On January 15, 2013, Josh Gardner Law brought a lawsuit against Citizens Bank and others on behalf of a real estate appraiser. The complaint alleges that the appraiser "refused to inflate an appraisal done on the home of a Citizens employee. Thereafter Citizens blacklisted [the appraiser] from performing appraisals. Citizens admits it took this action because [the appraiser] would not cede to the demands of Citizens' sales force to pump up home values. After Citizens began hiring appraisal management companies which, in turn, hire the appraisers (a system designed to ensure appraiser independence), Citizens then wrongfully interfered with [the appraiser's] relationship with such appraisal management companies by pressuring the appraisal management companies not to employ [the appraiser]." For a copy of the complaint,click here.
On November 15th, 2012, Josh Gardner Wins $11 Insurance Case In Federal Court in New York City
Illinois National Insurance Co., et al. v. Tutor Perini Corp., No. 11-431, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165939 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 15, 2012)
Josh just scored an $11 million victory for several Chartis insurer clients in the Southern District of New York (SDNY). A plaintiff general contractor, Tutor Perini, built a $90 million bus depot for the New York MTA. After completion, sections of the brick facade began to fall down. Tutor Perini agreed to the MTA's request to redo the entire facade at an expense to Tutor Perini of more than $11 million. Tutor Perini then made a claim for that amount to the insurers that had issued general liability policies with respect to the construction. The insurers denied the claim because, as a general rule, faulty work is not covered under general liability policies. Tutor Perini relied on an limited line of cases that find coverage, however, where a subcontractor performed the faulty work.
Josh brought a declaratory judgment action in the SDNY, and Tutor Perini brought a mirror case in Massachusetts state court. Josh secured a dismissal of the Massachusetts case on forum non conveniens grounds. About a week before trial, the judge in the SDNY took the case off the trial list in order to consider the summary judgment papers. The judge adopted all of Josh's arguments: that the repair of the faulty facade was not an "occurrence" under the policy; that Tutor Perini's notice of the claim was late; that Tutor Perini's agreement with the MTA violated the policies' prohibition against voluntary payments; and that the insurers' denial of coverage did not violate Chapter 93A.For a copy of the complaint,click here.