Jury Rules Against "Vexatious and Unreasonable" Insurer Over Property Claim Denial

A federal jury has ruled that an insurance company should pay $468,000 to the owners of Conklin’s Dinner Theatre to cover damages at the Barn II, which was damaged and then razed after a 2015 storm. In addition, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Hawley found the West Bend Mutual Insurance Co.’s failure to cover the claim filed by the owners after the Aug. 18, 2015, storm was “vexatious and unreasonable.” With that legal ruling, the judge also ordered the company to pay the dinner theater’s attorney fees and costs. The storm caused serious damage to the barn in Goodfield where the theater group had performed for 40 years. The damage was so great that the structure had to be torn down.

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