Cantor & Burger, LLC, Wins Against Lloyd's of London After Adjuster Refuses to Pay Client on Full Claim

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St. Louis attorney wins case against an international insurance company after a client was underpaid for a two-year-old claim.

Personal Injury Attorneys

Cantor & Burger

Cantor & Burger, LLC is a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm. Its dedicated and experienced team helps clients receive fair compensation for losses, injuries and harms.

According to court documents, Gary Burger, attorney and partner with Cantor & Burger, LLC, recently won a trial for a client against Lloyd's of London Insurance Company in a property damage claim. Burger fought the case for West End Diving on April 13, 2015, in the Missouri Circuit Court, Twenty-Second Judicial Court, Division No. 11, in St. Louis.

According to court documents, West End Diving owns an old train depot in Bonne Terre, MO; the location is used as a bed and breakfast, is listed on the national registry of historic buildings, and is the most photographed building in St. Francois County. During the fall of 2010, the building was damaged in a windstorm.

The case – West End Diving and Salvage Co., v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London (Case #: 1322-CC09772) – involved a dispute against Lloyd's adjuster Olivia Renteria, who refused to pay a fair amount for the damage caused by the windstorm. The suit also alleged that she failed to comply with a binding appraisal award and that her initial payment to West End Diving was merely a partial payment for the claim.

According to court documents, West End Diving filed an insurance claim with Lloyd's, but their adjuster Renteria refused to pay on the claim. The original claim was rejected, so West End Diving filed a sworn proof of claim for $88,000 in January 2012.

According to court documents, Within just 24 hours, Renteria rejected the proof of claim, and she refused to pay anything for another year – a vexatious refusal devoid of any logical reasoning. As a result, West End Diving opted to invoke the appraisal process detailed by its insurance policy.

According to court documents, Both parties hired appraisers who then worked together to determine the cost to repair the building. In February 2013, the appraisers submitted a joint appraisal award of $112,594.86 – the actual cash value for the cost of repairs.

According to court documents, Despite Lloyd’s appraiser agreeing with West End Diving’s, Renteria still ignored the appraisal award and paid out just $87,061.55 to West End Diving in March 2013. Renteria and Lloyd's never provided West End Diving with any reasoning behind paying the partial award.

Cantor & Burger, LLC, discovered that Lloyd's was violating Missouri law R.S.Mo. § 375.420. The law states that if insurers fail to pay any loss "without reasonable cause or excuse," then the Court may require them to pay interest, a penalty of 10% of the amount of the loss, and attorney’s fees on top of the loss.

At trial, the Court ruled that Lloyd's underpaid West End Diving by $25,533.31 and imposed penalties and interest for a total of $51,489.11. The insurer must also pay for attorneys' fees and daily interest, for a total that Burger estimates is around $80,000.

The Court also found that Renteria had ignored the company's appraisal process, paying out the original amount two years late. According to court documents, Cantor & Burger argued that the insurer violated the vexatious refusal statute and regulations governing insurance claims adjustment to help resolve the case.

Lloyd’s argued that their payment in March 2013 constituted an accord and satisfaction, and that Lloyd’s owed nothing more. According to court documents, Lloyd’s argument failed because West End Diving – at Burger’s instruction – sent three letters to Renteria to let her know that her initial late payment was a partial payment only.

"It is hard to confront and fight big multinational insurance companies like Lloyd's," Burger said, "but West End Diving did so and succeeded with our help."

About Cantor & Burger, LLC

Cantor & Burger, LLC is a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm. Its dedicated and experienced team helps clients receive fair compensation for losses, injuries and harms. The law firm offers free consultations. To learn more, visit cantorburger.com or Visit Here.

Cantor & Burger, LLC
http://cantorburger.com
Info (@) cantorburger (dot) com
314-542-9999
56 Broadview Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63105

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