Case Conclusion Date: November 2015
Practice Area: Business Disputes
Outcome: Client awarded $420,500
Description: We represented a public adjuster that assisted a hotel company in filing an insurance claim for damage caused to the hotel by Hurricane Isabel. For its work, our client was owed a certain percentage of whatever insurance proceeds the hotel recovered. Before we got involved, the hotel company won an arbitration award of more than $10 million. Because the hotel company had numerous creditors, the insurance company "interpled" the arbitration award by paying those funds into court. However, that interpleader action, and a distribution of the funds proposed by other creditors, ignored our client's claims. We appeared and argued that our client was improperly omitted from the interpleader case. Because our client's work helped to secure the insurance proceeds, it was a secured creditor of the hotel company with an equitable lien on those proceeds.
Shortly thereafter, the hotel company filed for bankruptcy, and the bankruptcy court ultimately approved a settlement distributing the interpled funds to various creditors, including a distribution of $420,500 our client. We were not involved in the bankruptcy case, but the bankruptcy court recognized that our client was a secured creditor with an equitable lien, just as we argued in the state court interpleader action.