RSJ attorney Tim Johnson won a case before the Iowa Court of Appeals involving the scope of an insurance appraisal panel's authority to determine the amount of a disputed loss.

Walnut Creek v. Depositors Ins. Co involved a disputed hail claim to a 36 building homeowner's association. The Association suffered hail damage to the buildings, but the insurance company denied that any loss had occurred. The Association demanded an appraisal to resolve the dispute. At the appraisal hearing, the panel disagreed with the insurance company and found that the buildings were damaged by hail in the amount of $1.5 million. The insurance company refused to pay the award, and the matter went to trial. At trial, all of the same experts, contractors, and parties who were at the appraisal also testified at court. Even though the court heard the same evidence as the panel, it did so without the benefit of the panel's expertise and without being on site to visually see the hail damage. The trial court erroneously set aside the appraisal panel's award and held there was no hail damage at the buildings.

RSJ appealed and argued that the appraisal panel's award was binding and the trial court erred by setting it aside. The Iowa Court of appeals agreed with RSJ and reversed the trial court's decision. The Court of Appeals held that the panel's award was binding on the lower court and that the Association is entitled to payment on the appraisal award.

This is yet another in a series of cases where RSJ took the lead in developing case law involving property insurance claims. This case sets new precedent and confirms that Iowa homeowners who win an insurance appraisal will be entitled to payment on the appraisal award without the risk of having the entire dispute retried a second time in court.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Put Our Experience To Work For You

Do You Need Skilled Legal Counsel On Your Side?

When you put your trust in us, we will put our integrity and tenacity into your case. Call us at 866-291-7528, or email us to tell us about your legal needs.

We offer a free, 30-minute initial consultation.

Contact Smith Jadin Johnson »

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Locations

From The Rockies To Lake Michigan, We’ve Got You Covered

Bloomington Office
7900 Xerxes Ave South
Suite 2020
Bloomington, MN 55431

Toll Free: 866-291-7528
Fax: 612-235-7927
Map & Directions

Denver Office
1775 Sherman Street
Suite 2750
Denver, CO 80203

Toll Free: 866-291-7528
Map & Directions

Office Locations