Lane-Jacobson v. Mercury Casualty Co., 060220 AZAPP1, 1 CA-CV 19-0246

Docket Nº:1 CA-CV 19-0246
Opinion Judge:PERKINS, JUDGE
Party Name:ATHENA FINNEY LANE-JACOBSON, Plaintiff/Appellant/Cross-Appellee, v. MERCURY CASUALTY COMPANY, Defendant/Appellee/Cross-Appellant.
Attorney:Athena Finney Lane-Jacobson, Phoenix Plaintiff/Appellant/Cross-Appellee Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP, Phoenix By Matthew G. Kleiner, Annelise M. Dominguez Counsel for Defendant/Appellee/Cross-Appellant
Judge Panel:Judge Jennifer M. Perkins delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge David D. Weinzweig and Judge James B. Morse Jr. joined.
Case Date:June 02, 2020
Court:Court of Appeals of Arizona
 
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ATHENA FINNEY LANE-JACOBSON, Plaintiff/Appellant/Cross-Appellee,

v.

MERCURY CASUALTY COMPANY, Defendant/Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

No. 1 CA-CV 19-0246

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

June 2, 2020

Not for Publication - Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. CV2016-010863 The Honorable Roger E. Brodman, Judge

Athena Finney Lane-Jacobson, Phoenix Plaintiff/Appellant/Cross-Appellee

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP, Phoenix By Matthew G. Kleiner, Annelise M. Dominguez Counsel for Defendant/Appellee/Cross-Appellant

Judge Jennifer M. Perkins delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge David D. Weinzweig and Judge James B. Morse Jr. joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

PERKINS, JUDGE

¶1 Athena Finney Lane-Jacobson appeals the superior court's award of summary judgment to Mercury Casualty Company for breach of contract and breach of good faith and fair dealing. Mercury Casualty cross-appeals the denial of attorneys' fees. We affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 In July 2014, a storm caused water damage to the home of James Jacobson and Ms. Lane-Jacobson (collectively, "the Jacobsons"). The Jacobsons made a claim for water damage under their homeowner's insurance policy with Mercury Casualty.

¶3 Mercury Casualty retained Sams & Associates ("Sams"), an independent adjustment company, to inspect the property and estimate damages. On August 9, 2014, an adjustor from Sams inspected the home. According to the Jacobsons, the Sams adjuster refused to inspect the interior of the home for damage and limited his investigation to the home's exterior. The adjuster concluded that the property sustained exterior damage. On August 14, 2014, Mercury Casualty made a payment to the Jacobsons consistent with the adjuster's report and closed the claim.

¶4 The Jacobsons contacted Mercury Casualty again in September 2014 to address the claim for interior water damage. Mercury Casualty reopened the claim. Another adjustor from Sams inspected the home and found interior water damage. ServPro, a remediation company, began interior remediation efforts. Claim records suggest that, as part of the remediation efforts, ServPro advised that demolition or wall cavity air testing in each affected room could be conducted to verify any presence of mold, but that the Jacobsons were "not too big on a lot of demolition] . . . ." ServPro also conducted interior mold sampling. The subsequent mold sampling report showed elevated or abnormal levels of mold in the interior of the home. ServPro then provided mold remediation.

¶5 In October 2014, post-remediation air testing results showed "acceptable post-remediation air sampling results." Mercury Casualty paid the Jacobsons that month for the additional damage to the property.

¶6 In December 2014, the Jacobsons contacted Mercury Casualty and ServPro and reported "mold poisoning," claiming "ServPro didn't do their job." The Jacobsons wanted to "open[] a claim for mold poisoning." In April 2015, Mercury Casualty spoke to Mr. Jacobson about his mold concerns and the claim file shows that he agreed to send Mercury Casualty documents related to "doctors information, hospital visits, etc." in support of his mold poisoning concerns. The claim file reflects more conversations with Mr. Jacobson, but no additional documentation from the Jacobsons related to their mold poisoning claim. Mercury Casualty closed the Jacobsons' claim in June 2015.

¶7 In March 2016, Ms...

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