Hurricane Maria Policyholders Can Now Demand Immediate Payment Of Any Damages Admitted By Their Insurer In Their Insurer’s Initial Adjustment.
Weisbrod Matteis & Copley (WMC) won a landmark victory last Thursday by securing a unanimous decision by a 5-judge panel on Puerto Rico’s Court of Appeals. The panel held that when an insurer provides an adjustment of damages to a policyholder, the amount stated in the adjustment is a liquid debt that must be paid immediately. The panel further held that the policyholder also is free to seek additional damages from the insurer.
This is a game changer because the insurers in Puerto Rico have largely refused to pay any amounts from their initial adjustments without a full release of liability by the policyholder. According to Juan Saavadra, Managing Partner of WMC’s San Juan Office, “the insurers have used this as leverage to try to force low settlements because the policyholders have to choose between taking the low-ball offer or taking nothing and continuing to fight.”
As a result of this decision, policyholders can now demand that the insurers pay immediately all amounts admitted through their adjustments, and they can also continue to fight for the full amount that is rightfully owed under their policies.
This precedent will help not only WMC’s clients, but thousands of other policyholders who can now immediately demand millions of dollars from the carriers.
WMC founding partner, Augie Matteis commends the team for their hard work along with former Counsel, Carlos Del Valle who passed away last year, for their contribution to the winning arguments.
“Congratulations to Juan Saavedra, Luis Correa, Claudia Rosa Ramos and their team in San Juan! Carlos del Valle also played a major role in developing the winning arguments, so hopefully he is looking down with pride on this major contribution that he made to Hurricane Maria survivors.”
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