Happy Independence Day from The Monson Law Firm!

It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. — Abraham Lincoln

The Louisiana Department of Insurance Issues Advisory Letter

The Louisiana Department of Insurance issued Advisory Letter 2018-01 regarding the interpretation of a named storm or hurricane deductible in Louisiana. Essentially, the named storm or hurricane deductible should only be applied once during a calendar year. If an insured incurs more than one named storm or hurricane loss, the insurer may only apply the balance of any unused separate deductible. Please click here for a copy of the letter.LDI Advisory Letter 2018-01

The Monson Law Firm wins Coverage Motion for Summary Judgment

The Monson Law Firm attorneys Sarah Barro and Blake Lusk recently teamed to deliver a victorious coverage Motion for Summary Judgment. In the case of “Dagoberto Antonio Avila vs. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, et al”, plaintiff, a sushi delivery driver sued Atain Specialty Insurance Company and his employer, Tokyo Sushi, after he was rear-ended while making a delivery. Relying on the Aircraft, Auto or Watercraft exclusion in the Atain policy, the court agreed there was no coverage for plaintiff’s claims and granted summary judgment on behalf of Atain. Please click here for a copy of the judgment. Avila Judgment

The Monson Law Firm Attends IICF Women’s Conference

Look for The Monson Law Firm attorney Matthew Monson in Dallas tomorrow for the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s Women in Insurance Series. Susan Monson, Matthew Monson’s mother, was an insurance executive and her love and support was instrumental in the formation of the firm. Did you know that more than half of the attorneys at our firm are women?

The Monson Law Firm Welcomes Ron Hornback

The Monson Law Firm is please to announce that attorney Ron Hornback has joined our Houston office. From our Houston office, Ron focuses on first-party and third-party defense and handles defense of insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. Ron has jury trial and arbitration experience and has been recognized as a Rising Star for 2018 by Texas Super Lawyers.

Ron has also served our country in the U.S. Army as an officer and aeromedical evacuation pilot, saving over 200 lives while flying both fixed wing and rotary-wing aircraft.

Please join us in welcoming Ron to the firm!

The Monson Law Firm Defeats Motion to Vacate Appraisal Award

The Monson Law firm attorney Kevin Riche recently defeated plaintiff’s challenge to an appraisal award. In “Leticia Wells v. Southern Fidelity Insurance Company (SFIC)”, presently pending in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Plaintiff challenged the appraisal award, arguing (1) The outcome of the appraisal is not binding; (2) Southern Fidelity’s appraiser failed to assign actual cash value and loss to each item;(3) The appraisal award was not properly itemized in accordance with the policy; and (4) Southern Fidelity’s appraiser was not competent or disinterested. The Honorable Kurt Englehardt disagreed, finding that plaintiff’s arguments were “unconvincing” and granted SFIC’s Motion to Confirm the appraisal award. Please click here for a copy of the Order. Wells Decision

Plaintiff also previously sued both the appraiser and umpire in an apparent attempt to intimidate them. However, The Monson Law Firm coordinated an effort resulting in a voluntary dismissal of both parties.

The Monson Law Firm Attends National Flood Conference

The Monson Law Firm attorney Matthew Monson is attending the National Flood Conference this week in Washington, D.C. The National Flood Conference is the major annual gathering of all the partners in the National Flood Insurance Program and is intended to motivate and educate audiences about the importance of floodplain management and the benefits of flood insurance. We look forward to seeing our friends and clients!

The Monson Law Firm Speaks at Louisiana Claims Association

Please join The Monson Law Firm attorney Lauren Baudot tomorrow morning at the Louisiana Claims Association conference for her talk on Fraud Fighting Policy Provisions. As the premier claims association in Louisiana, the Louisiana Claims Association is dedicated to promoting the highest ethical and professional claims handling standards in the insurance industry through leadership in education, member/chapter coordination and support.

The Monson Law Firm is at FIFEC!

The Monson Law Firm is Exhibiting at the Florida Insurance Fraud Education Conference (FIFEC) this week. Come see us at Booth 8!

For the past 26 years, FIFEC has offered continuous annual training seminars for DIF and SIU investigators, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, insurance carrier adjusters and management, insurance defense attorneys and others in the ongoing fight to combat all forms of insurance fraud.

The Monson Law Firm Excludes Public Adjuster as Appraiser

The Monson Law Firm successfully excluded a public adjuster from serving as an appraiser.  In the case of “Americas Insurance Company v. Vance”, the insured presented an estimate from a public adjuster that clearly established a dispute as to the amount of the loss.  Based on this, both Americas and the insured agreed to go to appraisal.  On behalf of Americas, The Monson Law Firm objected to the original public adjuster acting as the insured’s appraiser based on La. R.S. 22:1706(H)(10), which specifically prohibits this behavior.  The insured argued that their public adjuster was merely an expert witness and not subject to the statute.  After oral argument from Lauren Baudot, in the first decision in Louisiana of its kind, the court agreed with Americas, disqualifying the public adjuster and ordering the insured to choose a new appraiser.  For a copy of the decision, please click here.



The Monson Law Firm Wins Coverage Motion for Summary Judgment

Attorney Lauren Baudot recently won a summary judgment motion on behalf of Americas Insurance Company (“Americas”) in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans.  In the matter entitled “Americas Insurance Company vs. Living Nola Investments, LLC,” defendant made claim for damages after its home was damaged by a fire allegedly caused by the tenant of Americas’ insured.  In granting Americas’ Motion for Summary Judgment, the Court determined that there was no coverage under the Americas policy for damages to third parties caused by a tenant of the insured. As a result, the Court granted Americas’s summary judgment motion and dismissed defendant’s claims. Please click here for a copy of the Judgment!

#Winning #Insurance #MSJGranted

The Monson Law Firm Wins Bad Faith Motion for Summary Judgment

Attorney Blake Lusk recently won a summary judgment motion on behalf of Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation (“Lighthouse”) in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans.  In the matter entitled “Alfred Scott and Shann Butler Scott vs. Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation,” plaintiffs made claim for bad faith damages following residential damage caused by a vehicle.  Lighthouse and plaintiffs agreed to the appraisal process, resulting in a confirmed appraisal award  and additional payments to plaintiffsof less than $14,000.00.  In granting Lighthouse’s Motion for Summary Judgment, the Court determined that plaintiffs failed to establish that they could satisfy their burden of proof at trial.  As a result, the Court granted Lighthouse’s summary judgment motion and dismissed plaintiffs’ claims for bad faith penalties pursuant to La. R.S. 22:1892 and La. R.S. 22:1973.  Please click here for a copy of the Judgment.
The Monson Law Firm has successfully used the appraisal process to efficiently handle first-party claims at lower litigation costs than the traditional “take everybody’s deposition” method, while at the same time greatly reducing the insurer’s bad faith exposure.  If you think that you too can benefit from this approach, call The Monson Law Firm today!#NoBadFaith #Insurance #Winning

LaHatte Law Firm Sued for Legal Malpractice

LaHatte Law Firm, LLC and attorney Joey LaHatte were recently sued by their clients, Christopher Butler and Melanie Butler, for legal malpractice in the 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson, Case. No. 782-185.  After a March 2015 fire, LaHatte made claim upon the Butlers’ insurer, Centauri Specialty Insurance Company, for additional living expenses (“ALE”).  The Butlers allege that LaHatte falsely represented to Centauri that the Butlers leased a property for three months, when in fact they had moved in with Mr. Butler’s parents.  The Butlers allege that LaHatte was working with a housing vendor, Relocating Solutions, LLC.  Relocating Solutions’ member is Maria Odeh, wife of public adjuster Nader “Anthony” Odeh.  The Butlers allege that LaHatte never informed them that a three month lease was available.  Because of this, LaHatte was ordered by the court to sit for a deposition at which the Butlers allege LaHatte was “unprepared, uninformed, and uncooperative.”  The Butlers seek damages for LaHatte “intentionally making material misrepresentations to Petitioners’ insurer, Centauri, regarding the use of ALE paid on Petitioners behalf”, among other allegations.

Previously, The Monson Law Firm, successfully obtained the dismissal of its client, CRDN, from the underlying suit.  Please click here to see a copy of the dismissal.

Please click here to see a copy of the malpractice suit against LaHatte.


PIA of Acadiana Crawfish Boil

The Monson Law Firm attended the PIA of Acadiana’s Annual Crawfish Boil at Warehouse 535 in Lafayette.  This is the largest yearly insurance event in Louisiana.  We enjoyed networking with our industry friends while eating tasty mudbugs! Pictured are Matthew Monson, Esq. and Darryn Melerine with MD Claims Group.

The Monson Law Firm Wins Bodily Injury Motion for Summary Judgment

Attorney Blake Lusk recently won a Motion for Summary Judgment in the case of Alfred Scott and Shann Butler Scott versus Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation in Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans.  Plaintiff made claims for bodily injury, mental anguish and loss of consortium as a result of an alleged late payment of property damage funds.  In our Motion, The Monson Law Firm successfully argued that there is no coverage under the Lighthouse policy for plaintiffs’ injury claims as plaintiffs were insureds.  The Honorable Melvin Zeno agreed, granting the Motion and dismissing plaintiffs’ injury claims with prejudice.  Please click here for a copy of the judgment.  


The Monson Law Firm Wins First in Nation AOB Case

The Monson Law Firm won a first in the nation decision dismissing the claims of an AOB Contractor in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  In the case of Stacy Morgan and A-Plus Contractors, LLC vs. Americas Insurance Company, the Honorable Jane Triche Milazzo issued an order on March 22, 2018 granting The Monson Law Firm’s Motion to Dismiss.  The Monson Law Firm previously obtained a groundbreaking order requiring the AOB contractor to submit to an examination under oath (EUO).  Please click here for the earlier ruling.

Rather than answer detailed questions regarding the actual amounts spent on repairs versus his questionable estimate, Stacy Morgan refused to sit for the court-ordered EUO.  However, Morgan was not without the best excuses. “Plaintiff Morgan again failed to attend, this time because he was detained for attempting to bring a gun onto an airplane.”

The Court clearly understood the issues before her in stating “In light of Plaintiffs’ obstinacy, the Court finds that lesser sanctions would not be effective and that dismissal under Rule 41(b) is warranted. Furthermore, examination under oath and the production of documents supporting a claim are requirements of the policy under which Plaintiffs sue. Their failure to comply with the policy’s requirements is itself a basis for dismissal.”

Please click here to review the Court’s order.

In addition to this pioneering result, The Monson Law Firm also wrote and obtained approval for the first policy language in the nation directly permitting insurance carriers to protect their insureds by ending AOB in property policies.  For more information about this language, please click here.

#AOBAnnihilated  #Again #Don’tbringgunstoanairport #ObstinacyisBad

Nader “Anthony” Odeh Sued for Insurance Fraud and Racketeering

Nader “Anthony” Odeh, a licensed public adjuster and registered appraiser, was recently sued by attorney Joey LaHatte in Federal Court in New Orleans.  LaHatte alleges that he retained Odeh from 2014 to 2016 as a public adjuster and appraiser.  As part of a wide ranging suit under the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), LaHatte alleges that Odeh “committed insurance fraud across state lines by removing items . . .and thereafter submitting the removed item as an insurance loss.” LaHatte also alleges that Odeh “would . . .prepare fraudulent insurance loss documents.”

LaHatte refers to the accomplishments of The Monson Law Firm against Odeh in Paragraph 24(c) in which The Monson Law Firm obtained a restraining order against Odeh.  Click here for details.

LaHatte also refers in Paragraph 24(d) to the instance where Odeh attempted to record the oral argument of Matthew Monson in open court.

Please also click here to see how The Monson Law Firm has previously reduced Odeh’s claimed fees in court on three separate occasions.

To view a copy of the Lawsuit, please click here.

Louisiana Surplus Lines Convention

The Monson Law Firm enjoyed participating in the recent Louisiana Surplus Lines Association Annual Convention in New Orleans.  Speakers included Dwayne LeBlanc from Wright Flood and Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon.  Pictured here are Matthew Monson, Enya He, the South Central Regional Director for Lloyd’s, and Crystal DePascual, Senior Vice President at AmWins Group and the 2017-2018 LSLA President.