Gavel

Gone Fishing: Tenant’s Insurer Casts A Line Seeking To Subrogate Against The Landlord


This entry was posted by on .

In J&J Fish on Ctr. Str., Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co., No. 20-cv-644-bhl, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16361, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (District Court) recognized that “[t]here will be no further fish fries on Center Street until someone pays to repair the collapsed floor at J&J Fish on Center Street, Inc. (J&J Fish).”  The contenders were:  1) J&J Fish; 2) its’ insurer, Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Company (Insurer); and 3) J&J Fish’s landlord, Vision Land, LLC (Vision). Recognizing Insurer’s right to subrogate against Vision based on the terms of the parties’ lease, the District Court held Insurer owed J&J Fish coverage for the losses it sustained, but that Insurer could subrogate against Vision for anything it had to pay J&J Fish.

Continue reading

This entry was posted in Landlord-Tenant, Subrogation, Subrogation – Equitable, Wisconsin and tagged , , .
House Flood

Part of the Whole: Idaho District Court Holds Economic Loss Rule Bars Tort Claims Related to Water Supply Line that was Part of Home Purchase


This entry was posted by on .

In Safeco Ins. Co. of Ill. v. LSP Prods. Grp., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139566, the United States District Court for the District of Idaho (District Court) considered whether the plaintiff’s tort claims against the manufacturer of an allegedly defective toilet water supply line were barred by the economic loss rule. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that, since the supply line was a part of the home when the plaintiff’s insureds purchased it, the plaintiff was barred by the economic loss rule from bringing tort claims against the manufacturer. The District Court granted the defendant’s summary judgment motion, ruling that the supply line was a part of the home, which was the subject of the transaction, at the time it was purchased. Thus, the District Court held that the economic loss rule barred the plaintiff’s tort claims. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Economic Loss Doctrine, Idaho, Products Liability, Subrogation and tagged , , , , .
Signing Agreement

To Subrogate or Not to Subrogate: That Is the Question


This entry was posted by on .

The obvious answer to the question is “yes” if there is a viable target. However, since I work for the subrogation department of a law firm, some may consider the answer to be a bit biased. Despite any misplaced perception of bias, there are benefits to insureds, insurers and society as a whole when insurers pursue subrogation. These benefits support having insurers pursue subrogation. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Public Policy, Subrogation and tagged , .
Recall Alert

ASUS Computer International Recalls ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero Motherboards


This entry was posted by on .

In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On August 18, 2022, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

ASUS Computer International Recalls ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero Motherboards Due to Fire and Burn Hazards.

According to the CPSC’s website, “[a] capacitor on the motherboard was installed in a reverse position which can lead to a short circuit, overheating or melting, posing fire and burn hazards.”

This entry was posted in CPSC Recalls, Products Liability and tagged .

Who’s on First: How First Party Claims Adjusters Add Value to Subrogation Recovery Efforts, Part 2


This entry was posted by on .

In the most recent episode of the Subro Sessions Podcast, Matt FerrieGus Sara and Lian Skaf of the Subrogation Department are joined by Ihor Redkva, Field Property Claims Leader at Allstate, in part two of a discussion about the value first-party claims adjusters bring to subrogation efforts.

Did you miss Part 1 of this discussion? Click here to listen now. 

This entry was posted in Podcast.
Signing Agreement

Mind Over Matter: Court Finds Expert Opinion Based on NFPA 921 Reliable Despite Absence of Physical Testing


This entry was posted by on .

In Smith v. Spectrum Brands, Inc., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142262, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (District Court) considered whether the plaintiffs’ liability expert met the requirements of Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence and could testify that a filter pump for an aquarium tank was defectively designed and caused a fire at the plaintiffs’ home. The defendant filed a motion to exclude the plaintiffs’ liability expert on grounds that the expert’s opinion did not satisfy the reliability element of Rule 702 because the expert never conducted physical testing on the filter pump. The court found that the cognitive testing employed by the expert through various methods, including visual inspections of the evidence, a review of photographs of the scene and literature from the manufacturer, and research on similar products, was sufficiently reliable to admit his opinion. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Experts, Experts - Reliability, Experts – Daubert, NFPA 921, Pennsylvania and tagged , , .
Product Recall

Consumer Product Safety Commission Recalls


This entry was posted by on .

In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On July 28, 2022, the CPSC announced the following recalls related to products that present fire hazards:

  1. Ocean Technology Systems Recalls Underwater Communication Devices Due to Fire Hazard. According to the CPSC’s website, “[w]ater can leak into the recalled underwater communication device during a dive and penetrate into the battery pack, causing the battery circuit board to short and ignite after the dive, posing a fire hazard.
  2. Daikin Comfort Technologies Manufacturing (formerly Goodman Manufacturing Company, L.P.) Expands Recall of Evaporator Coil Drain Pans to Include Those Installed with Non-Condensing Gas Furnaces Due to Fire Hazard. According to the CPSC’s website, “[t]he molded plastic drain pan located at the bottom of the evaporator coil can overheat, melt and deform, posing a fire hazard.”
This entry was posted in CPSC Recalls, Products Liability and tagged .
Signing Agreement

In All Fairness: Illinois Appellate Court Finds That Arbitration Clause in a Residential Construction Contract Was Unconscionable and Unenforceable


This entry was posted by on .

In Bain v. Airoom, LLC, No. 1-21-001, 2022 Ill. App. LEXIS 241, the Appellate Court of Illinois (Appellate Court) considered whether the lower court erred in enforcing an arbitration clause in a construction contract between the parties and, as a result, dismissing the plaintiff’s lawsuit. The Appellate Court found that even if the arbitration clause was enforceable, the appropriate action would have been for the court to stay the lawsuit, as opposed to dismissing the case entirely. The Appellate Court then considered the language of the arbitration clause and found that several provisions were substantively unconscionable, which rendered the entire arbitration clause unenforceable. The Appellate Court reversed the lower court’s decision compelling arbitration and reinstated the plaintiff’s complaint. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Arbitration, Construction Defects, Contracts, Illinois and tagged , , , , .
Recall Alert

Segway Powersports Recalls Fugleman Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs)


This entry was posted by on .

In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On July 7, 2022, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Segway Powersports Recalls Fugleman Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) Due to Fire Hazard (Recall Alert).

According to the CPSC’s website, “[t]he cockpit rear panel between the seats and the cargo bed can overheat and melt the plastic, posing a fire hazard.” Continue reading

This entry was posted in CPSC Recalls, Products Liability and tagged .
Signing Agreement

Amazon Can be Held Strictly Liable as a Product Seller in New Jersey


This entry was posted by on .

On June 29, 2022, in N.J. Mfrs. Ins. Grp. a/s/o Angela Sigismondi v. Amazon.com, Inc., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115826 (Sigismondi), the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey held that Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon) is a “seller” under New Jersey’s product liability statute and can thus face strict liability for damages caused by products sold on its platform. Although the analysis is state-specific, Sigismondi may serve as an important decision for allowing product defect claims to proceed against Amazon when so often the third-party vendor that lists the product is unlocatable, insolvent, or not subject to the jurisdiction of United States courts. Continue reading

This entry was posted in New Jersey, Products Liability and tagged , , .