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LCP West Monroe, LLC v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

May 18, 2018

LCP WEST MONROE, LLC
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL.

          KAREN L. HAYES JUDGE.

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This case involves an insurance dispute between Plaintiff LCP West Monroe, LLC (“LCP”) and Defendant Selective Insurance Company of Southeast (“Selective”). Pending before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 43] filed by Selective. LCP opposes the motion.

         For the following reasons, Selective's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Selective is a Write-Your-Own (“WYO”) Program carrier participating in the United States Government's National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”), pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (“NFIA”), as amended.

         LCP is the owner of the Shadow Glen Apartments, located at 1001 Glenwood Drive, West Monroe, Louisiana (the “Property”). The Property consists of seventeen buildings, two of which are insured by Selective.

         On March 9, 2016, the West Monroe area experienced flooding. Eleven buildings located on the Property sustained some flood damage (“the Flood Loss”). At the time of the Flood Loss, two of the buildings (I and K) were insured under Selective-issued NFIP Standard Flood Insurance Policies - General Property Forms.[1] Selective issued LCP a Standard Flood Insurance Policy on Building I under policy number FLD1415289 (“Building I SFIP”). Selective issued LCP a Standard Flood Insurance Policy on Building K under policy number FLD14155288 (“Building K SFIP”).[2]

         Following the March 9, 2016 flood, claims were submitted to Selective under Buildings I and K SFIPs. Upon receipt of the notices of loss, Selective began the process of adjusting the claims.

         Selective assigned an independent adjuster to the claims. Working with LCP, the adjuster determined that LCP was entitled to payments for flood-related damages under Coverage A. On May 16, 2016, Selective issued advance payments of $50, 000 under Building I SFIP and $50, 000 under Building K SFIP.

         Proofs of loss must normally be submitted within 60 days, pursuant to 44 C.F.R., Pt. 61, App. A(2), Art. VII(J)(4). FEMA may authorize an extension to file claims outside the 60-day period. For Louisiana flood claims commencing on March 9, 2016, FEMA authorized an additional 60 days, giving insureds a total of 120 days after the date of loss to provide their signed and sworn Proof of Loss in support of amounts sought. In pertinent part, the extension provides:

. . . To ensure that NFIP policyholders have sufficient time to finalize their claims, pursuant to Paragraph D of the General Conditions section of the SFIPs and 44 C.F.R. §61.13(d), I hereby authorize an additional 60-day extension of the time period within which a policyholder must submit the requisite signed and sworn-to proof of loss with their NFIP insurer. With this extension, an NFIP policyholder will have a total of 120 days after the date of loss to provide the completed, signed, and sworn-to proof of loss to the insurer. This limited waiver and extension shall apply to all NFIP claims for the flood damage related to the Louisiana and Mississippi flooding occurring March 7, 2016 through March 19, 2016. This limited waiver and extension applies to SFIPs issued directly by FEMA or by private insurance companies participating in the NFIP's Write Your Own Program. . . . By granting this limited waiver and extension of the time period to send a proof of loss, FEMA does not hereby waive any other provisions of the SFIP, and all other terms and conditions of the SFIP remain in effect.

[Doc. No. 43, Exh. B, April 21, 2016 FEMA Extension Bulletin W-16028]. Therefore, LCP had until July 7, 2016, to submit sworn proofs of loss pursuant to the extended deadline.

         On May 27, 2016, based on the information available at the time, LCP's representative executed sworn Proofs of Loss claiming net amounts of $226, 678.68 under Building I SFIP and $284, 069.70 under Building K SFIP. Thereafter, on June 1, 2016, Selective issued payments of $176, 678.68 under Building I SFIP and $234, 069.70 under Building K SFIP. These payments (combined with the prior advances) exhausted the net amounts claimed pursuant to the LCP's timely submitted May 27, 2016 Proofs of Loss.

         Although denying a duty to do so, LCP did not submit any further sworn proofs of loss by July 7, 2016, nor did it obtain any other ...


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