A federal court jury in Louisiana has ruled that the insurer for five Robert’s Fresh Markets must pay the grocery chain’s owner more than $21 million for unreasonably failing to pay what was necessary to fix Hurricane Katrina windstorm and other damage. The $21 million award will provide the chain owner almost exactly what United Fire & Casualty Insurance Co. still owed the grocery chain to repair the stores — $16.7 million — plus penalties for delaying payment.
The jury heard testimony “that this insurance company delayed and refused to make payments because of the financial stress put on that company because they didn’t purchase enough reinsurance to cover the extent of the catastrophic losses caused by Katrina.” Limited liability companies ran Robert’s four Fresh Market stores in New Orleans, as well as the original Fresh Market store in Kenner, Louisiana. The award will provide funds to cover building damage, business interruption, tenant improvements and loss of business personal property from windstorm and from vandalism, theft or looting. The jury verdict also included $1,080,000 to the owner of one of the buildings where a store was located. Philip Franco, a lawyer from ¬¬New Orleans, represented the plaintiff in this case and did a very good job.
Source: New Orleans Times Picayune
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