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ARTICLE ID 191004

$________ – INSURANCE MALPRACTICE – REAL ESTATE – SUIT INVOLVING HIDDEN ROAD AT ACTRESS KATHERINE HEPBURN'S FORMER HOME – DIMINISHED PROPERTY VALUE.

Hartford Superior Court

In this matter, the estate of a deceased celebrity was involved in an insurance contract dispute. The matter was resolved via jury after the insurance company denied negligence.

The property in question was the former home of the late actress Katherine Hepburn. The estate included three and a-half acres of beachfront land, including ________ feet of frontage on the Long Island Sound. In ________, the property was acquired by ________ Water Street LLC and Fenwick Acquisition LLC, collectively owned by Frank S. When the property was acquired, it was in a state of disrepair. The buyer thereafter undertook a massive restoration and renovation of the property, which included lifting the over ________ foot long brick masonry residence five feet.

The property was also subdivided into three distinct lots. When the lot was purchased, Frank S. purchased title insurance from First American Title Company in the amount of six million dollars with an escalator clause. Shortly after purchasing the estate and commencing improvements, Frank S. discovered that the Borough of Fenwick laid claim to a discontinued road that ran directly through the property. Although the road was not visible, it was recorded in the Borough’s records. After the August ________ discovery of the road, the LLC filed a claim of loss with First American Title in August ________.

Over a year later, the insurer provided written notice accepting liability. Frank S. was issued a check for $________. Frank S. rejected the check, asserting that it did not adequately compensate him for the error in the title. The property owner was eventually able to take control of the land from the Borough. First American Title filed for a declaratory judgment in the Superior Court of Hartford County, Connecticut. The defendant asserted that the company had committed insurance malpractice through the title defect in the Title Policy of his insurance contract. First American Title denied any malpractice.

The property owner sought the adjusted value of the property, as well as other damages. At trial, Frank S. asserted that the escalator clause gradually increased the amount of the policy to over nine million dollars at the time of the trial.After three weeks of trial, the jury returned a finding for the property owner, concluding that Title One had failed to fulfill the obligations under the contract, and awarded $2.2 million in damages.

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