Property Damage

We represent owners of homes, businesses and commercial property who have suffered significant property damage and seek compensation from either their insurance carrier or the party responsible for the loss.  We will hold your insurance carrier responsible if they wrongfully denied all or part of your claim.  We will take action against your insurance broker if they did not write you the coverage you requested or failed to provide you the most comprehensive coverage available.  We will also pursue those individuals or parties whose wrongful actions caused your loss.

We will use our vast experience and our wide network of consultants to ensure your property damage is carefully quantified to maximize your recovery.  We work closely with building consultants who will fully evaluate the entirety of what it will cost to restore or replace your damaged property.  We also work with engineers who can help determine what caused your loss and whether another parties wrongful conduct was responsible.  If your business has lost income as a result, we will help you quantify those damages and present that claim.  We will work closely with you to help you fully quantify all damage you sustained as a result of your loss.

We accept referrals from public adjusters who represent insureds whose claims have been denied or delayed.  We are proud associate members of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) and the Professional Public Adjusters Association of New Jersey (PPAANJ).  We will always protect the public adjusters fee upon referral.

Success Stories

LAW partner Frank P. Winston represented a Bronx property developer in an action involving property damage, caused by adjacent construction, to two (2) residential apartment buildings.  The Plaintiff received a total of $2.18 million in the resolution of its claims.  The award included $528,952 paid by the insurance company during LAW’s representation of the Plaintiff prior to suit and $1.66 million paid arising from successful mediation.  The award represented compensation not only for the damages sustained to the subject buildings, caused by adjacent property construction at 630 Concord Avenue, but also for tenant relocation costs, lost rent, interest on construction loans and lost tax credits.

LAW partner Johnathan Lerner recovered $2.1 million in damages on behalf of his client whose property sustained significant water damage when frozen pipes burst as a result of inadequate winterization of the plumbing system.  Mr. Lerner successfully argued that the alleged “run down” condition of the property did not constitute sufficient evidence of a pre-existing condition that warranted exclusion from insurance coverage.

LAW partner Johnathan Lerner represented the owner of a two-family home destroyed by fire.  The home owner’s insurance policy had been transferred to a new carrier who initially took the position that, as a “life tenant”, the property owner was not entitled to homeowners policy coverage.  However, during depositions Mr. Lerner proved that, not only did the acquiring carrier have full understanding of the “life tenant” status of the homeowner; they had in fact purchased an “entire book” of similar policies.  Mr. Lerner also proved that the carrier’s underwriting guidelines specifically allowed the issuance of homeowner policies for life tenants.

In a case that took two years to satisfactorily settle, LAW partner Johnathan Lerner recovered $1 million on behalf of a packaging company client for flooding damage to the “property of others”.   Under the commercial package provisions of the policyholder’s insurance coverage, the policyholder is entitled to recoup losses incurred to the “property of others” that is in the possession of the insured at the time of the sustained damage.

LAW partner Johnathan Lerner recovered nearly $1 million on behalf of a Long Island client whose home was destroyed during SuperStorm Sandy.  Mr. Lerner successfully argued that damages sustained during the storm, and therefore “cause of loss”,  were not simply the result of storm flooding but of resultant power outages in the area causing sewer backup and sump pump failure.  Loss of power to a sewer plant in the area sent in excess of 100 million gallons of raw sewage into the bay and the channel where Plaintiff’s home was located.

LAW partner Johnathan Lerner recovered $750,000 in damages on behalf of his client whose business sustained significant business interruption losses as a result of a fire to one of its medical facilities.  The case required the necessity to reach mutual agreement on calculating the amount of the business loss.  The insurance carrier argued that the business would have incurred billing losses, regardless of the fire, since it had recently terminated one of its medical professionals and was unwilling to include said billing losses in the calculation of loss.  Mr. Lerner successfully counter-argued that the business income would have increased as a result of the improved office environment and employee morale and therefore the fire impacted his client’s future business earnings potential.

A Monsey, NY homeowner suffered significant damage to his home as a result of the architect’s negligence in properly designing the 7,000 square foot residence.  The “under-design” and inadequacy of the home’s support beams resulted in their movement causing damage to the home’s interior; necessitating replacement of several floors, walls, and ceilings.  Steel support beams had to be installed in the basement of the home to prevent the entire first floor from collapsing into the basement.   LAW partner, Johnathan Lerner proved liability and that the originally-installed support beams had been discontinued by the manufacturer.  He successfully negotiated a $750,000 settlement for the Plaintiff.

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