Kansas Gooden and Lara Edelstein prevailed in an appeal of a summary judgment in favor of the carrier where the appellant, the homeowner’s mitigation service company, was seeking homeowner’s insurance proceeds for water mitigation services allegedly caused by Hurricane Irma. The carrier denied the claim based on the policy’s interior rain exclusion which excludes damages caused by rain entering the dwelling except where a peril created an opening in the roof or wall through which rain entered. The carrier filed a motion for summary judgment based on this policy language, arguing that the loss fell squarely within the interior rain exclusion and that there was no evidence to bring the loss within the peril created opening exception to that exclusion. The trial court agreed and found that the mitigation company did not carry its burden to establish a peril-created opening that allowed water to enter and cause damage to the interior of the house and the affidavits filed by the mitigation company did not create a genuine factual dispute to be decided by a jury. The trial court granted the carrier’s motion and entered Final Judgment in its favor. On appeal, Kansas and Lara focused on the language of the water damage exclusion and the insufficiency of the mitigation company’s affidavits to argue that there was no coverage available.
The Third District Court agreed and affirmed the summary judgment in favor of the carrier.
About Kansas R. Gooden:
Kansas R. Gooden, a Board Certified Appellate Specialist and AV Rated attorney, serves as the firm’s Appellate Practice Group Leader. Ms. Gooden has extensive experience handling all types of civil appellate proceedings in the Florida Supreme Court, all Florida District Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She is one of the only attorneys who has argued back-to-back cases on the same day before the Florida Supreme Court. Ms. Gooden often handles cases of first impression, and those involving insurance coverage and bad faith issues.
About Lara J. Edelstein:
Lara J. Edelstein is a Senior Associate with the firm’s Appellate Practice department based in the Boca Raton office. Ms. Edelstein has extensive experience in appellate law, having argued hundreds of cases in the appellate courts throughout Florida, including the Supreme Court of Florida. Ms. Edelstein is also admitted to practice law in Georgia, where she has handled several appeals.