The owner of two west Phoenix apartment complexes won a multimillion-dollar verdict against an insurance company related to damage caused by a freak wind and hail storm that pummeled the Valley in October 2010.
A U.S. District Court jury in Phoenix on June 1 found against Travelers Indemnity Co. on four counts related to breaches in the terms of an insurance policy. The dispute centered over the size of payments made by Travelers to the Lynwood and Villa del Sol apartment complexes owned by Harvey Property Management Co.
The plaintiffs were awarded the full court-ordered appraised value of damage sustained by the complexes at 5535 W. McDowell Road and 6231 W. McDowell Road, according to Merlin Law Group, which represented the plaintiffs. Travelers had argued in part that the damage was attributable to normal wear and tear. Calls to Travelers weren't immediately returned.
The freak storm on Oct. 5, 2010, caused more than $2.7 billion in damage as it dented cars, smashed tile roofs and peppered air-conditioning units with hail two inches in diameter. The storm also knocked out power to some parts of the Valley and disrupted rush-hour traffic.
The judgment will be at least $3.2 million but could be higher with attorney fees, interest and other expenses, said Phillip Sanov, the lead plaintiff's attorney, in an email.
Travelers had made payments prior to trial that Harvey Property Management contended were insufficient to make all required repairs. The payments totaled about $286,000, according to Merlin Law.
"We took this to trial not just for these two buildings but to send a message to every other victim of this and other storm denials," Sanov said. "When your insured property is damaged, you never have to take no as an answer."
You can download Phillip Sanov’s biography here.