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Second Lava Lawsuit Filed Against Lloyd’s of London

July 31, 2018, 8:13 AM HST (Updated July 31, 2018, 8:17 AM)
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May 6, 2018, 6 a.m., Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone: Two homes are consumed by the massive flow and a third is threatened as the lava advances downslope. PC: Paradise Helicopters/ExtremeExposure/Bruce Omori

The home in Leilani Estates remains standing.

It is not covered in Kīlauea’s lava and has not burned to the ground.

Although Lloyd’s of London confirmed in writing that this home was a “total loss,” the insurer denied another homeowner the benefits paid for with thousands of dollars in premium payments, according to Big Island Attorney Jeffrey Foster, who is spearheading the legal fight against the world’s largest insurer.

Like the Haysmers, these homeowners received a letter denying their claim from a claims adjuster in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Today, we filed our second lawsuit against a syndicate of Lloyd’s of London for non-payment of a claim and bad faith,” said Attorney Foster. “In this lawsuit, Lloyds made the highly unusual and illegal decision to deny payment to homeowners even though Lloyd’s themselves declared the home a ‘total loss.’ Even more problematic is the fact that Lloyd’s, through its adjusters, deceptively claimed that it had conducted an investigation into the loss, when the only investigation that took place was from behind a computer from the insurance adjuster’s desk in Little Rock, Arkansas.”

Foster wrote in his pleading, “Inasmuch as a mandatory evacuation order had been issued for the area, it is doubtful that the property had been inspected by anyone.”

The Arkansas adjuster appears to have never set foot in Hawai‘i, said Attorney Foster.

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“Lloyd’s half-truth traveled the distance of 4,000 miles,” Attorney Foster said.

Dozens of homeowners impacted by the Kīlauea Volcano eruption who were mistreated or ignored by Lloyd’s began reaching out to Foster in the past week, the attorney said.

“We are on the ground, on the front lines, meeting with Puna residents and helping them however we can to make sure that Lloyd’s will not be allowed to get away with accepting millions of dollars of premiums from Hawai‘i residents only to turn their back on those who need their help the most in their time of need,” said the attorney.

“Our clients’ homes are so much more than a place to live,” Attorney Foster added. “People in Puna truly care for one another. They look out for each other, and when they see people being hurt, they stand up for one another. I am honored to stand with the people of Puna in their fight to receive what they paid for and be treated no different than any other victim of a natural disaster.”

The latest Lloyd’s lawsuit—Lane v. Lloyd’s London—accuses Lloyd’s of breach of contract, deceptive business practices, bad faith and conspiracy. A copy of lawsuit can be found at PunaClaims.com.

Homeowners seeking further information can reach Foster online or by calling (808) 348-7800.

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