Sikora Law obtained its 31st appellate victory (now on 24 different real estate subjects) in an Opinion affirming a Jury Trial verdict in favor of a major title insurance underwriter. Johnson v. U.S. Title Agency, Inc., 2020-Ohio-4056. Plaintiff asserted claims for breach of contract and bad faith stemming from mechanic’s liens that were recorded after the issuance of an Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance and also asserted a claim for breach of the Closing Protection Letter. After a nine-day Jury Trial, the jury specifically found that the underwriter had not breached the terms of the Policy or Closing Protection Letter, and entered a defense verdict on all claims.
In a 44-page Opinion, the 8th District Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed, specifically rejecting each of the Plaintiff’s assignments of error, and affirming that, based on the evidence presented at Trial, the mechanic’s liens at issue were not covered matters under the Owner’s Policy because those liens arose after the Owner’s Policy was issued. Plaintiff’s transactional counsel claimed to have given vague, oral closing instructions to the closing agent, which testimony Plaintiff then used to argue that Plaintiff should be considered a third-party beneficiary of the lender’s closing instructions. That important subject became the main issue at Trial, and Plaintiff was defeated on that point – both at Trial and on Appeal.
To review the Johnson v. U.S. Title Opinion, click here.