier all attorney fees incurred and all costs incurred for the entire case, including the payment for 50 percent of the court-ordered mediation conference.

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