21
Aug
2015

Storm Clouds Still Ahead As NJ Winds Down Sandy Suits

Law360

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As New Jersey approaches three years since Superstorm Sandy, state courts have cleared nearly 73 percent of storm-related suits thanks in part to extra judicial attention, but the system could still see new big-dollar claims from policyholders that tried to negotiate out of court, attorneys said.

As of the beginning of August,1,272 of the 1,748 Sandy suits that have been filed in New Jersey state courts are now closed, according to statistics provided by the judiciary. About 80 percent of the 476 cases that remain active are in Monmouth and Ocean counties, which saw the brunt of Sandy's impact when the storm made landfall on Oct. 29, 2012, and left more than $36 billion in damages statewide.

While most of the state court Sandy cases have already been filed and resolved, there's still the potential for new suits with a lot money at stake, according to some attorneys.

According to Robert D. Chesler, a shareholder with Anderson Kill:

"Those suits could come from insureds with financial wherewithal that have negotiated in vain with carriers — over certain areas of coverage or the applicability of policy limits or sublimits, for example — and finally feel like it's time to head to court"

“I feel that a lot of the claims are taking a long time to make their way to court, and we haven't seen the end of this by a long shot,” said Chesler, who handles insurance recovery work.

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