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Judicial review of a final award in appraisal is “severely limited.”

July 1, 2019
Mews at Byers Station Condo. Ass’n v. Greater N.Y. Mut. Ins. Co., No. 1047 EDA 2018, 2019 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1434, at *1 (Apr. 16, 2019)

The Superior Court reviewed a trial court order granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer on claims for breach of contract and bad faith. The underlying case centered on provisions in a commercial property policy that governed appraisal. The insured alleged these provisions were breached when the umpire was allowed to inspect the property before receiving a valuation from the insured’s appraiser. The umpire ultimately adopted the valuation submitted by the defendant’s appraiser. The court resoundingly affirmed summary judgment on both counts, noting that judicial review of an appraisal award as “severely limited” and requires evidence that a party had been denied a hearing, or that fraud, misconduct, or corruption resulted in an “unjust, inequitable or unconscionable award.” The principle here: no matter how justified a party may feel in refusing to comply with a final appraisal award, that party will also be hard-pressed to find a court willing to entertain their position and disturb the award barring an especially extreme set of facts.

 

Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2019

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