Welch and McAloon obtain complete pre-answer dismissal

September 24, 2014 | Appeals | Insurance Coverage

Michael Welch and Sean McAloon obtained a complete pre-answer dismissal of a Complaint on behalf of our client, State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, in an action wherein the Plaintiffs, Richard and Mary Bennett, sought compensatory damages arising out of an oil spill on their property and the subsequent remediation of the spill, as well as punitive damages in excess of $50 million. Plaintiffs’ Complaint alleged causes of action against State Farm sounding in tortious interference with a third party contract, aiding and abetting a third party breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud and punitive damages.  The court held that Plaintiffs were collaterally estopped from asserting certain of the claims based on a prior grant of summary judgment obtained by Mike and Sean on behalf of State Farm in a companion action.  The court dismissed the remaining causes of action based on Plaintiffs’ failure to adequately plead all of the material elements necessary to sustain the claims, a contractual suit limitation provision contained in the policy, and the lack of a recognized claim for damages.

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