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Sunseri and Mushet Granted Motion for Summary Judgment for Insurance Broker

The Honorable John Preston Bailey, of The Federal District Court, Northern District of West Virginia, granted the Motion for Summary Judgment, prepared by attorneys Anthony Sunseri and Darla Mushet, dismissing the defendant, an insurance broker, with prejudice, from claims sounding in negligence and breach of contract. Plaintiff, a commercial construction developer, alleged that the defendant, insurance broker, failed to procure proper insurance coverage for the commercial developer’s involvement in the construction of a retaining wall project. The plaintiff’s work resulted in litigation in which the claimed damages exceeded $25 million dollars. The base value for the commercial developer’s portion of the project was $6.5 million dollars. The Burns White attorneys successfully argued to the Federal District Court that despite plaintiff’s artful characterization and pleading of the claims asserted as to the defendant, insurance broker, Plaintiff’s claims were truly claims of professional negligence, and of such a technical nature that expert testimony was required. Plaintiff contested, however, the necessity for expert testimony to support the Plaintiff’s asserted claims and the insurance-related issues. The Federal District Court conceded the arguments of the Burns White counsel, recognizing “[i]t is the general rule that wants of professional skill can be proved only by expert witnesses.”