Sean Healy, Amy Levine Win Arbitration Defense Verdict

Phoenix Partner Sean Healy and Associate Amy Levine recently obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an insurance broker that a public adjuster accused of intentional interference with a contract and intentional interference with a business expectancy.

Within days of an insured’s home burning down, the public adjuster contacted the insured, an elderly lady with a disabled child, multiple times via cell phone in an attempt to get hired on as a public adjuster. The public adjuster acquired the insured’s cell number via a private detective.

Eventually the insured relented and hired the public adjuster, but, after talking to a family member and having buyer’s remorse, the insured shortly thereafter tried to rescind the contract. After facing resistance from the public adjuster, the customer was eventually able to get the public adjuster to agree to a rescission.

The public adjuster claimed that the broker interfered with the contract by convincing his customer to terminate the contract. The broker countered that he merely offered advice as to what services public adjusters provide and the pros and cons of utilizing those services. He did not try to cause a termination. Moreover, the broker’s conversation with the insured occurred after she had already decided to rescind the contract.

The arbitrator ruled that the broker’s communications were not the cause of the insured’s decision to cancel the contract and rendered a defense verdict.

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