Barnett v. Safeco

Heavy rains entered the home of Richard and Paula Barnett as a result of defective roof construction and surface water against the home. First National paid $33,000 on the claim but the insured sued for breach of contract and bad faith, claiming that at least $70,000 was due for the damages to the home, that nearly $100,000 was due on an additional living expense claim and that a $10,000 mold limit on the policy should not apply.We defended First National by arguing that there was no coverage in the first place due to the applicability of a rarely-litigated exclusion for “weather conditions” when rain acts in conjunction with other excluded perils to bring about the damage. Following a 5-week jury trial and after just over an hour of deliberations, the jury returned a full defense verdict, finding no covered damages.

Demand $8.2 million, including $225,000 for emotional distress and over $200,000 for attorney fees.
Offer
Verdict DEFENSE. First National was awarded its costs in the amount of $39,057.44
Insurer Safeco

Southern California

4500 E. Pacific Coast Highway, 4th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90804

Northern California

601 California St., Suite 704
San Francisco, CA 94108