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Adams et al v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company

Case Summary: 13-cv-00226

Plaintiffs Michael and Colleen Adams obtained a homeowners insurance policy through Defendant American Family Mutual Insurance Company that was effective when a pipe burst in Plaintiffs’ home basement. Defendant paid claims related to the damage pursuant to the policy, but Plaintiffs later discovered further damage and filed additional claims, which Defendant denied. When Plaintiffs asked for an appraisal to resolve the conflict, they were informed that their contract permitted arbitration to determine the value of the loss that should be paid, but not appraisal.

Plaintiffs filed a complaint in Iowa state court asking for declaratory judgment that Defendants had been issuing insurance contracts without the right of appraisal since 1994, even though its inclusion was required under § 515.109 of the Iowa state code. The state judge certified the matter as a class action, and Defendant removed the case to federal court. In its Motion to Dismiss, Defendant argued that § 515.109 contained no private right of action, and noted that declaratory judgment is improper when based on an underlying statute without a private right of action. The court agreed with Defendant and dismissed the case.

Case Highlights

  • Notice of Removal filed 5/15/2013 (Doc #1)
  • Defendant filed Motion to Dismiss 1/15/2014 (Doc #50)
  • Hearing on Defendant’s motion 4/24/2014 (Doc #68)
  • Order granting Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss 7/15/2014 (Doc #81)

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

Adams et al v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company
Adams et al v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company
Adams et al v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, Case Number 4:13-cv-00226-RP-HCA, Motion to dismiss, contract case, 4/24/2014, 10:00 a.m. CST, Des Moines U.S. Courthouse, Des Moines, IA, Sr. Judge Robert W. Pratt presiding.

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