In a huge win for policyholders, a New York appellate court, in D.K. Property, Inc. v National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., held that an insured need not provide a detailed factual description or explanation for why consequential damages are recoverable at the pleading stage. Rather, an insured’s complaint must only (i) specify the types of consequential damages claimed; and (ii) allege that those damages reasonably were contemplated by the parties prior to contracting.
Here, D.K. Property’s building was damaged as a result of construction on an adjoining building, and it timely filed a claim with National Union under a policy that covers “direct physical loss or damage to” the building. National Union neither paid the claim nor disclaimed coverage. Instead, according to D.K. Property, National Union made unreasonable and increasingly burdensome information demands over a three-year period, which it alleges was a “tactic” to make pursuing the claim so expensive that D.K. Property would abandon the claim. As a result of the delay, D.K. Property alleges the structural damage to its building has worsened.
Reprinted courtesy of Michael S. Levine, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Joshua S. Paster, Hunton Andrews Kurth
Mr. Levine may be contacted at mlevine@HuntonAK.com
Mr. Paster may be contacted at jpaster@HuntonAK.com