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Des Longchamps v. Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co.

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

April 18, 2014

HENRY DES LONGCHAMPS, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLSTATE PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE CO., Defendant

Page 40

For HENRY DES LONGCHAMPS, Plaintiff: Michael Loyola Rowan, LEAD ATTORNEY, ETHRIDGE, QUINN, MCAULIFFE, ROWAN & HARTINGER, Rockville, MD.

For ALLSTATE PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant: John Michael Bredehoft, LEAD ATTORNEY, KAUFMAN & CANOLES, P.C., Norfolk, VA; Winthrop A. Short, Jr., PRO HAC VICE, KAUFMAN & CANOLES, P.C., Newport News, VA.

For ALLSTATE PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Counter Claimant: John Michael Bredehoft, LEAD ATTORNEY, KAUFMAN & CANOLES, P.C., Norfolk, VA; Winthrop A. Short, Jr., KAUFMAN & CANOLES, P.C., Newport News, VA.

For HENRY DES LONGCHAMPS, Counter Defendant: Michael Loyola Rowan, LEAD ATTORNEY, ETHRIDGE, QUINN, MCAULIFFE, ROWAN & HARTINGER, Rockville, MD.

Page 41

MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

JOHN D. BATES, United States District Judge.

This case concerns an insurance coverage dispute based on damage sustained to plaintiff Henry des Longchamps's property in Washington, D.C. in 2012. Before the Court is [6] des Longchamps's " motion for appointment of an umpire" and [12] defendant Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Company's (" Allstate" ) motion to amend its answer. Upon consideration of the various memoranda filed by the parties, and the entire record herein, and for the reasons explained below, the Court will deny des Longchamps's motion for an order to appoint an umpire and will grant Allstate's motion to amend its answer.

BACKGROUND[1]

In 2012, des Longchamps's property in D.C. suffered damage in a storm. That property was covered by an insurance policy issued by Allstate, so des Longchamps made a claim under the policy. As is often the case, the parties disputed the amount of damage and how much it would cost to repair the damage. Fortunately, the policy contains a provision with a process laying out what happens if such a dispute arises.[2] Unfortunately, the parties have not been able to resolve their dispute by using that process.

The parties agree on the basics of the dispute resolution process, which are as follows: the parties each select a neutral appraiser. If those appraisers cannot agree, the appraisers together select an umpire. If any two (both appraisers or one appraiser and the umpire) agree on an estimate, that estimate governs. Here, the parties selected appraisers. Those appraisers could not agree on an estimate. The parties dispute whether the appraisers were able to agree on an umpire, but they do not dispute that even if the appraisers previously agreed on an umpire, they no longer do. Des Longchamps then filed suit in D.C. Superior Court, and after answering the complaint, Allstate removed the case to this Court.

Des Longchamps avers either that the appraisers did not agree on an umpire or that the agreed-upon umpire withdrew. In either event, des Longchamps maintains, the policy provides that a court will then select an umpire.

Allstate avers that the appraisers initially agreed on an umpire and that the agreed-upon umpire withdrew. Allstate maintains that because the first umpire withdrew, under the policy, des Longchamps is not entitled to the selection of another umpire, meaning that ...


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