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Burning down the house

Burning down the house

Burning down the house
December 01
14:59 2021


Digested from case reports published online



Burning down the house

In September 2014, the Boles Fire damaged and destroyed numerous homes in the town of Weed, California, including the homes owned by Matthew Vulk, Gary Andrighetto, and James Dalin. They and others filed suit against their insurer, State Farm General Insurance Company, alleging claims that included breach of contract and negligence. Central to the dispute was whether State Farm intentionally or negligently underinsured the plaintiffs’ homes. The plaintiffs argued that their homes were insufficiently insured because of State Farm’s alleged failure to calculate reasonable or adequate policy limits on their behalf for the full replacement cost of their homes. 

After the trial court granted State Farm’s motion for summary judgment against Andrighetto, Dalin and Vulk stipulated to entry of judgment in favor of State Farm. Each plaintiff appealed, and the court of appeal consolidated the appeals for argument and disposition.

Thereafter, the court requested that the parties discuss in their briefing whether the judgments in the Dalin and Vulk matters needed to be reversed. After review, the court affirmed the trial court’s judgment in the Andrighetto matter; the court reversed in the Dalin and Vulk matters and remanded those for further proceedings.

Vulk v. State Farm General Insurance Company—California Courts of Appeal—September 23, 2021—C090073 and C0900074.



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