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NEWS
Harper | Hayes Obtains $6.3 Million Settlement for Condominium Owners Association Client
In September 2010, Harper | Hayes settled a major piece of litigation for one of its condominium owners association clients, recovering a total of $6.3 million from two property insurers that initially failed to pay the client's claim. In this case, a large Seattle condominium suffered from severe water and decay damage to its structural framing and sheathing. The owners association retained Harper | Hayes to oversee insurance claims to several insurers for this damage. The owners association then moved forward with $5 million of necessary repairs. When the insurers refused to pay the claim a lawsuit was filed. One insurer settled. The second insurer settled after Harper | Hayes attorneys won an appeal in the case – bringing the client's total recovery to $6.3 million.


NEWS

Scotsman Guide Article by Greg Harper On Property Insurance Issues Arising in Commercial and Multi-Family Sales Transactions
Greg Harper, a founding member of Harper | Hayes, authored an article in the November, 2009 edition of the Scotsman Guide, entitled "Property Insurance Between Owners." In the article, Greg examines several insurance issues that arise in the purchase and sale of commercial and multi-family properties. A copy of the article is accessible via the following link: [PDF document]


NEWS

Todd Hayes Authors Article in Seattle's Daily Journal of Commerce
Todd Hayes, a member of Harper | Hayes, published an article in the July 16, 2009 edition of the Daily Journal of Commerce. The article is titled "10 Insurance Tips for Contractors and Developers." Todd represents contractors, developers, and other policyholders in insurance coverage litigation, construction defect litigation and appeals. A copy of the article is accessible via the following link:
[PDF document]


NEWS

Harper │ Hayes Attorneys Secure Key Summary Judgment Ruling in Condominium Property Insurance Case
Harper │ Hayes PLLC attorneys recently secured a key summary judgment ruling against their client’s property insurer. Representing the plaintiff condominium owners association, Harper│Hayes PLLC attorneys successfully argued that the defendant’s insurance policy covered all leak-caused “water damage” at the plaintiff’s 20-year-old-plus condominium, so long as some of that damage occurred during the policy’s “policy period.” The case settled in the Spring of 2009. A copy of the Court’s decision is accessible via the following link: [PDF document]


NEWS

Harper | Hayes Attorneys Obtain Favorable Settlement for Condominium Owners Association in Construction Defect Lawsuit
Harper | Hayes attorneys recently obtained a favorable settlement for a south Seattle Condominium Owners Association. In that case, a 31-unit condominium suffered from water intrusion and structural deficiencies. After the developers refused to make acceptable repairs, the Owners Association brought a lawsuit against the developers and the original directors of the Owners Association. The trial court ruled that the Owners Association could proceed to trial on the theory that the original directors breached fiduciary duties to the Owners Association by failing to make necessary repairs. The trial court also allowed the Owners Association's Consumer Protection Act claims to proceed to trial, ruling that a finding of liability under that statute may also include an award by the Court of $10,000 in treble damages for each unit owner. The case settled shortly thereafter in an amount sufficient to make necessary repairs and to reimburse the Owners Association's for all their special assessments. The Court’s rulings in this case are accessible via the following links: [PDF document] [PDF document]


NEWS

Harper | Hayes Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment on Key Issues on Behalf of Condominium Owners Association
In Sundowner Condominium Owners Assoc. v. Truck Insurance Exchange, King County Superior Court Judge Nicole MacInnes granted the client homeowner association's motion for summary judgment on its Consumer Protection Act claim. The Court ruled that Truck Insurance Exchange committed an unfair and deceptive business practice that harmed the association when Truck failed to acknowledge or respond to the owners' insurance claim for property damage. The Court also dismissed Truck's claim that the association was required to submit to an examination under oath as a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit. The lawsuit has since been resolved.


NEWS
Court Of Appeals Rules In Favor Of Harper | Hayes Client In First-Party Property Damage Lawsuit
Harper | Hayes PLLC client Henry Seaman owns an apartment building in North Seattle.   After discovering severe decay damage hidden beneath the apartment's siding, Mr. Seaman notified his property insurer, Farmers.  Farmers denied Mr. Seaman's claim.  Mr. Seaman filed a lawsuit against Farmers seeking a ruling that the plain language of the Farmers policies cover damage rising to the level of "collapse," even if the damage was caused by negligent construction.  Farmers defended by claiming that its policies contain an alleged "typographical error" which, if corrected, would not provide the coverage sought by Mr. Seaman.  The trial court ruled in favor of Farmers.  Mr. Seaman appealed.  In Seaman v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, Division One of Washington's Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of Farmers and entered partial summary judgment in favor of Mr. Seaman.  In so ruling, the appellate court rejected Farmers' "typographical error" defense and agreed with Mr. Seaman's interpretation of the policies' language.  The appellate court also ordered a trial on the questions of whether Farmers' failure to bring the alleged "typographical error" to Mr. Seaman's attention when it denied the claim constituted bad faith claims handling and violations of Washington's Consumer Protection Act.  The Court's decision is accessible via the following link:  [PDF document]


NEWS
Harper | Hayes Attorneys Obtain Key Ruling Regarding Assignability Of Property Insurance Claims
Harper│Hayes PLLC attorneys obtain partial summary judgment in favor of apartment owner on property insurance claim.  In Seaman v. State Farm, United States District Court Judge James Robart granted the policyholder’s motion for partial summary judgment, holding that the purchaser of an apartment building could assert a claim under the seller’s property insurance policy – via a post-loss assignment – notwithstanding the fact that the loss was undiscovered until after the apartment’s sale.  The Court’s ruling is accessible via the following link:  [PDF document]


NEWS

Federal Court Rules In Favor Of Harper | Hayes Clients Regarding Defense Coverage For Director & Officer Claims
Harper | Hayes PLLC attorneys secure key insurance coverage ruling in favor of executive officers of condominium association.  In Willing v. CAU, United States District Court Judge Robert Lasnik granted the policyholders’ partial summary judgment motion – and denied the insurer’s summary judgment motion – ruling that the insurer had a duty to defend the policyholders from a condominium association’s claim that the policyholders, as former executive officers of the condominium, breached their fiduciary duties to the association by failing to discover and correct defects in the condominium’s construction.  The Court rejected the insurer’s arguments that the claims fell outside the policy’s coverage for “property damage caused by an occurrence,” and that the damage involved property the insured “owned, rented, or occupied.”  The Court’s ruling is accessible via the following link:  [PDF document]


NEWS

Federal Court Awards Attorney's Fees To Harper | Hayes Client In Insurance Coverage Case
Harper | Hayes PLLC attorneys obtain ruling from the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington holding that attorney's fees are properly awarded to a policyholder when the policyholder establishes the insurer breached its duty to defend, even though the issue of the insurer's duty to pay under the insurance policy had yet to be established.  The Court’s ruling is accessible via the following link:  [PDF document]


NEWS
Harper | Hayes PLLC Attorneys Obtain Key Insurance Coverage Ruling in Condominum Defect Case
Harper | Hayes PLLC attorneys Greg Harper and Rebecca Sullivan won summary judgment on behalf of their client, the managing member of a condominium development company. In Far Northwest Development Co., LLC et al. v. Community Association Underwriters et al., the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled a condominium owners association does not own, rent or occupy the common elements of a condominium. This ruling invalidated the insurance company's attempt to deny insurance coverage for the firm's client based on the "owned property" exclusion contained in the insurance policy at issue. The Court's ruling may be accessed via the following link. (PDF document)


NEWS
Harper | Hayes PLLC Attorney Greg Harper Settles Seven Figure First-Party Collapse Claim

In the Fall of 2006, Harper | Hayes PLLC attorney Greg Harper achieved a seven-figure settlement for the owners of a Seattle condominium suffering from water intrusion and resulting decay damage against several first-party property insurers. Harper | Hayes PLLC continues to be the preeminent litigation firm for first-party property damage claims.

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