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Elisabeth Laroche successfully represents two insurers

Elisabeth Laroche recently won two cases where she was defending insurers against claims.

In the first case, the plaintiff had hurt his hand while using a saw at his home. He was claiming over $1.4M, including $1M in punitive damages, under an accident insurance policy. The policy required that the “loss of function [be] continuous for twelve (12) consecutive months”, whereas the plaintiff had filed his claim barely two months after the accident. The Court pointed out that the plaintiff was not covered by a disability insurance and that he had not proven that he had sustained a damage as described by his accident policy. It also concluded that the insurer’s failure to pay an indemnity soon as the accident occurred was not an act of bad faith, and thereby denied the claim for punitive damages.

In the other case, the insured was suing Lloyd’s underwriters for a $140K indemnity following a fire. The damaged building had been the object of several transactions intended to transfer it to an owner capable of obtaining insurance. The evidence also revealed that at the time of the fire, the property was being renovated and was uninhabitable, whereas the plaintiff had claimed that it was a completely renovated and occupied residential building. The Court denied the claim and declared the policy void.