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Valley Boys, Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

November 5, 2014

VALLEY BOYS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant

For Valley Boys, Inc., doing business as Valley Boys Roofing, Assignee, Plaintiff: John M. Owen, CHILDRESS, DUFFY LAW FIRM, Chicago, IL; Matthew P. Saathoff, SAATHOFF LAW GROUP, Omaha, NE.

For Allstate Insurance Company, Defendant: Brian D. Nolan, Julie A. Martin, NOLAN, OLSON LAW FIRM, Omaha, NE; Mark L. Hanover, PRO HAC VICE, DENTONS US, Chicago, IL.

Page 1180

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Richard G. Kopf, Senior United States District Judge.

The plaintiff, Valley Boys, Inc. (" Valley Boys" ), is a roofing contractor in Omaha, Nebraska. Several months after a damaging hailstorm in April 2013, Valley Boys allegedly took assignments from 27 homeowners whose properties were insured by the defendant, Allstate Insurance Company (" Allstate" ). Allstate has refused to recognize the alleged assignments or to make payment to Valley Boys.[1]

The assignment documents, which are dated between September 2013 and February 2014, state:

The undersigned, hereinafter referred to as the " Client(s)" , and Valley Boys Inc. d/b/a Valley Boys Roofing, hereinafter referred to as the " Valley Boys" for and in consideration for performing the work pursuant to the contract executed by Client(s) and Valley Boys, as well as any change orders executed thereafter, and for other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency whereof is hereby mutually acknowledged, and intending to be legally bound, hereby transfer, assign and set over onto Valley Boys, all of the right, title and interest of the undersigned Client(s) in and to those certain insurance claim(s) made by (Client(s) Name) designed [sic] under Claim No.: covering loss sustained at the property known as (address) during Client's ownership thereof, including but not limited to any and all insurance claims asserted thereunder and proceeds thereof. Client(s) understands that his/her/their/it's [sic] insurance company may try to pay the insurance proceeds to the Client(s) and/or Client's mortgage lender, if any. Client(s) agrees to cooperate with Valley Boys to have those insurance proceeds released to or made payable to Valley Boys.

(Filing 1-1 at 28-54.)[2] Each executed document contains a unique claim number, which presumably corresponds to Allstate's claim file.

It is alleged in Count I of the complaint that " [t]he Insureds and/or Valley Boys, as assignee, promptly and properly made claims to Allstate for insurance benefits under the Policies" and that " Allstate breached the Policies by failing to pay Valley Boys all benefits due and owing under the Policies." (Filing 1-1, ¶ ¶ 14, 18.) Valley Boys claims it is owed at least $569,065.14 for various " line-items" on estimates and invoices that it allegedly submitted to Allstate, including charges for " contractor overhead and profit," " heat stack base," " starter shingles," " ice and water shield and decking for ice and water shield," " ladder jacks, ladder labor, and OSHA fall protection for gutters," " residential supervision/project management," " OSHA fall protection for roof," " labor to

Page 1181

file and pull building permit," " OSHA personal protective equipment (hard hats, eye protection, and protective gloves)," " final yard cleanup," " fuel surcharge for delivery from roofing supplier," " fuel surcharge for delivery of dump trailer and driveway protection for dump trailer," " content manipulation for roof and content manipulation for deck," " sanding the deck before new stain is applied," " stain and finish stair tread and stringer/stain wooden post and beam on deck," " mask and prep for paint per linear foot and mask or cover per square foot," " pressure washing of the deck," " drip edge/gutter apron," " heat cap and collar," " two story high charge," skylight," " painted vents," and " painted gutters." (Filing 1-1 at 7-19.)

Valley Boys alleges in Count II of the complaint that " [u]nder the insurance policies, Allstate owes the Insureds and Valley Boys, as the assignee of their claims, the duty of good faith and fair dealing to fully and fairly adjust their claims." (Filing 1-1, ¶ 116). It is claimed that Allstate breached its duty by:

a. Conducting incomplete, inadequate, and/or outcome-oriented investigations into the Losses in order to ...

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