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Court affirms judgment in favor of insurer over fire damages

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An insurer was entitled to summary judgment in a lawsuit filed by a couple who claimed the policy limits did not fully compensate them after a fire destroyed their home.

In Daryl Schweitzer and Lynn Schweitzer v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company and Jennifer Gholson Insurance Agency, 45A03-1307-CT-248, the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday affirmed summary judgment for defendants who provided total payments of $326,040 after a fire in December 2009.

The Schweitzers argued their losses substantially exceeded the policy limit, that American Family had acted in bad faith, and that they should have been beneficiaries of a practice requiring agents to write policies for full replacement value.

But Jennifer Gholson, the independent agent, argued she made no representation that the policy provided full replacement value and that under Myers v. Yoder, 921 N.E.2d 880 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), the court rejected the notion that a general duty of care requires insurance agents to perform a replacement-cost estimate before issuing policies.

In this case, the court found a special relationship did not exist between Gholson and the Schweitzers and that the policy had been taken out less than a year before the fire.

"Based upon the designated evidence," Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the panel, "we find the Schweitzers are not entitled to additional payments under their homeowners insurance policy and that the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment.”
 

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  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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