On October 13, 1999, the Howard Johnson Hotel in Niagara Falls, New York suffered extensive property damage from a severe wind and rain storm. The hotel issued a claim under its “all-peril” policy, but the insurance carrier refused to honor the claim. Attorneys John Comerford and Kathy Burr presented evidence through numerous depositions and expert reports and the insurance carrier finally agreed to pay. The Howard Johnson Hotel has been a landmark destination in Niagara Falls for more than 50 years. With the out-of-court settlement that came a few weeks before jury selection, the hotel, which has operated for three generations, will now stay in business and avoid bankruptcy. Under New York law, the insurance carrier must pay viable claims. Insurance carriers should not force policyholders to sue their carriers for payment of claims.

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