The law in the State of Washington, albeit clear on issues regarding first party claimants, was recently challenged in the matter of Eye Associates Northwest, P.C. v. Sedgwick et. al. However, despite this challenge of first impression, the court limited the application of the term “first party claimant” (a term of art akin to “insured”) based upon the wording of a loss payee clause, as well as taking into consideration and harmonizing the wording of the leases, other provisions in the policy regarding tenant improvements, and the simple fact that Eye Associates was not named in the policy whatsoever.
In Eye Associates, the plaintiff leased office space in a high-rise medical office building, insured by three separate insurance companies. A water loss caused damage to the plaintiff’s leased space, and the plaintiff brought suit against the owner of the building, its insurers, the property manager, a third-party administrator (TPA), and two individual adjusters assigned to inspect and adjust the water loss claim.