Homeowners in Connecticut have filed a class action lawsuit against their insurance companies for wrongful denial of claims involving structural problems in the basements of their homes. According to the lawsuit, faulty concrete that was used in the construction of some Connecticut homes built in the 1980s and 1990s have caused cracks to form in basements that could lead to foundation collapse if repairs are not made.
The homes that are involved in the lawsuit have basements that were constructed with concrete supplied by J.J. Mottes Co. of Stafford Springs, Connecticut. The lawsuit alleges that as a result of defects in the concrete that was used in the construction of the plaintiffs’ homes, cracks and other signs of collapse are now starting to form in the basement concrete.
The problems occurred due to the use of iron sulfide minerals such as pyrrhotite, pyrite, and marcasite in the construction of the basements of their homes. These iron sulfide minerals produce a chemical reaction that causes the concrete to swell and crack, causing their foundations to weaken. The plaintiffs allege that unless the homes are lifted, the old concrete is removed, and an entirely new foundation is laid for each home, the houses will eventually collapse due to problems with the existing foundations.
The plaintiffs in the Connecticut class action lawsuit allege that their insurance companies have refused to pay to fix the foundation problems in their homes. As a result of the structural problems caused by the faulty concrete and the insurance companies’ alleged failure to pay for the tens of thousands of dollars of needed repairs, the plaintiffs say that they are unable to sell their homes, unable to refinance their mortgages, and will eventually be unable to even live in these properties. The plaintiffs’ attorneys say that the cost of the repairs ranges from about $100,000 to $250,000 per home.
The lawsuit also alleges that the insurance companies involved in the class action litigation engaged in a collective scheme to deny the claims of the homeowners involved in the case. The plaintiffs allege that after the insurance companies learned of the faulty concrete issues, the insurers altered the definition of “collapse” in their policies to minimize their liability for lawsuit involving defective concrete. As a result of these changes, the homeowners allege, the definition of “collapse” was changed from “substantial impairment in the structural integrity of a building”—which would have applied to their claims—and instead to mean an “abrupt falling down.” The plaintiffs allege that this second definition has been used by the insurance companies named in the class action lawsuit to wrongfully deny their claims.
Seven named plaintiffs with homes in Manchester, Ellington, Andover, and Stafford Springs, Connecticut filed a class action lawsuit against about 110 insurance companies over the foundation problems in their homes. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs in their lawsuit say that the number of homeowners who may eventually join the class could range from 500 to several thousand.
The insurance companies named in the lawsuit include insurers located nationwide, as well as several based in Connecticut, including the Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. and Property and Casualty Insurance Co. of Hartford. The lawsuit alleges that these companies violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act and the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act. J.J. Mottes—the company that manufactured the faulty concrete—is not named in the lawsuit because of the 10-year statute for filing product liability claims.
The insurance companies involved in the class action are also under investigation by the Connecticut state attorney general. The Office of the Attorney General launched an investigation in August in conjunction with the state’s Department of Consumer Protection at the request of Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Bad Faith Insurance Litigation and Class Action Claims Filed By Heygood, Orr & Pearson
If you believe your insurance company is not treating you fairly, you should consult with an attorney experienced in pursuing “bad faith” lawsuits against insurance companies. The insurance company has an army of lawyers looking after its interests. It only makes sense that you have a lawyer looking after your interests.
At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, our attorneys are ready to stand up for individuals and companies who find themselves in the unenviable position of having an insurance company refuse to treat them in a fair and reasonable manner. When an insurance company fails to treat its customers fairly and denies legitimate claims that should be paid, the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are willing to take them on, expose their wrongful actions, and make them pay for their improper conduct.
Individuals who wish to file a class action lawsuit may also wish to discuss their case with a law firm that has experience in this type of litigation. Class action lawsuits are subject to unique rules and often expensive to pursue. There is a great difference to corporations between paying damages to a few victims and paying damages to every victim. Not surprisingly, corporations fight hard to defend themselves against class actions.
Heygood, Orr & Pearson also has experience and financial resources to handle bad faith insurance cases and class action litigation from start to finish. In fact, there are many instances in which we invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a case in order to take it to trial. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.
Contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for your free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal right to compensation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link and filling out a free consultation form.