February 2, 2023

Bordeau Wins Critical Motion Reducing Plaintiffs’ Alleged Damages From $3.2M to Less Than $100,000

Plaintiffs’ alleged our client, an insurance agent, failed to procure building insurance on a commercial building.  After a hailstorm and roof damage, the building sustained damages from water intrusion.  Plaintiffs produced a repair estimate from a construction expert exceeding $3.1 million dollars.  However, Plaintiffs purchased the building 10 years ago for less than $20,000.  Evidence in this case suggested that the building, even in perfect condition, had a market value of $100,000 or less.

Bordeau filed a Motion asking the Court to rule that Kansas jury instruction 171.21 would apply to this case.  That instruction essentially says that when property can be repaired, the cost of repair is capped at the fair market value of the property, before the loss.  Plaintiffs argued that since the case is a breach of contract action for failure to procure insurance, that jury instruction was inapplicable.  

After briefing and oral argument, the Court ruled that the jury instruction would be given in this case, essentially capping the Plaintiffs’ damages at the value of the building.  Our client’s exposure was thereby significantly reduced.