As part of its insurance defense practice, Goetz & Eckland represents insurers at appraisal hearings for large-scale property damage resulting from heavy storms and fire. Insurance policies contain appraisal provisions because parties so often disagree with an insurer’s evaluation. These cases are often concerned with both the scope of damage as well as causation.
Gustafson v. American Family was no different. Attorneys Alan King and Chris Bentley defended American Family against a breach of contract claim alleging that American Family failed to abide by the terms of the insurance policy following a hail storm which caused damage to several roofs in the Association. The parties disagreed on both the extent of the damage, as well as its source. Much of the damage to the roofs showed the appearance of significant age, suggesting that it was the result of a previous storm. Instead of requesting an appraisal to resolve the dispute as called for by the policy, the plaintiff sued American Family for breach of contract.
On American Family’s motion for summary judgment, the Court agreed that no breach had occurred, and dismissed the case with prejudice.