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FM Global unit prevails again in Superstorm Sandy case

Posted On: Jul. 26, 2021 1:15 PM CST


A federal appeals court Monday affirmed a lower court ruling in an FM Global unit’s favor in litigation over $1.47 billion in property and business interruption losses New York University claimed it was due as a result of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy.

The ruling by a unanimous three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York University v. Factory Mutual Insurance Co. affirmed a March 2019 decision by the U.S. District Court in New York.

In the lower court ruling, the judge had said that NYU’s argument in favor of coverage “is easily dispensed with.”

Among the issues discussed in the appellate court decision was NYU’s contention that the district court had erred in concluding the 2011 policy’s additional coverages were unambiguously subject to the limit of liability for flood.

“We do not agree,” the appellate panel said. The 2011 policy’s language “makes plain that any costs incurred from flood that would qualify as additional coverages are part of, not in addition to, the $250 million limit of liability for loss or damage from flood,” it said, in affirming the lower court’s decision.

An FM spokesman said in a statement, “We were pleased with the trial judge's decision, agreeing with our position in the case, and we are happy to see that the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.”

NYU and its attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.