Insured's Failure to Prove Entire Collapse of Building Leads to Dismissal

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Attorney Tred R. Eyerly analyzes Stewart v. Metropolitan Lloyds Ins. Co. of Texas.

July 19, 2021
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the insured's claim for damage to her home caused by collapse. Stewart v. Metropolitan Lloyds Ins. Co. of Texas, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 14221 (5th Girl May 13, 2021).

One evening, the insured was awakened by a loud bang that shook her house. The next morning, she noticed the damage to her home, cracked sheetrock and sunken floors. She cut a hole through her floor and discovered that a couple of joists below her subfloor had broken and fallen away. The insured filed a claim with Metropolitan.

Metropolitan hired an expert who found broken and deteriorated floor joists, deteriorated floor decking, walls not plumb and gaps in the wall-to-ceiling interface. It was determined that the rot in the floor joists and subfloor decking were caused by a combination of termite damage and exposure to moisture over the lifespan of the structure, resulting in the broken floor joists and unlevel floors. The insured's own expert agreed that termite damage and wood rot were the cause of the foundation collapse failure.

Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com



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