Summary Judgment - Farr v. the Gulf Agency
In Farr v. The Gulf Agency, [Ms. 1090073, Jun. 17, 2011] __ So. 3d __(Ala. 2011), the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's summary judgment in favor of the defendant in part and reversed it in part. Plaintiff Farr purchased homeowners insurance to provide wind, flood, and contents coverage for his home in Orange Beach, Alabama. In 2004, Farr's home was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan. One of the carriers, Lexington, paid only $50,000 on Farr's claim. Farr sued Lexington, its agent, and its broker, alleging that he had applied for "full coverage" but Lexington had sold him a policy with limits that were not sufficient to cover his loss. Farr asserted claims of fraud and misrepresentation, negligence, conspiracy to defraud, breach of contract, and bad faith failure to pay an insurance claim. Lexington answered that Farr's tort claims were barred by the applicable two year statute of limitations because he knew the policy limits of insurance on March 29, 2004, the date he signed his application to purchase the insurance coverage. Farr's complaint was filed on November 7, 2007, approximately three and one-half years after he had notice of the policy limits. The trial court entered summary judgment on all of Plaintiff's claims. On appeal, the Supreme Court agreed and held that all Farr's tort claims were barred by the statute of limitations. However, the Court found that Farr did present substantial evidence that Lexington breached the policy by failing to pay Farr money due under the contents coverage portion of the policy. Therefore, the Court affirmed the circuit court's judgment in part and reversed in part. The case was remanded for further proceedings.