Brownson Norby, PLLC is pleased to report that Managing Partner Kristi K. Brownson successfully obtained an Order dismissing a case where it was alleged that the firm's insurer client owed prejudgment interest upon an appraisal award involving a homeowners' insurance policy. It has recently been asserted by some counsel representing insurance policyholders that the Minnesota statute governing an insurance claim appraisal must include prejudgment interest. Minn. Stat. 65A.01 governs appraisal, the process whereby policyholders and insurers resolve differences with respect to contested insurance claims.
Judge Kathryn Messerich of the Dakota County, Minnesota, District Court rejected that contention and, in her Order dated May 10, 2017, agreed with Kristi and held that the insurer properly conducted the appraisal in a timely manner and promptly paid it in full. In such a situation, Judge Messerich declined, "to expand the definition of prejudgment interest to appraisal awards where the legislature did not do so and it is not within the province of this Court to add an award of prejudgment interest to a procedure undertakern by contract and statute for the valuation of an insured loss absent other actionable wrongdoing." The Court dismissed the claim for such an award against the firm's insurer client with prejudice.
The case is, Richard Billion v. Selective Insurance Company of America, et. al., Dakota County District Court, No. 19HA-CV-15-2781.
Read the Order here: Order Granting Motion to Lift Stay and to Dismiss (May 11 2017)