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Insurance Obligation – Plaintiff homeowner contends that proposed work to stabilize property and repair foundation following discovery of sinkhole is inadequate and that proposal constituted breach

Pinellas County, FL

This was a homeowners’ policy insurance obligation case involving a covered loss involving underground sinkholes, and the difficulties were first discovered by the observation of relatively small cracks in the foundation of the home. The defendant insurance company conducted its investigation and determined that a compaction and chemical grouting repair would be adequate. This method would not include the use of steel underpinnings to be placed under the structure. The plaintiff maintained that the insurance company’s proposal was inadequate, and that in order to provide required stability, steel underpinning were necessary. The defendant insurance company contended that the use of steel underpinning would cause more harm than good, maintaining that such use would change the make up of the grade from a slab on grade to a pier support system, on which the foundation was not intended to be supported.

The defendant maintained that the relatively small nature of the cracks in the foundation, and the absence of any cracks, which were sufficiently large to allow for the insertion of a hand lent additional support for its position.The jury found for the defendant insurance company.

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