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United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Columbus Division
January 9, 2017, Decided; January 9, 2017, Filed
CASE NO. 4:15-CV-53 (CDL)
Plaintiff Grand Reserve of Columbus, LLC ("Grand Reserve") owns a multi-building apartment complex in Columbus, Georgia. To protect that property, it purchased a commercial insurance policy from Defendant Property-Owners Insurance Company ("Property-Owners"). That policy provided for the recovery of the value of damage to the apartment complex that occurred during the policy period, as long as the loss was not excluded under the policy and as long as Grand Reserve complied with the conditions in the policy. The policy entitled Grand Reserve to recover the reasonable cost of repairing and/or replacing the damaged property, but Grand Reserve could only recover the full repair or replacement [*2] cost if it actually made the repairs or replaced the property. Under the policy, the initial claim for damages is calculated by estimating the reasonable cost of repair and deducting an amount for depreciation. Then, after the repairs are made, a claim can be made to recover the amount that was deducted for depreciation.
Upon learning of extensive damage to the roofs of its apartment complex caused by a hail storm, Grand Reserve submitted a claim to recover for the damage to the roofs. Grand Reserve and Property-Owners could not reach an agreement on the extent and value of the damages, and Grand Reserve filed this action for breach of the insurance contract. Property-Owners moved for judgment as a matter of law during trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(a). The Court submitted the action to the jury subject to the Court later deciding the issues raised by Property-Owners in its motion. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Grand Reserve and awarded it damages in the amount of $551,946.05.
Property-Owners now renews its motion for judgment as a matter of law pursuant to Rule 50(b). Property-Owners maintains that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law because: (1) Grand Reserve did not present a sufficient [*3] evidentiary basis for the calculation of Grand Reserve's damages under the policy and thus the jury award was based on speculation, conjecture, and guesswork; and (2) Grand Reserve failed to comply with the policy condition that required it to provide prompt notice of its claim. For the reasons discussed below, the Court finds that sufficient evidence was introduced at trial to support the jury's verdict. Accordingly, the Court denies Property-Owners's motion (ECF No. 76).1
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145346 *
GRAND RESERVE OF COLUMBUS, LLC, Plaintiff, vs. PROPERTY-OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
Subsequent History: Motion denied by Grand Reserve of Columbus, LLC v. Property-Owners Ins. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145345 (M.D. Ga., Jan. 9, 2017)
Affirmed by Grand Reserve of Columbus, LLC v. Prop.-Owners Ins. Co., 721 Fed. Appx. 886, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 217 (11th Cir. Ga., Jan. 4, 2018)
Prior History: Grand Reserve of Columbus, LLC v. Property-Owners Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195532 (M.D. Ga., Aug. 15, 2016)
roofs, damages, hail, repair, estimate, depreciation, work order, shingles, calculated, notice, actual cash value, replaced, adjuster, matter of law, inspected, roof leak, deducted, apartment complex, prompt notice, advance payment, insured, replacement cost, reasonable cost, speculation, reopen, entitled to judgment, instruct a jury, credibility, Tenant, waived