A decade ago, it was questionable sinkhole damages that proliferated in Florida property insurance claims. More recently, “free roof” solicitations, roof claims and thousands of lawsuits have rattled the industry.
Now comes cast iron drainpipes, common in homes built before 1975.
The pipe systems have become targets for some of Florida’s largest plaintiffs’ law firms, according to insurance attorneys, adjusters and engineers. It’s possible the pipes could lead to many more claims and suits in coming years, after Florida lawmakers took action designed to reduce roof claims and litigation.
“We’re seeing patterns. Patterns in property claims,” said Cassandra Hand-Gallegos, adjuster and CEO with CCMS & Associates in Dunedin, Florida, who spoke last week at the Florida Defense Lawyers Association claims conference in Orlando.
“The biggest issue is not what’s going on inside the pipes, but what’s going on with the insurance claims industry,” said David Grindley, a forensic structural engineer who also spoke at the conference.
One recent television advertisement from Orlando-based Morgan & Morgan, which calls itself America’s largest injury law firm, for example, flashes large amounts of cash that may be available to homeowners whose dwellings are more than