STORY FROM: Superstorm Sandy Insurance Litigation

Trial Court Properly Bifurcated Trial in Tornado Coverage Action, 5th Cir. Rules

NEW ORLEANS — A trial court properly bifurcated a trial in a tornado damage coverage action between the policyholders’ breach of contract claim and their remaining claims, a federal appellate court has ruled, explaining that it made the most economical sense to try the claims for extra-contractual and punitive damages together because the commonality of elements made these claims a natural fit.

On Dec. 13, the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals further held that the trial court did not err in awarding the insurer judgment as a matter of law because the evidence showed that the insurer’s claim ...

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