Lugenbuhl Insurance Team Obtains Favorable Outcome for Provider in Claim Dispute



           Seth Schmeeckle                                Shaundra Schudmak                          Simeon Reimonenq, Jr.

Lugenbuhl shareholders Seth Schmeeckle and Simeon Reimonenq, Jr. and attorney Shaundra Schudmak successfully defended a client in the U.S. 5th District Court of Appeals. The case, Noreen W. Johnson v. GeoVera Specialty Insurance Co., No. 15-30803, affirmed a lower court ruling against a Louisiana homeowner who filed a claim with GeoVera after her house was damaged by Hurricane Isaac in 2012 and a fire two years later. The resident eventually sued GeoVera, claiming the company paid an insufficient amount to cover the damage.

On appeal, Lugenbuhl’s team argued successfully that the lower court was correct in finding that the resident did not comply with the insurance policy’s cooperation clause, which eliminated the insurer’s coverage duty, and properly resulted in a summary dismissal of the insured’s case.

The indisputable evidence showed that after invoking her right to a contractual appraisal, the homeowner gutted parts of the house and performed extensive framing repairs before GeoVera could perform the appraisal. The homeowner also refused to timely sit for an examination under oath and submit documents and information requested by GeoVera. The court held these acts prejudiced GeoVera and were sufficient to void coverage under the policy. 

Seth Schmeeckle, Shaundra Schudmak and Simeon Reimonenq, Jr. are part of Lugenbuhl’s insurance team, which offers legal counsel and litigation services for clients in the insurance industry and insurance-related matters, including bad faith claims, commercial and homeowners’ coverage, general liability, environmental and employer’s liability coverage, as well. The firm’s insurance team also provides services in the areas of oil-and-gas liability, inland marine, public sector and professional liability coverage, among several other sectors.

Learn more about Lugenbuhl’s insurance practice here.

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