Government Retains FPJL to Fight Against Insurers For Damages to $8 Billion in Property

 

By: Farrell, Patel, Jomarron & Lopez | Property Litigation Attorneys

One of the largest real estate agencies in Puerto Rico, Autoridad de Edificios Públicos de Puerto Rico or “AEP”, has retained the law firm Farrell, Patel, Jomarron & Lopez to represent them in the fight against insurers for losses caused by Hurricane Irma and Maria. AEP is a government agency responsible for the acquisition and management of real estate assets for the federal government in Puerto Rico. Today, AEP owns and maintains a real estate portfolio with assets valued at over $8 Billion consisting of notable properties like schools, hospitals, police stations, prisons, fire stations, and other government buildings. 

The 2017 hurricane season brought insurmountable devastation to Puerto Rico when in the month of September, the island experienced Category 5 and 4 storms, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. Farrell, Patel, Jomarron & Lopez has been on the front lines lobbying and litigating for the Puerto Rican people in the wake of both hurricanes. In response to Hurricane Maria, the firm raised over $100,000.00 to help provide food, shelter, clothing and supplies to the people who were left without shelter, water or power. FPJL’s attorneys worked closely with the Puerto Rican government to help author a number of important insurance laws, and effectively reformed Puerto Rico’s insurance code late last year. The reforms, which were converted to a Presidential Bill when introduced to and unanimously passed by both houses of the Puerto Rican legislature, were immediately signed into law by Governor Ricardo Rossello.

The bill the firm authored; PC 1645 creates a new statutory bad faith action for policyholders who wish to file a civil action against their insurance carrier for failing to settle a claim in good faith which is now Law 247 codified in Puerto Rico’s Insurance code as 26 L.P.R.A Artículo 27.163, Remedios Civiles. The passage of this bill was an important step to help Puerto Ricans recover from Hurricane Maria and marks a historic and significant win for all policyholders on the island, but more work still needs to be done. Given the scale of the losses, Hurricane Maria alone could ultimately cause $100 billion in insured losses, including business interruption, according to many risk modeling experts. Many Puerto Ricans were forced to drain their savings, close their businesses, or become accustomed to living with structural damage in their homes as they fight insurance companies over millions of dollars’ worth of claims that have gone unanswered or unpaid more than two years after Hurricane Maria. The firm plans to continue filing suit against insurers to hold them accountable for their part in the staggering number of unresolved insurance claims to date.

 

At Farrell, Patel, Jomarron & Lopez, the firm’s deep experience across a wide spectrum of insurance disputes provides a valuable resource for our clients. The addition of AEP as a client reflects FPJL’s continuing commitment to be a leading advocate in protecting the insurance rights of policyholders on the island.”

                                                                      -Ricky K. Patel, Esq.

The attorneys at Farrell, Patel, Jomarron & Lopez have a broad of range of experience and a record of success in enforcing the rights of policyholders under all types of insurance policies. The team at Farrell, Patel, Jomarron & Lopez has handled some of the largest and most high-profile property insurance coverage cases in the country. The firm’s successes include recoveries for claims ranging from mass tort liabilities to class action settlements, first-party property and business interruption losses, products liability, environmental claims, and a host of other areas. With a deep understanding of the property & casualty insurance business and the needs of clients, the team is known for providing high value and extraordinary service focused on policyholder representation and zealous advocacy. From achieving record breaking settlement agreements, to addressing a host of complex multi-district litigation issues, to managing bad faith claims against liability insurers, the attorneys at FPJL understand how to translate clients’ rights under insurance contracts of insurance into effective legal solutions.