A unit of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. is not required to provide coverage to a real estate asset management and property management company embroiled in a dispute with a shareholder’s widow because it filed its claim too late, an appeals court heard on Friday federal, affirming a lower court decision.
A partner of UIP Cos. LLC, based in Washington, DC, specializing in multifamily properties in the Washington metropolitan area, died in April 2015 and his widow, Marion Coster, inherited his 50% stake in the companies, according to the decision. by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit at Zurich American Insurance Co. v. UIP Companies LLC.
Ms Coster began negotiations with UIP management to seek compensation for her UIP stakes, but the negotiations turned sour, according to the ruling.
In February 2018, Ms Coster’s lawyer emailed UIP’s lawyer suggesting how the dispute might be resolved. In the summer of 2018, Ms. Coster filed three lawsuits against UIP and its executives, two in Delaware Chancery Court and the third in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. This litigation is still pending.
UIP filed notice of Ms. Coster’s lawsuit with the Zurich Insurance Group Zurich American Insurance Co. unit in March 2019, nearly nine months after Ms. Coster filed her first lawsuit against UIP and nearly seven months after Ms. Costar filed his third lawsuit, the decision mentioned.
Zurich denied cover on the grounds that its policies provided that notice of a claim should be filed “as soon as possible” after the insured became aware of the claim, but “in no event” no later than 90 days after the claim. expiration of the relevant insurance period.
UIP filed a lawsuit in the District Court in Washington, DC, seeking coverage. The court ruled in favor of the insurer and was upheld by a unanimous panel of three judges from the Court of Appeal.
The attorney’s February 2018 communication “qualifies as a claim under the Zurich policies,” he said.
“UIP says its principals were unaware Zurich policies were covering the lawsuits until months after they were filed. But the rule in the District of Columbia “is that an insured ‘is required to know the concurrence of his policy,'” he said, citing an earlier decision and affirming the lower court’s decision.
Lawyers handling the case did not comment.