My husband son and I were displaced by a fire in our home. Temp housing working as sub for ins co found a place. Used our monies from the contents portion of policy for security deposit. Temp housing gave the money to landlord. In there contract with him he was to submit deposit back to them at lease end. Lease ends he submits bogus damage list to Temp housing. They ok him keeping security deposit without even contacting us. They facilitated all aspects of lease and security deposit. Make us file against them. They claim no responsibility we are trying to get our $5500 back. The judge we're in front of is landlord tenant and has no knowledge of insurance paid housing practices. Demanded discovery just to prove secuity deposit money was even ours. (It wasn't even contested by opposing lawyer) Do you have any insight on this situation or can u direct me to where I may find case law on such a matter?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): New Jersey
demanding deposit refund, beginning law suit against principle parties
The doctrine and law of subrogation will apply here. When the insurance company acts on behalf of its insureds, it is stepping into the insureds' shoes, so to speak. This means that the insurance company can demand the same rights as their insured. The most common example of this is where Party A is involved in a car accident with Party B. The insurance company of Party A pays Party A as per their comprehensive auto insurance policy. However, the insurance company then discovers that Party B was at fault for the accident. Therefore, since the insurance company paid Party A, they step into the shoes of Party A and they can now directly file a lawsuit against Party B to recover their damages. The same thing applies here. Since the insurance company used the proceeds of your insurance policy to pay for a lease with security deposit, you then have the right to pursue the landlord to recover the deposit.
question was where to find case law concerning this
I will do some research and get back to you.
TEMP HOUSING CORP. acted as sub contractor for Ins Co. THC handled giving the landlord the security deposit (which came from our contents portion of our Ins claim) and in the end telling landlord he could keep security deposit for damages without any notification to us. I feel THC broke a fiduciary relationship with us and should be liable to return our security deposit that the landlord says he no longer has. The Judge hearing our case is not familiar with such a situation and wants to allow TEMP HOUSING CORP. out of the law suit. I'm hoping to find a case law that represents a fair outcome when the Ins Co uses an outside party to administer funds from a claim. Thanks for your help. Sue
Sue, I have not yet been able to find any case law directly on point. However, your lawsuit would have to be against the named defendants of the insurance company and the landlord. The landlord should be included as a direct defendant on the grounds that the landlord is a "necessary party". That being said, THC is not a necessary direct defendant. Your claim as stated should be against the insurer and landlord. Essentially, your claim against the insurer is one of breach of contract. The claim against the landlord is conversion, fraud and unjust enrichment. The insurer should then file a third party indemnity claim against THC, as they have privity of contract with them.
10+years of experience in all types of civil litigation and hearing officer/arbitrator
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