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12-cv-02231

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Case Summary: Coder et al v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, 12-cv-02231 (D. Kans.)

Defendant American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida issued Plaintiffs Jeff and Stacie Coder an insurance policy for their home that was effective between February 1, 2007 and February 1, 2008. On January 22, 2008, a frozen water pipe burst in the home’s basement ceiling causing a few inches of water to accumulate in the basement before the pipe was capped. Defendant paid various claims relating to the necessary repairs to the residence. Plaintiffs later found cracks in their basement walls and mold. Holes cut in the basement floor for new structural support posts filled with water and refilled when drained. The cost to repair the residence was estimated to be $360,000.

Plaintiffs filed a new claim for this damage, arguing that the source of the damage was the initial leaking from the frozen pipe in January 2008. Defendants denied the claim, explaining that the damage was caused by consolidation and settling of natural clays beneath the home, not leaking from a burst pipe. Both parties retained experts to opine on the source of the damage to the residence, but their opinions differed.

On March 20, 2012, Plaintiffs filed this breach of contract claim in state court, which Defendant removed to the Federal District of Kansas. The court denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, pointing to the disputed fact of whether the leaking pipe caused the damage. In January 2014, a jury was convened to decide whether Defendant breached the insurance contract by denying Plaintiffs’ insurance claim. After a three-day trial, the court declared a hung jury. In a second trial held in April 2014, a jury found that Defendant did not breach the insurance contract by denying Plaintiff’s claim.

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Case Highlights

  • Notice of Removal 4/23/2012 (Doc #1)
  • Answer filed 4/23/2012 (Doc #3)
  • Defendant’s motion for summary judgment denied 11/26/2013 (Doc #136)
  • Jury trial concludes in hung jury 1/24/2014 (Doc #191)
  • Second jury trial held 4/14-4/16/2014 (Doc #228-31)
  • Jury verdict and judgment in favor of Defendant 4/16/2014 (Doc #234-5)

 

Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit Pacer.gov.