Wystan Ackerman Analyzes Georgia Supreme Court Ruling in Law360 Story
partner Wystan M. Ackerman
in the story “Property Value Losses Can Be Covered, Ga. High Court Says,” published on June 7, 2012.
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled on May 29, 2012, that its 2007 decision in State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co. v. Mabry
, which held that insurers can be required to pay for intangible loss in value of a damaged automobile, in addition to the cost of repairs, also potentially can apply to property insurance, such that insurers may be required to pay for intangible diminution in value of repaired buildings under Georgia law. A motion for reconsideration of the decision is pending.
Mr. Ackerman, who writes the blog Insurance Class Actions Insider
, said the ruling was likely the first appellate decision in the country on the subject. "It is an issue that has been litigated in the context of auto insurance, but not property," he said.
ruling prompted class actions in Georgia and other jurisdictions. "There's a reasonable chance that plaintiffs' lawyers will try the same approach under homeowners' policies," Mr. Ackerman said. He also noted that plaintiffs might have trouble attaining class certification, because insurers could argue that each case should be considered on its own to determine whether there was a loss in value, and, if so, how much.
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