Insurance coverage sought for wind and wind-driven rain damage to home during Hurricane Isaac

By Holland Phillips | Oct 16, 2013

NEW ORLEANS – A plaintiff claims that insurance adjusters misreported wind and wind-driven rain damage to their home due to Hurricane Isaac.

A. Claude Cutitto filed suit against Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Bankers Insurance Group and I. S. Forensic LLC in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Aug. 14.

The plaintiff claims that his insurance policy provides coverage for total losses in the amount of $470,000, but that defendant has paid nothing on the claim after applying the $17,500 deductible. He claims that inspections provided by the adjuster first reported less than $5,000 damage to the home and later approximately $10,085, both well below the plaintiff’s contractor’s estimates showing more than $82,000 in damage. The opinion of an engineer for US Forensics was allegedly submitted months after the initial damage and well after the home had already been repaired.

In addition, the plaintiff claims that the defendants obscured or ignored evidence, failed to adjust and pay their claim, improperly assessed damages to the plaintiff’s home and misrepresented terms of its policy by asserting that certain claims fell under its policy exclusions and were not caused by covered causes. The plaintiff further claims that the engineer failed to take into account construction details specific to the home prior to its repairs, failed to use accurate meteorological data, and failed to interview witnesses or adequately investigate the claim on a timely basis.

The defendant is accused of bad faith, breach of contract, breach of contract, negligence, intentional and/or negligent misrepresentation, interference with a contract and conspiracy between the defendants to misrepresent the cause of the plaintiff’s loss and facts of the case.

An undisclosed amount is sought for water and wind damage, cost associated with cleaning and mold remediation estimated at $26.357.91, repair and replacement of any items estimated to be $82,227.43, damage to a custom staircase $26,000, air sampling test and mold assessment at $1572.80 and mental suffering and emotional stress.

The plaintiff is represented by Lanny R. Zatzkis of New Orleans-based Zatzkis, McCarthy & Associates LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division C Judge Sidney H. Cates IV.

Case no. 2013-07644.

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