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Lafollette v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division

December 21, 2016

ERIC LAFOLLETTE and CAMILLE LAFOLLETTE, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
LIBERTY MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          NANETTE K. LAUGHREY United States District Judge

         Plaintiffs Eric and Camille LaFollette move the Court for an order (1) decertifying the Earthquake Endorsement subclass for lack of numerosity; (2) amending the class definition to exclude claims arising under the Earthquake Endorsement; and (3) for final approval of their amended notice documents. [Doc. 226]. For the following reasons, the unopposed motion is granted.

         I. Background

         This is a breach of contract class action arising out of Liberty Mutual's homeowner's insurance policies. The dispute in this case involves Liberty Mutual's assessment of a $1, 000 deductible on the Lafollettes' actual cash value claim, which the Lafollettes contend should not have been assessed under the terms of the policy. The Lafollettes sought certification of a class of Liberty Mutual property insurance policyholders in Missouri whose ACV payments were similarly reduced by their deductible amounts.

         On August 1, 2016, the Court certified a Rule 23(b)(3) class defined as:

All persons who received an ACV payment, directly or indirectly, from Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company for physical loss or damage to their dwelling or other structures located in the state of Missouri arising under policy Form HO 03 (Edition 04 91) and endorsements, such payments arising from losses that occurred from April 8, 2004 to August 1, 2016, where a deductible was applied to the ACV payment for the person's dwelling or other structure (Coverage A and/or B).
Excluded from the Class are: (1) All persons who submitted a claim for and received a replacement cost payment from Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company under Coverage A and/or B; (2) All persons whose payment(s) plus the amount of any deductible applied was less than $2, 500; (3) Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates, officers, and directors; (4) Members of the judiciary and their staff to whom this action is assigned; and (5) Plaintiffs' Counsel.

         In its order certifying the class, the Court preliminarily certified four subclasses:

(1) All parties who received an ACV payment for loss arising solely under the base policy and/or Home Protector Plus Endorsement;
(2) All parties who received an ACV payment for loss arising under the Wind/Hail Endorsement;
(3) All parties who received an ACV payment for loss arising under the Functional Replacement Cost Loss Settlement Endorsement; and
(4) All parties who received an ACV payment for loss arising under the Earthquake Endorsement.

         II. Discussion

         Plaintiffs move the Court for an order (1) decertifying the Earthquake Endorsement subclass for lack of numerosity; (2) amending the class definition to exclude claims arising under the Earthquake Endorsement; and (3) for final approval of their ...


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