Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

North Glenn Homeowners Association v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company

Court of Appeals of Iowa

July 6, 2017

NORTH GLENN HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D. Huppert, Judge.

         The defendant appeals the district court order enforcing an appraisal award for plaintiff's damages due to a wind and hail storm. AFFIRMED.

          Mark W. Thomas and Laura N. Martino of Grefe & Sidney, P.L.C., Des Moines, for appellant.

          Travis J. Burk and Rachel L. De Vries of Hope Law Firm, P.L.C., West Des Moines, for appellee.

          Heard by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, Judge.

         State Farm Fire and Casualty Company appeals the district court's order enforcing an appraisal award for North Glenn Homeowners Association's damages due to a wind and hail storm. We find State Farm was not denied due process by the contractual appraisal process, in which the parties may resolve a dispute without a formal lawsuit or without a trial. We also conclude the district court did not err in concluding State Farm was not entitled to a trial on the merits under the circumstances presented here and State Farm did not show one of the appraisers was biased. We affirm the district court decision granting North Glenn's motion to enforce the appraisal award.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         In a previous appeal in this matter, we stated:

North Glenn is an association of property owners in Johnston, Iowa. On July 15, 2009, North Glenn submitted a claim under a policy issued by State Farm for hail damage sustained to a roof. The claim, in excess of $125, 000, was paid. North Glenn did not repair all of the damage, electing instead to use some of the money to make other repairs and improvements to the property.
On March 22, 2011, a second storm hit the development. North Glenn filed an additional claim for wind and hail damage. A State Farm employee inspected the property and determined the hail damage was from the 2009 storm and was not covered. The wind damage was estimated to be less than the policy deductible. A second roofing expert agreed with State Farm's assessment.

N. Glenn Homeowners Ass'n v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 854 N.W.2d 67, 68 (Iowa Ct. App. 2014).

         North Glenn requested an appraisal of its damages from the 2011 wind and hail storm under a provision in its insurance policy with State Farm, which stated:

Appraisal. If we and you disagree on the value of the property or the amount of loss, either may make written demand for an appraisal of the loss. In this event, each party will select a competent and impartial appraiser. Each party will notify the other of the selected appraiser's identity within 20 days after receipt of the written demand for appraisal. The two appraisers will select an umpire. If the appraisers cannot agree upon an umpire within 15 days, either may request that selection be made by a judge of a court having jurisdiction. The appraisers will state separately the value of the property and amount of loss. If they fail to agree, they will submit their differences to the umpire. A decision agreed to by any two will be binding. Each party will:
a. Pay its chosen appraiser; and
b. Bear the other expenses of the appraisal and umpire equally.
If we submit to an appraisal, we will still retain our right to deny the claim.

         State Farm denied the request for an appraisal under this provision and North Glenn filed an action in district court. Before a trial was held, North Glenn filed a motion to compel an appraisal, and in light of this, the parties agreed to continue the trial. The district court determined State Farm should submit to an appraisal and State Farm appealed. We found the appeal was interlocutory and determined the case should be resolved as an interlocutory appeal. Id. at 69.

         We determined an appraisal would include the issue of causation because "[c]ausation is an integral part of the definition of loss." Id. at 71. We determined the appraisal could go forward before the issue of coverage was resolved. Id. at 72. We stated, the appraisal "clause specifically reserves State Farm's right to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.