Mississippi city awarded $10.3 million in legal dispute with Zurich

The lawsuit was filed over hailstorm claims

Mississippi city awarded $10.3 million in legal dispute with Zurich

Insurance News

By Mika Pangilinan

A city in Mississippi is set to receive $10.3 million from an insurance company it had sued over four years ago.

The city of Jackson filed a lawsuit against Zurich American Insurance Company in 2019, seeking damages to cover the restoration of city buildings destroyed by a 2013 hailstorm.

Zurich was the city’s insurance provider at the time of the storm. According to court documents, the insurer made payments to Jackson for the property it was insuring, including a $2 million advance intended for emergency repairs.

Jackson argued that these payments did not cover the full amount insured by its policy with Zurich. The insurer refused to make additional payments, citing a three-year limitations period indicated within the policy.

The two parties were locked in a legal battle until 2023, when Jackson agreed to settle with Zurich.  An order signed by a district court judge said the two have “announced to the court the resolution of this matter and that it can be administratively closed.”

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba spoke of the sum that Jackson is set to receive during a press conference this week.

“We’ve been in a battle with Zurich for quite some time, trying to make sure that we got a proper agreement for the money that we need to repair our facilities,” he said.

City Attorney Catoria Martin also commented on how their years-long dispute with Zurich came to an end.

“We decided that our best path forward was to do a binding arbitration,” said Martin. “We knew going into that arbitration what the numbers were. We knew how many facilities had been affected. We knew the way that we had been treated by Zurich. This is definitely a case where we were the underdog.”

When asked about how the money from Zurich will be spent, Lumumba said it will be allocated towards repairing damaged buildings, as well as addressing other needs across the city.

“I won’t go ahead of that process and declare where this money will go,” he said. “But it certainly is well needed and we’re grateful for the work to get it.”

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