Judge won’t dismiss Leilani homeowners’ lawsuit

  • Courtesy photo

    Philip and Lanell Haysmer are suing Lloyd’s of London and insurance adjusters for not covering the loss of their Leilani Estates home in May during the Kilauea eruption.

A judge denied a motion to dismiss a claim brought against Lloyd’s of London by an elderly Puna couple who allege their insurer acted in bad faith by not approving the claim they made after losing their home during the eruption of Kilauea volcano earlier this year.

The order by Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto was filed Nov. 13. It keeps alive a civil lawsuit filed by 77-year-old Philip Haysmer and his 70-year-old wife, Lanell Haysmer, former homeowners from the Leilani Estates subdivision.

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Lloyd’s, as well as co-defendants Specialty Program Group LLC, Arm Claims Inc., doing business as Alternative Risk Management, and John Mullen and Co., sought the dismissal of the Haysmers’ bad faith and consumer protection claims.

The Haysmers allege Lloyd’s and the others failed to honor the Haysmers’ insurance claim in good faith following the destruction of the their home in a May fire during the lower East Rift Zone eruption of Kilauea this year.

Despite paying nearly $3,000 a year for homeowner’s coverage with Lloyd’s, the Haysmers’ claim was denied by an unlicensed claims adjuster from an unlicensed claims adjusting company located 4,000 miles away in Little Rock, Ark., the Haysmers’ attorney, Jeffrey Foster, said in court Nov. 4.

Foster further alleged no one from Lloyd’s of London or anyone else visited the Haysmers’ property to inspect the damage before issuing a denial.

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“For seven months, Mr. and Mrs. Haysmer have received their fair share of bad news,” Foster said. “It was nice to be able to deliver a bit of good news for a change.”

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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