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John Franklin, Case v. Allstate Insurance Company

April 23, 2013

JOHN FRANKLIN, CASE PLAINTIFF,
v.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, DOES 1-10 INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANT.



STIPULATION TO STAY ACTION PENDING RESOLUTION OF APPRAISAL PROCEEDINGS ; ORDER

THE PARTIES, THROUGH THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNSEL OF RECORD, STIPULATE AS FOLLOWS: 3

Relevant Facts

1. On or about March 15, 2011, a storm damaged plaintiff's boat. On the loss date, Allstate insured plaintiff's boat under Boatowners Policy number 9 04 535544 (the "Policy"). 6 Plaintiffs submitted a property loss claim to Allstate as a result of the storm. 7

2. Allstate policy mandates that in the event of a dispute regarding the amount of loss, 8 such as the dispute described above, either the insured(s) or Allstate may demand appraisal. 9

Specifically, the Policy provides:

If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, then, either party may make written demand for an appraisal. Upon such demand each party must elect a competent and impartial appraiser and notify the other of the appraiser's identity within 20 days after the demand is received. The appraisers will select a competent and impartial umpire. If the appraisers are unable to agree upon an umpire within 15 days, you or we can ask a judge of a court of record in the state where you live to select an umpire. each shall select a competent and disinterested appraiser and notify the other of the appraiser selected within 20 days of the request.

The appraisers shall then determine the amount of loss, stating separately actual cash value and the amount of loss to each item. If the appraisers submit a written report of an agreement to use, the amount agreed upon shall be the amount of loss. If they cannot agree, they will submit their differences to the umpire. A written award by any two will determine the amount of loss.

3. In August 2012, the parties agreed to submit the dispute regarding the cost to repair plaintiff's boat to appraisal. The appraisers have been named, and those appraisers will select an umpire.

4. On March 12, 2012, plaintiff filed his complaint in the Shasta Superior Court. Plaintiff, however, did not serve Allstate until November 20, 2012. Allstate subsequently removed the case to the Eastern District of California.

Stay of Pending Action In Its Entirety

5. In federal court, the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA") governs enforcement of agreements to arbitrate, the manner of conducting arbitrations, and standards for reviewing and enforcing arbitration awards. It mandates the enforcement of arbitration agreements arising out of transactions involving interstate commerce, and provides in relevant part as follows:

A written provision in any . . . contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafter arising out of such contract . . . shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.

9 U.S.C. § 2 et seq. See also Warren-Guthrie v. Health Net, 84 Cal. App. 4th 804, 810-11 (2000), 5 overruled on another point in Cronus Investments, Inc. v. Concierge Services, 35 Cal. 4th 376, 393, 6 fn. 8 (2005) (an insurance policy is within the scope of the FAA as affecting interstate commerce); 7

Rubin v. Western Mutual Ins. Co., 71 Cal. App. 4th 1539, 1545 (1999) ("The parties quite rightly 8 do not dispute that the standard fire insurance form appraisal language has ...


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