Notable Cases

1994 Northridge Earthquake

Earthquake Seismograph imageWhen the insurance industry abused their customers after the Northridge Earthquake, Gruber & Gruber stepped in to represent homeowners whose homes, and in many cases lives, had been destroyed.  Gruber & Gruber represented over 15,000 homeowners, and was the lead counsel in the primary class action arising out of the earthquake, Sherman v. Allstate, in which Allstate paid approximately $100 million to correct its errors.

Gruber & Gruber’s groundbreaking cases include:

Sherman v. Allstate
In the Northridge Earthquake case, Sherman v. Allstate, Gruber & Gruber successfully forced Allstate to readjust the homes of each of the 12,000 members of the class that chose to participate.  This readjustment included a complete re-inspection of each home by a team of court-appointed adjusters and engineers.  Because these adjusters were not Allstate employees, and therefore not influenced by Allstate, Gruber & Gruber helped thousands of homeowners receive an additional $65 million in compensation from Allstate.

Kapsamillas v. Allstate        
In Kapsamillas v. Allstate, Gruber & Gruber persuaded the Court of Appeals that Allstate’s application of the statue of limitations was wrong in the earthquake context.

Farmers Insurance Unfair Competition Action
Gruber & Gruber was principal counsel in the settlement of the Farmers Insurance Company unfair competition action, which exposed fraud on the part of Farmers in taking an improper deductible from many claimants, and improperly withholding funds due to its policyholders.  This settlement resulted in the payment of more than $10 million to the homeowners.

Ward v. Allstate
In Ward v. Allstate, Gruber & Gruber persuaded the Court that the statute of limitations did not begin to run until a reasonable person could determine that he or she had appreciable earthquake damage.  This decision was the first of its kind and has been followed by many others that have greatly aided homeowners.  Ward v. Allstate is supported by the California Department of Insurance.  

Vu. v. Prudential Property & Casualty Co.
In Vu. v. Prudential, the California Supreme Court agreed with Gruber & Gruber and held that an insurance company was required to tell its insured’s the truth regarding a claim.

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