The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruledthat a suit limitation provision in a homeowner's insurance policybarred an action filed by a contractor, as the assignee of theinsureds, against the insurer.

The case

After Larry and Nancy Mitchell discovered that raccoons hadtaken up residence in the attic and crawl space of their home inSavannah, Ga., they contracted with A+ Restorations, Inc. (A Plus)to remedy the situation. In exchange for repair and restorationwork on their home, the Mitchells assigned A Plus certain rightsunder the homeowner's insurance policy they had acquired fromLiberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, including the right tocollect benefits for the services performed by A Plus directly fromLiberty, as well as “all rights to proceed against the insurancecompany obligated to provide such benefits, including, but notlimited to, initiating legal suit to enforce such payments.”

When the work was completed, A Plus tendered invoices to Libertyfor the materials and services provided on the project. Libertyremitted a portion of the claim, but refused to reimburse A Plusfor the full amount, leaving $98,794.79 unpaid.

A Plus submitted a final demand seeking payment of the fullamount, but Liberty declined.

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