This post was also written by Michael N. DiCanio.
Policyholders and their counsel should check out a May 27 ruling denying summary judgment to the insurance company defendants in Bray & Gillespie IX, LLC v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., et ano. In the B&G decision, a magistrate judge in the Middle District of Florida relied in part on the so-called Broad Evidence Rule. Under that rule, any evidence logically tending to establish a correct estimate of the value of damaged or destroyed property may be considered by the trier of fact to determine “actual cash value” at the time of the loss. This means that replacement cost, wholesale cost, a contractor’s estimate, even the owner’s own testimony, are among the many types of evidence that a jury could consider to determine “actual cash value.” The judge in the B&G case characterized the Broad Evidence Rule as a “liberal admissibility standard.”
In the same decision, the magistrate judge suggested that a much tougher evidentiary standard must be met by an insurance company alleging fraud or misrepresentation by a policyholder.Continue Reading A Tale of Two Evidentiary Standards