Attorneys Karen Karabinos and Mary Alice Jasperse received an order from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgement for their client LM Insurance Corporation in the case of Mia Hollingsworth v. LM Insurance Corporation. The case was concentrated on an insurance claim that stated the insured’s home was “wholly destroyed” by fire, resulting in her entitlement to the policy limit under Georgia’s Valued Policy Statute, O.C.G.A. 33-32-5(a). Based on the insured’s deposition testimony, delayed photographs and other evidence, the Eleventh Circuit and District Court concluded that the insured’s evidence was insufficient and failed to support her claim of her home being wholly destroyed.
“While the Eleventh Circuit focused on the insured’s deposition testimony and photographs taken two weeks after the fire submitted on the “wholly destroyed” issue, Judge Self with the Middle District of Georgia also addressed other evidence submitted by the insured, including the inadmissibility of estimates from Zillow.com and Realtor.com that the insured attempted to use to support her argument that she could replace her home with an existing similar home for less than the cost to repair the fire damage to her home. These two federal court opinions together will provide much needed guidance to insurers regarding what evidence will, and will not, support a finding that a structure is “wholly destroyed” by fire.”