Huge Victory for Arizona Homeowners

Living in the western United States comes with increased risk of wildfires. As communities

expand, housing encroaches upon our treasured forests, land that itself is increasingly susceptible

to wildfires. Sometimes, however, the damage caused by wildfires comes afterwards, when the rains

come, in this case, the predictable Arizona monsoons. Such was the case in the summer of  2011, when

the largest fire in Arizona to date, the Wallow Fire, wreaked havoc in the White Mountain communities

near Alpine, destroying homes, cabins and property.  Shortly thereafter, the Arizona monsoons

contributed to the damage, creating massive mudslides that wiped out the Stankova’s treasured cabin.

After their homeowner’s insurer refused to pay, we went to work for the Stankovas. It wasn’t easy

but after years of litigation, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important ruling favoring

Arizona homeowners.  In Stankova v. Metropolitan Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 788 F.3d 1012 (2015),

the federal court of appeals held that insurers could not enforce mudslide exclusions in homeowner’s

policies where fire was a cause of the mudslides. Given that fire season is once again upon us, we are

proud to know that we  helped garner some additional protection for current Arizona homeowners

who may be faced with a similar calamity.

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