Greenbrier Hotel Corporation, et. al. v. Lexington Insurance Company, et. al.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: denying Plaintiffs' 80 MOTION to Vacate and Set Aside the Decision of the Appraiser/Umpire; granting the Defendants' 83 CROSS-MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment as to Breach of Contract and Hayseed Damages; ; denying Defendants' 89 MOTION to Strike the Affidavit and Curriculum Vitae of Larry R. Weatherford and the Reply Affidavit of Marvin W. Masters. Signed by Judge Irene C. Berger on 11/29/2017. (cc: attys; any unrepresented party) (slr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
GREENBRIER HOTEL CORPORATION, et al.,
LEXINGTON INSURANCE COMPANY, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:14-cv-15201
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The Court has reviewed the Plaintiffs’ Motion to Vacate and Set Aside the Decision of the
Appraiser/Umpire (Document 80) and Memorandum in Support (Document 81), the Defendants’
Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to Breach of Contract and Hayseeds Damages
(Document 83), the Defendants’ Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion to
Vacate the Appraisal Award and in Support of Defendants’ Cross-Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment as to Breach of Contract and Hayseed Damages (Document 84), the Plaintiffs’
Response to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (Document 85), the Plaintiffs’ Reply
Memorandum in Support of Motion to Invalidate or Set Aside Report and Findings of the Umpire
(Document 86), and the Defendants’ Reply Memorandum of Law in Further Support of Their
Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to Breach of Contract and Hayseeds Damages
(Document 88). The Court has also reviewed the Affidavit of Marvin W. Masters (Document 87),
supplied in support of the Plaintiffs’ opposition to the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment,
and all attached exhibits. In addition, the Court has reviewed the Defendants’ Motion to Strike
the Affidavit and Curriculum Vitae of Larry R. Weatherford and the Reply Affidavit of Marvin W.
Masters (Document 89) and Memorandum of Law in Support (Document 90), the Plaintiffs’
Response to Defendants’ Motion to Strike the Affidavit and Curriculum Vitae of Larry R.
Weatherford and the Reply Affidavit of Marvin W. Masters (Document 91), and the Reply
Memorandum of Law in Further Support of Defendants’ Motion to Strike the Affidavit and
Curriculum Vitae of Larry R. Weatherford and the Reply Affidavit of Marvin W. Masters
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The Plaintiffs, Greenbrier Hotel Corporation and the Greenbrier Sporting Club, Inc.
(collectively, “the Greenbrier”), initiated this action in the Circuit Court for Greenbrier County.
They named the following Defendants: Lexington Insurance Company (Lexington), XL Insurance
America, Inc. (XL), ACE American Insurance Company (ACE), The Underwriters at Lloyd’s
London (Lloyd’s), McLarens Young International, Inc. (McLaren’s), and Rocco M. Bianchi
(collectively “Insurers”). The Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint (Document 1-3) was filed in state
court on April 16, 2014. The Defendants removed the matter to federal court on April 23, 2014.
This case involves a dispute over insurance for losses allegedly suffered by the Greenbrier
following the derecho windstorm of June 29, 2012.1 The Greenbrier was scheduled to begin
hosting its Greenbrier Classic golf tournament three days later.
The region experienced
widespread power outages, and trees, spectator areas, skyboxes, and camera towers at the
Greenbrier were damaged. Power was restored at the Greenbrier prior to the Classic, and the
1 According to the National Weather Service, “a ‘derecho’ is a long-lived, rapidly moving line of intense
thunderstorms that produces widespread damaging winds in a nearly continuous swath.” The Derecho of June 29,
2012, National weather Service, available at http://www.weather.gov/lwx/20120629svrwx (last updated July 27,
tournament went forward as planned, but the Greenbrier asserts that it suffered losses including
physical damage to the hotel and facilities, extra work needed to prepare the golf course and
facilities, extra salaries, wages, and fringe benefits, adverse publicity, and additional advertising
and promotion expenses. The dispute currently centers on a business interruption claim for a
period of approximately nine months following the derecho. The Greenbrier’s insurance policies
were purchased through the Resort Hotel Association (RHA) and are largely identical.
McLaren’s is contracted to act as a claims adjuster for the RHA policies, and Mr. Bianchi was
assigned to the Greenbrier’s claims. The Plaintiffs assert that the Defendant Insurers paid “a small
portion” of their losses, but refused to pay the remainder. (Am. Compl. at ¶ 29.) The Plaintiffs
assert claims for breach of the insurance contract, declaratory relief and unfair and unlawful claims
The declaratory relief sought by the Plaintiffs was a declaration that appraisal was not
required. The Defendants filed a motion seeking to compel appraisal. The Court found that
appraisal was required under the terms of the policies, and stayed the matter pending completion
of the appraisal process. Each party selected an appraiser, in accordance with the policies. The
appraisers did not agree on the amount of loss, and they jointly selected an umpire. The umpire
reviewed the evidence, but declined to hold an adversarial hearing as requested by counsel for the
Instead, each party, and their respective experts, submitted documentation and
testimony in the form of affidavits.
The Greenbrier’s attorney was, however, permitted to
examine the Insurers’ expert.
The Insurers contracted with Meaden & Moore (M&M) to analyze the loss after the initial
claim was made, and M&M continued to provide analysis through the conclusion of the appraisal
The Greenbrier initially submitted a claim with the assistance of RWH Myers.
However, it used Economic Valuation Associates, PLLC (EVA) during the appraisal process.
The Greenbrier claimed a loss of $16,497,138.63 for business interruption, which includes
$2,717,740.07 for the period of the Greenbrier Classic and $13,779,398.56 for the period from
July 9, 2012 until March 31, 2013. The Greenbrier also sought $973,886.39 for extra expenses.
M&M and the Insurers maintained that there was no business interruption loss for the
period following the completion of the Greenbrier Classic. This was based on the conclusion that
the documentation did not demonstrate that there was a loss (i.e., a reduction in revenue compared
to the anticipated revenue) for that period. M&M relied on 120-day forecasts2 prepared by the
Greenbrier to calculate anticipated revenue. One was prepared on June 26, 2012, days before the
derecho and the Greenbrier Classic, and M&M found that the actual experience of the Greenbrier
was consistent with the projections contained in the 120-day forecast. M&M and the Insurers
also argued that nothing about the derecho or its aftermath could be causally linked to any loss for
the nine-month period following the Classic. The Greenbrier and EVA put forth evidence that
revenue increased by about 25% in calendar year 2011 over that in calendar year 2010, and claimed
that a similar increase was anticipated in calendar year 2012, but for the derecho. They asserted
that the purpose of the Greenbrier Classic was to market the resort as a high-end golf destination,
and they expected the participation of high-profile golfers, including Tiger Woods and Phil
Mickelson, to support that goal. They argued that attendance at the Classic was lower because of
2 The parties disagree as to whether the 120-day forecasts are an accurate method of calculating projected revenue.
The Greenbrier prepared the forecasts for the purpose of setting room rates at a level that would maximize revenue
and to schedule staff. The Greenbrier’s manager asserts that the forecasts were updated regularly, were not used to
predict revenue, and did not account for anticipated growth. M&M asserts that it compared past 120-day forecasts
with past performance, and found them to be accurate.
the derecho, and that impacted revenue in subsequent months. The experts and counsel for both
the Greenbrier and the Insurers supplied reports, documentation, and supplemental reports,
including responses to each other’s submissions, detailing their respective positions.
M&M calculated a loss of $798,116.00, including a business loss of $759,245 during the
Greenbrier Classic and extra expenses of $38,871. The Insurers paid that amount prior to this
suit. Ultimately, the umpire and the appraiser appointed by the Insurers primarily adopted
The umpire explains that the Greenbrier calculated its business
interruption loss “by applying the growth rate trend of its revenues and attendance at the Classic
from years 2010 to 2011 and resort and hotel industry growth trends for the same period to arrive
at their projected revenue and reducing the projected revenue by the actual resort and hotel revenue
achieved.” (Appraisal Decision at 1, att’d as Pl. Ex. 1) (Document 80-1.) M&M “calculated the
loss for that period by relying primarily on 120 day forecasts generated weekly by the Greenbrier
as part of its regular course of business,” beginning with the 120 day forecast for June 26, 2012.
The umpire and the Insurers’ appraiser found that M&M’s calculation provided a better
estimate of the losses because “it used the Greenbrier’s actual experience during the prior three
years to adjust the weekly projections in the June 26, 2012, 120 day forecast.” (Id. at 2.) The
opinion further found that the revenue growth trend from 2010 to 2011 was of little import, because
“growth over a single year is not necessarily predictive of future growth, particularly where, as
here, the operator has only recently emerged from bankruptcy and has invested substantial capital
in improving the facility.” (Id.) The umpire described the claim for additional extra expenses
for advertising, a social media hire, and a sales office in Washington D.C. He, together with both
appraisers, rejected some advertising costs and the D.C. sales office, finding that they were planned
before the derecho. The appraisers and umpire agreed on an award of $26,000 for a social media
hire, and $31,000 for advertising.
The Insurers paid the additional $57,000 that the panel
determined was due.
The Greenbrier’s appraiser, G. Nicholas Casey, submitted an affidavit, arguing that the
panel erred by relying on the 120-day forecasts despite the fact that the author of those reports,
Greenbrier manager Jeff Kmiec, stated that they did not accurately reflect the anticipated growth
of the Greenbrier. Mr. Casey further asserts that the process did not permit a sufficient hearing,
and that he believes the Insurers’ appraiser and the umpire had reached their conclusions prior to
considering all of the evidence, prior to the discussion that included him, and prior to the hearing
during which the Greenbrier’s counsel examined the Insurers’ expert.
The Greenbrier also submitted an affidavit and curriculum vitae of Dr. Larry R.
Weatherford, and an affidavit by its counsel, Marvin W. Masters, which are the subject of the
Defendants’ motion to strike. Dr. Weatherford expressed opinions criticizing the methodology
and assumptions used by M&M and adopted by the umpire and the Insurers’ appraiser. Mr.
Masters’ affidavit describes his request for a hearing and the content of the hearing in which he
questioned the Insurers’ expert. Briefing on all motions is complete.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
A. Motion for Summary Judgment
The well-established standard in consideration of a motion for summary judgment is that
“[t]he court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a)–(c); see also Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 549 (1999); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986); Hoschar v.
Appalachian Power Co., 739 F.3d 163, 169 (4th Cir. 2014). A “material fact” is a fact that could
affect the outcome of the case. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; News & Observer Publ’g Co. v.
Raleigh-Durham Airport Auth., 597 F.3d 570, 576 (4th Cir. 2010). A “genuine issue” concerning
a material fact exists when the evidence is sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to return a verdict
in the nonmoving party’s favor. FDIC v. Cashion, 720 F.3d 169, 180 (4th Cir. 2013); News &
Observer, 597 F.3d at 576.
The moving party bears the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of material
fact, and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); Celotex Corp.,
477 U.S. at 322–23. When determining whether summary judgment is appropriate, a court must
view all of the factual evidence, and any reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom, in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. Hoschar, 739 F.3d at 169. However, the non-moving
party must offer some “concrete evidence from which a reasonable juror could return a verdict in
his favor.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256. “At the summary judgment stage, the non-moving party
must come forward with more than ‘mere speculation or the building of one inference upon
another’ to resist dismissal of the action.” Perry v. Kappos, No.11-1476, 2012 WL 2130908, at
*3 (4th Cir. June 13, 2012) (unpublished decision) (quoting Beale v. Hardy, 769 F.2d 213, 214
(4th Cir. 1985)).
In considering a motion for summary judgment, the court will not “weigh the evidence and
determine the truth of the matter,” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249, nor will it make determinations of
credibility. N. Am. Precast, Inc. v. Gen. Cas. Co. of Wis., 2008 WL 906334, *3 (S.D. W. Va.
Mar. 31, 2008) (Copenhaver, J.) (citing Sosebee v. Murphy, 797 F.2d 179, 182 (4th Cir. 1986). If
disputes over a material fact exist that “can be resolved only by a finder of fact because they may
reasonably be resolved in favor of either party,” summary judgment is inappropriate. Anderson,
477 U.S. at 250. If, however, the nonmoving party “fails to make a showing sufficient to establish
the existence of an element essential to that party’s case,” then summary judgment should be
granted because “a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element . . . necessarily
renders all other facts immaterial.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322–23.
B. Review of Insurance Appraisal
West Virginia does not appear to have directly addressed the standard of review applicable
to motions to vacate insurance appraisal awards in recent decades. The Greenbrier argues that an
appraisal award may be set aside in case of “fraud, accident, partiality, misconduct, or mistake,”
or where the appraisers fail to comply with policy terms and procedures. (Pl. Mem. at 15-16)
(Document 81) (citing Wheeling Gas Co. v. City of Wheeling, 5 W. Va. 448 (1872.) The Insurers
argue that appraisal awards may be vacated only in case of fraud, corruption, clerical error,
manifest error, or an award outside the scope of the contract—the standard applicable to arbitration
In early cases, the West Virginia Supreme Court applied the same standard to cases
involving insurance appraisal and arbitrations. See Van Winkle v. Cont'l Fire Ins. Co., 47 S.E. 82,
89 (W. Va. 1904) (approvingly citing arbitration cases for the principle that an error in judgment
regarding the facts is not a sufficient ground to set aside an award, unless the error is ‘very
palpable’). More recently, the court considered whether an insured could seek Hayseeds damages
for bad faith after substantially prevailing in the appraisal process. Smithson v. U.S. Fid. & Guar.
Co., 411 S.E.2d 850 (W. Va. 1991). In holding that Hyaseeds damages were available, the court
explained that “[u]nder an ordinary appraisal clause, the only issue is the amount of the loss” and
noted the distinction between the procedures used in appraisal and arbitration. Id. at 857. The
Smithson case did not involve the standard applicable to a motion to vacate an appraisal award.
Thus, the Court will look to the older cases cited by both parties. Though those cases use slightly
different formulations, there is general agreement that arbitration3 and appraisal awards may be
vacated for fraud, corruption, partiality, or other misconduct on the part of the appraiser, as well
as for clerical errors, readily apparent factual or legal errors, or an award beyond the scope of the
appraisal clause. Courts do not review the facts and law de novo.
A. Motion to Strike
The Insurers request that the Court strike an affidavit submitted by an expert, as well as an
affidavit by the Greenbrier’s counsel. The affidavits at issue were attached to the Greenbrier’s
reply in support of its motion to vacate the appraisal. The Insurers argue that such submissions
are improper in a reply brief, and that the expert affidavit should not be considered because it was
not presented to the appraisal panel. The Greenbrier argues that it did make the same arguments
before the appraisal panel, including citations to Dr. Weatherford, although it did not submit his
affidavit at that stage.
3 The Court notes that there have been legal developments with respect to arbitration in the intervening decades,
largely designed to reduce judicial oversight and interference in arbitration awards. Because those legal
developments are specific to arbitration, which, as noted in Smithson, involves more formal procedure, the Court will
not apply current arbitration standards.
The Court finds that the motion to strike should be denied. The parties simultaneously
briefed a motion to vacate the appraisal award and a motion for summary judgment, involving
overlapping issues and arguments. The matters covered in the affidavits are relevant to the
standard for vacating an appraisal award, 4 and responsive to the issues contained in the
Defendants’ response to the motion.
B. Validity of the Appraisal Award
Given the overlapping issues involved in the motion to vacate and the motion for summary
judgment, the Court will address the motions together. The Greenbrier argues that the appraisal
award should be set aside and a jury should determine the amount of loss. It asserts that the
umpire and the appraiser selected by the Insurers acted outside the scope of the contract by failing
to appropriately consider the Greenbrier’s historic revenue performance before the derecho. In
addition, the Greenbrier argues that the umpire and the Insurers’ appraiser erred by accepting the
calculations and methodology used by M&M, the Insurers’ expert.
The Greenbrier also
complains that the process used by the appraisal panel did not provide sufficient opportunity for
hearings to examine the credibility of the experts and the Greenbrier’s employees, as the panel
relied primarily on affidavits and written submissions.
The Insurers argue that the appraisal award is valid and legally binding because there is no
evidence of fraud, corruption, or clerical error. They assert that the panel acted within its authority
and in compliance with the relevant policy language to determine the amount of loss. They further
argue that the appraisal process ensured that the appraisal panel had access to all relevant
information, and the Greenbrier was granted the opportunity to cross-examine the Insurers’ expert.
4 The expert affidavit will be considered only to the extent it addresses misconduct or manifest error in the appraisal
award. To the extent it provides new information unavailable to the appraisal panel, it will not be considered.
The Insurers argue that the Court should not consider challenges to the accuracy of the calculations
accepted in the appraisal award. Should the Court consider factual challenges and challenges to
the methodology, the Insurers argue that the M&M report is reliable, and the appraisal award is
The insurance policy provisions relevant to appraisal do not differ substantively. The
appraisal provision in the Lexington policy provides:
If the Insured and this Company fail to agree on the amount of loss,
each, upon the written demand either of the Insured or of this
Company made within 60 days after receipt of proof of loss by the
Company, shall select a competent and disinterested appraiser. The
appraisers shall then select a competent and disinterested appraiser.
The appraisers shall then select a competent and disinterested
umpire. If they should fail for 15 days to agree upon such umpire,
then upon the request of the Insured or of this Company, such
umpire shall be selected by a judge of a court of record in the county
and state in which such appraisal is pending. Then, at a reasonable
time and place, the appraisers shall appraise the loss, stating
separately the value at the time of loss and the amount of loss. If
the appraisers fail to agree, they shall submit their differences to the
umpire. An award in writing by any two shall determine the
amount of loss. The Insured and this Company shall each pay his
or its chosen appraiser and shall bear equally the other expenses of
the appraisal and of the umpire.
(Lexington Policy at ¶ 51, LEX0040, att’d as Def. Ex. A) (Document 83-1.) A provision
entitled “Business Interruption” provides:
In determining the amount of net profit, all charges, and other
expenses (Including Soft Costs) hereunder for the purposes of
ascertaining the amount of the actual loss sustained, due
consideration shall be given to the experience of the business before
the date of the loss or damage and to the probable experience
thereafter had no loss occurred.
(Id. at § 12(d), LEX00022.)
Although relatively brief, the written decision setting forth the appraisal award details the
claim, the parties’ positions, and the panel’s reasoning. In summary, it found that the Greenbrier’s
expert calculated the loss by applying the 2010 to 2011 growth rate to the period following the
derecho, while M&M compared actual revenue against the pre-derecho 120-day forecast, and used
historic data to evaluate the accuracy of the 120-day forecasts. The panel explained why it found
M&M’s analysis more reliable and more consistent with the policy provisions regarding how to
ascertain the amount of loss. The appraisal decision reasoned that EVA’s reliance on the growth
trend from 2010 to 2011 was not reliable because it involved growth over a single year shortly
after the Greenbrier emerged from bankruptcy. Under the circumstances, the umpire found that
M&M’s use of the 120-day forecasts was a more accurate predictor of future revenue.
The umpire and the appraiser selected by the Insurers agreed on the amount of loss and
submitted their written opinion, in accordance with the policy language. The Greenbrier argues
that “[w]hether one calls it fraud, constructive fraud, corruption or clerical error, or that the
appraisers and umpire acted outside their authority and/or [the award] was the result of
misrepresentation, accident and/or mistake, it is clear that the underlying bases for the ‘award’ and
the award itself were based on an intentionally flawed and false methodology.” (Pl. Reply at 34) (Document 86.) The various methods by which an appraisal decision may be vacated are not
interchangeable. The Greenbrier presents no evidence of misconduct, fraud, partiality, or clerical
error. It argues that the process was insufficient because the panel primarily relied on affidavits
and written evidence, and did not permit the Greenbrier to examine its own witnesses in a hearing.
The procedures used are common in appraisals and applied equally to both parties. Those
procedures do not invalidate the award.
The Greenbrier’s primary argument, which it believes could constitute mistake, error,
fraud, or place the award outside the scope of the appraisers’ authority, is that the panel relied on
an expert that used an unreliable methodology and reached the wrong conclusions. It asserts that
the methodology was guaranteed to result in no damages because M&M applied post-derecho
room rates to the pre-derecho occupancy forecasts. M&M explained that the post-derecho room
rates were consistent with historic rates, and the appraisal panel presumably accepted that
explanation. Analysis of a business interruption claim based on a hoped-for increase in revenue
is necessarily somewhat subjective. In this case, the panel only had approximately two years of
revenue data because of the Greenbrier’s recent bankruptcy and acquisition by a new owner.
There was also little evidence regarding causation. The chart below shows fluctuating and
slowing revenue leading up to the derecho, and the relationship between the Greenbrier Classic
event and changes in revenue in prior years is not obvious. The Greenbrier reasoned that it
expended resources on the Classic because it expected the event to raise the resort’s profile and
increase revenue—but it did not have experts or comparisons with similar events at other hotels to
demonstrate that golf tournaments increase revenue for months afterward, or the extent of revenue
increase to be expected. Even the evidence that the derecho was responsible for a decrease in
attendance at the Greenbrier Classic was mixed, and the Insurers’ expert proffered alternative
explanations. In short, analysis of the claim required the appraisal panel to make subjective
judgments in addition to running the numbers.
Re ve nue
Re ve nue
Pe rce nt
Incre as e
Pe rce nt
Re ve nue Incre as e
(reproduced in Z. Meyers Affidavit, Document 80-18.)
The appraisal decision is not erroneous on its face, and the Court will not re-analyze the
facts and expert reports that the parties contracted to have assessed by an appraisal panel. The
appraisal panel clearly relied on the policy directives to determine the amount of the loss based on
consideration of historic performance and the probable experience had the derecho not occurred.
The Court will not second-guess the panel’s judgment regarding the proper methodology to
evaluate any change in anticipated revenue, nor will the Court second-guess the subjective
judgments that contributed to the conclusions reached. The Greenbrier’s challenge is precisely
the type of claim courts are not to review, absent manifest error. Thus, the motion to vacate should
C. Motion for Summary Judgment
The Insurers argue that they are entitled to summary judgment as to Count One of the
complaint, which asserts breach of contract and bad faith/Hayseeds damages. They state that they
promptly paid the amount they identified as a loss, timely sought appraisal as to the disputed
claims, and promptly paid the additional $57,000 awarded by the appraisal panel. Because the
Greenbrier did not substantially prevail in the appraisal, the Insurers argue that Hayseeds damages
are unavailable. In addition to its arguments challenging the appraisal award, the Greenbrier
asserts that the appraisal award “does not resolve quests of fact regarding the Defendants’ actions
in failing to timely pay for Plaintiffs’ losses.” (Pl. Resp. at 3) (Document 85.) The Greenbrier
urges the Court to permit discovery “to show the extent of Defendants’ bad faith.” (Id.) The
Insurers’ argue that no material fact relevant to their motion for summary judgment is in dispute,
and that the Greenbrier’s attorney’s affidavit fails to identify any issue that requires additional
In Hayseeds, Inc. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty, the West Virginia Supreme Court held
that “[w]henever a policyholder substantially prevails in a property damage suit against its insurer,
the insurer is liable for: (1) the insured’s reasonable attorneys’ fees in vindicating its claim; (2) the
insured’s damages for net economic loss caused by the delay in settlement, and damages for
aggravation and inconvenience.” Syl. Pt. 1, 352 S.E.2d 73, 74 (W. Va. 1986). “An insured
‘substantially prevails’…where the action is settled for an amount equal to or approximating the
amount claimed by the insured immediately prior to commencement of the action, as well as when
the action is concluded by a jury verdict for such an amount.” Syl. Pt. 2, Miller v. Fluharty, 500
S.E.2d 310, 313 (W. Va. 1997).
There is no dispute that the Insurers promptly paid the $798,116 loss that they
substantiated. They contested the remainder of the Greenbrier’s approximately $17 million claim.
The Court previously ruled that the Insurers timely demanded appraisal under the terms of the
policy, and there is no dispute that the Insurers promptly paid the $57,000 that the appraisal panel
It cannot reasonably be argued that the Greenbrier substantially prevailed in the
appraisal that determined the amount of the loss. The Greenbrier has not identified evidence,
either presently available or requiring discovery, that could permit a jury to find a breach of
contract or Hayseeds damages. Because the Insurers complied with the policy provisions to
resolve the dispute regarding the amount of the loss and promptly paid all amounts determined to
be owed, the Court finds that the Insurers are entitled to summary judgment as to Count One of
the amended complaint.
Wherefore, after careful consideration, for the reasons stated herein, the Court ORDERS
that the Plaintiffs’ Motion to Vacate and Set Aside the Decision of the Appraiser/Umpire
(Document 80) be DENIED, that the Defendants’ Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
as to Breach of Contract and Hayseeds Damages (Document 83) be GRANTED, and that the
Defendants’ Motion to Strike the Affidavit and Curriculum Vitae of Larry R. Weatherford and the
Reply Affidavit of Marvin W. Masters (Document 89) be DENIED.
The Court DIRECTS the Clerk to send a certified copy of this Order to counsel of record
and to any unrepresented party.
November 29, 2017
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