Complete Defense Verdict in a First Party Property Damage Sinkhole Claim in Florida

Complete Defense Verdict in a First Party Property Damage Sinkhole Claim in Florida

Mike Bradford and Whittni Parks of the HM&B Tampa Office obtained a complete defense verdict in a first party property damage sinkhole claim in Hillsborough County, Florida on June 30, 2017.  This is believed to be the first defense/insurer verdict in a denied sinkhole claim involving a policy that requires “structural damage,” since the Florida Sinkhole Statutes significantly changed in May 2011.  The Plaintiffs claimed the Defendant (one of Florida’s largest homeowners insurers) breached its policy of insurance by failing to provide coverage for their sinkhole loss claim.  Even though the parties stipulated to the presence of “structural damage” at the Plaintiffs’ property, the HM&B defense team was able to successfully defend the Plaintiffs’ coverage claim.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendant, finding the Plaintiffs did not prove damage occurred during their policy period.