Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds Appraisal Awards Presumptively Valid

In Farmers Automobile Ins. v. Donaubauer (2009 WI 73), the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that appraisal awards are presumed valid and affirmed the lower courts order upholding the award. The decision can be found here and is also discussed on the State Bar of Wisconsin's website here.

The State Bar of Wisconsin article, written by Alex De Grand, begins:
The Wisconsin Supreme Court held on July 10 that appraisals are presumptively valid, limiting judicial review of an appraisal award to the face of the award barring some defect in the appraisal process.

In Farmers Automobile Ins. v. Donaubauer, 2009 WI 73, the court also gave binding effect to the appraisal clause in an insurance policy over the objections of the insured that it did not explicitly state he would be bound by the appraisal.

Dissenting justices criticized the majority for acting to deprive the insured of the tools necessary to show deficiencies with an award and interpreting the ambiguity in a contract of adhesion against the insured.


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