Merlin Law Group's attorneys Corey Harris, Ashley Harris and Mike Duffy won a jury trial in Fort Myers, Florida, yesterday. The case concerned a roofing contractor who submitted an application for the award of a benefit agreement to a housing policy. Tower Hill Prime denied the allegation.
Many insurance company adjusters treat restoration contractors as second-class citizens. Many companies have training with role-playing games where they teach their adjusters how to handle roof contractors so that prices are reduced and the required methods for roof repair are not approved. I have discussed this in, Restoration contractors who deliver high quality workmanship are policyholders' friends but many insurance companies refuse to pay for quality . In that post, I noted:
It does not take a rocket scientist to calculate that quality contractors who perform the type of work discussed in the IRMI article can possibly remain in business if the insurance companies demand "cheap" prices ….  Many insurance claims departments have a culture that only pays for "okay" construction. AT & T's current advertising campaign on "okay" services and products makes the point. Do you just want an "okay" surgeon or tattoo artist? Do you want your sushi to be "okay?" Would you search for and buy your grandchild the "cheapest but acceptable" car seat?
But when it comes to designing insurance restorations, I have never heard an insurance company's property insurance adjuster demand that contractors give their prices, or the pricing found in Xactimate, only from quality contractors … They always go cheaper and for "okay" construction. They incorrectly allow the "cheap" contractors to provide data for prices used by Xactimate.
Quality restoration entrepreneurs who fight these customization practices are heroes for all of us. Demanding fair prices that enable quality and standing up to the adjusters of the insurance industry is admirable. It is much easier to accept lower prices and give cheap and inferior workmanship.
Corey Harris told me he was proud to represent our roofing client. The customer made two business trips abroad. He is a committed and passionate owner of a roofing company with policyholder customers who love him.
Corey said the opposing law firms from Cole, Scott & Kissane were "really professional and knew what they were doing." Cole, Scott & Kissane have become an important force in property insurance. Their website lists the depth of attorneys with a focus on first-party insurance defense:
Cole Scott & Kissane's first-party residential and commercial property protection and litigation group is at the forefront of dealing with sinkhole damage, water damage, wind damage, fire damage and other property damage in all of Florida. CSK has handled thousands of pre-suits and disputes for many operators, many of whom are trying to judge. Our defense team has more than 30 lawyers spread across our 10 offices who handle almost exclusively these types of claims and lawsuits. We are actively involved in investigating and assisting carriers in prosecuting insurance fraud. Many of our lawyers are former geologists, engineers, insurance agents or prosecutors, which provides a unique ability to better handle sinkhole, fraud, water, wind and fire claims. We are also unique in the fact that our lawyers have a huge experience of first party property while still trying to adjudicate a large number of cases, which only serves to protect the interests of insurance companies to a degree that no other company can provide.
Jury trials are an important part of the structure of our United States. Unlike other countries that only rely on judges to judge, we give power to our citizens. This jury awarded our client the full amount of his estimate. I feel happy to be associated with lawyers who are passionate about taking cases to a jury trial instead of settling for dollars on the dollar.
Thought For The Day
Winning is fun… Sure. But winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point. To never let go is the point. To never be happy with what you have done is the point.
– Pat Summitt