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Hagi-Mayow v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

September 23, 2019

MARIAN HAGI-MAYOW AND CALI IDRIS, Plaintiffs,
v.
STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY, Defendant.

          Svend Brandt-Erichsen Svend Brandt-Erichsen Nossaman LLP Attorneys for Plaintiff Marian Hagi- Mayow

          Daniel L. Syhre Daniel L. Syhre, WSBA #34158 Betts, Patterson & Mines, P.S. Attorneys for Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Company

          [PROPOSED] PRETRIAL ORDER

          Honorable John C. Coughenour, Judge

         I. JURISDICTION

         This action was removed to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

         II. CLAIMS AND DEFENSES Plaintiff Marian Hagi-Mayow intends to pursue the following claims at trial:

         1. Breach of Contract - State Farm breached its obligations under the insurance policy as to additional living expenses, damage to the contents of the home, and continuation of the loss and improperly withheld funds from the appraisal award.

         2. Consumer Protection Act - State Farm's actions constituted violations of Washington's Consumer Protection Act.

         3. Bad Faith - State Farm's conduct constituted bad faith, under both Statutory and Common Law principles.

         Defendant State Farm intends to pursue the following affirmative defenses and/or claims at trial:

         1. Plaintiff has failed to provide notice sufficient to meet the statutory notice requirements for bringing a claim under RCW 48.30.015(8).

         2. Plaintiff has failed to mitigate her damages.

         III. ADMITTED FACTS The following facts are admitted by the parties:

         1. Plaintiff Marian Hagi-Mayow's home is located at 14111 Beverly Park Road, Edmonds, Washington.

         2. On May 21, 2017, Ms. Hagi-Mayow experienced a kitchen fire and resulting damage to her home from the fire and fire suppression efforts.

         3. At the time of the fire, Ms. Hagi-Mayow's home was insured with State Farm under a homeowner's insurance policy, policy no. 47-B9-P613-8 (hereafter, the "policy").

         4. With regard to loss of use coverage, the policy provides as follows: COVERAGE C - LOSS OF USE

1. Additional Living Expense. When a Loss Insured causes the residence premises to become uninhabitable, we will cover the necessary increase in cost you incur to maintain your standard of living for up to 24 months. Our payment is limited to incurred costs for the shortest of: (a) the time required to repair or replace the premises; (b) the time required for your household to settle elsewhere; or (c) 24 months. This coverage is not reduced by the expiration of this policy.

         5. Ms. Hagi-Mayow spoke to a State Farm claims representatives by phone three times on May 22, 2017, the day after the fire.

         6. From the first call, State Farm's claims representative included the following notes in the claims file regarding their conversation with Ms. Hagi-Mayow:

a) "Home remains energized and NI [Named Insured] can stay at home. Explained food abatement."
b) "Loss of Use: explained food abatement. Kitchen is not useable. 2 grown kids and 2 adults."

         7. In the second call, Ms. Hagi-Mayow indicated she wanted to pursue a claim under the insurance policy.

         8. From the third call, State Farm's claims representative included the following notes in the claims file regarding their conservation with Ms. Hagi-Mayow:

I think I convinced PH [policy holder] to move out of the house. Loss just happened and she's confused. Advised it would be more efficient for the reconstruction and cleaning if she used her hotel benefit. She's just worried about the claim costing money. Advised she has her deductible but this is the sort of thing to repair correctly. She understands and will ask the kids to move out. She's trying to do work herself to save money.
She said that the sofas and mattresses in the house are all needing to be replaced.
Moving to Ownership due to the size of the loss. Entire house effected. Needs new floors on main level. Roof burned. Kitchen needs to come out. PH needs to move to hotel. She's still in shock and thinking about it.
PH came back on phone and said that kids are in the middle of finals week so they will try to stay in the other side of the house.

         9. A State Farm manager noted in the claims file: "Certainly seems the insured is going to want to move out. We can reoffer next time we speak to them." 10. On May 23, 2017, State Farm's claim specialist, Mark Somers, visited the home. Mr. Somers recorded a portion of his conversation with Ms. Hagi-Mayow in the State Farm claims file, as follows:

Scope of work will require insureds to be out of home while kitchen repairs are completed. I estimate 2 months of POR.
Insureds want to remain in home until after kids finish school. Finals are June 6th. Agreed to revisit ALE [additional living expenses] after June 6th. We will also discuss content cleaning, pack out storage with [Ms. Hagi-Mayow].

         11. Ms. Hagi-Mayow and her family ultimately remained in the home except for a two night hotel stay during asbestos abatement, for which State Farm reimbursed Ms. Hagi-Mayow. There were no further documented discussions of ALE prior to the appraisal.

         12. State Farm paid a contractor, ServPro, to stabilize conditions immediately after the fire (on May 22) and then to conduct initial demolition in the kitchen, including removal of the kitchen cabinets and appliances, and abatement of asbestos encountered during removal of flooring.

         13. The home's kitchen was unusable after ServPro's demolition work was performed, and remained inoperative until reconstruction of the kitchen was complete.

         14. Mr. Somers prepared an estimate of the cost of structural repairs to Ms. Hagi-Mayow's home, totalling $37, 575.24. He emailed the cost estimate to Ms. Hagi-Mayow on June 10, ...


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