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My Brother's Keeper?

Discussion in 'Homeowners, Fire, Casualty' started by NBrazil, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. NBrazil

    NBrazil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Awkward situation, will try and simplify.

    I live in a 3 story condominium, 8 units, 2nd floor.
    Pipe broke and flooded, causing water damage to my unit and those beneath.

    Plumber called water remediation company (middle of night), they came out to stabilize and start drying out my unit and those beneath (office let them in to others). They would not start work unless I paid all or part of my deductible to them - so I did. In the coming days I decided to go with another (condominium approved) contractor to do the repair portion because the first company was swamped (no pun intended). And I found out that a neighbor decided NOT to file a claim and NOT pay the water remediation company for coming into his unit to stabilize and dry it. These last three points are important.

    Filed claim, insurance company advised me that each homeowner's own insurance is liable and so they would not pay for any work done on my neighbor's unit. Even so, remediation company sent invoice for all units to my insurance company.

    So - here we go, phase one (all checks made out to me and the company involved):

    Received check for water remediation company in excess of what was owed, by a lot.
    Received check for repair company, minus the deductible (note above, already paid).

    Phase two.

    Contacted insurance company to inform them of their errors, requested a check for the correct amount for the water remediation company and a check for the deductible for the repair company, providing PDFs of all pertinent documents.

    No response, contacted all companies involved to get complete information, communicated again with insurance company to please remedy this in written form (they have a claims communication website).

    A few days later they called, acknowledged the problem and told me they would issue a check for the deductible and cancel the other check and send the correct amount.

    Phase three.

    Again, I was issued a check in excess of my obligation, in fact in excess of my invoice AND the invoice for the neighbor (who isn't filing a claim) - even after 3 attempts to correct this.

    Water remediation company says they will put a lien on the neighbor's property. I have attempted to return the excess funds and failed - seems no mechanism is in place to do so.

    So finally, the "question" is: What about my neighbor's obligation? I have the funds to pay them from MY insurance company even though legally they are not supposed to pay the invoice! Since I can't return them, I can only sit on them or pay the invoice. From a legal standpoint, which one is the better choice?
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You might wish to visit a lawyer, documents in hand, and have him or her review the materials you possess.
    The lawyer can draft and send, at your direction, a letter explaining your plight and demanding a remedy.
    I wouldn't consider disbursing any of those checks, even if they were correct.
    By distributing the checks to others, you could be perceived as accepting responsibility for the damages allegedly caused from your unit.
    The entity sending YOU the checks, should be sending those checks to the claimants, victims, or the association for further distribution to the injured parties.

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