Insurance Lawyer Reviews Damage in Superhero Movies & TV | Vanity Fair

this drink I like it I know it’s great right another sub God are what we call natural phenomenon earthquakes hurricanes tornadoes and not acts of a god like someone like Thor my name is Stacy giulanti I’m an insurance attorney I’ve been in the insurance field for 30 years today we’ll be looking at insurance cases in both superhero movies and television shows this scene is from Man of Steel it gives me like anxiety as an insurance lawyer and as a claims adjuster looking at this type of damage absolutely within enough time adjusters will go out and

they will calculate the exact amount of damage for this even if it’s city-wide there’s certainly structural problems once Zod and Superman go smashing through it you’re gonna have to take that building down that’s actually a lot easier of a calculation because of what we have the valued policy law and what it says is that if a property is damaged we don’t fight over how much it’s going to cost to repair the insurance company pays out the amount listed on the policy end of story in addition each individual floor or business would have their own business

owner’s policy with all of the items covered in their offices they would take a look at the face value that’s on their business owner policy for

property and the insurance companies would write that check at a cost of at least 20 million dollars per floor 4 of the skyscraper not only is it the damage to the buildings but to all the businesses that won’t be able to operate all of the living expenses people will need to be paid all of the trucks and vehicles and cars that are damaged roads that will need to be replaced

not all of that is covered by insurance but for that part that is it’s going to be hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars I don’t see an individual responsible here that you could hold liable you certainly aren’t going to hold the alien General Zod we have Superman fighting for his very life There is almost no liability in the court for property damage when you are defending your own life call me crazy but I think if someone’s trying to terraform your planet you got a right to kick their butt if this is an act of

terrorism then it would typically be covered by the insurance companies and it’s called the terrorism Risk insurance act now prior to 9 11 insurance policies didn’t exclude terrorism they require insurance companies to ensure terrorist but after a certain limit the federal government will put its money up to a certain limit to pay for damages caused from terrorist acts now terrorist acts must be certified by the federal government as an act of terrorism you can’t go to court and say well this was an act of terrorism one of the big exclusions in virtually all insurance policies

is what we call acts of War if someone is trying to take over your country You could argue that that’s an act of war and property insurance is excluded it’s not covered the reason acts of worries are excluded is because it’s so much damage it’s too much for us to handle General Zod is trying to terraform the Earth to me that’s an act of war and there won’t be any money coming from the insurance companies this clip is from the Batman foreign not negligently but intentionally caused an accident in order to throw his pursuers off

of his Trail in terms of property damage you have the value of the tractor-trailer which appeared to be carrying fuel at least three or four other trucks along with private Vehicles damaged each one would have been a total loss no doubt in my mind so you’re talking well over a million dollars in damage we see Batman going around the vehicles and honestly doing his best not to impact any of their cars I do see however an issue with Batman towards the end that’s not an act of negligence that’s an act of recklessness and recklessness is

something that the Batman would actually be liable for this might be controversial but I’m gonna say it Batman is a cop Batman is called in by the bad signal in order to catch a fugitive or to stop a crime or solve a crime that is something the government does if you’re acting on behalf of the state you can’t do what the government can’t do you can’t search somebody without a warrant you can’t shake them until they give you a confession in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution just because you’re a private

person on the one hand he has qualified immunity he’s protected from regular negligence if he causes some damage and he’s not being Reckless he is protected the same way as a regular police officer would be but if he goes out of his way to be Reckless when he smashes the Penguin’s car he would be liable for that because no one including the police would be protected from a reckless act like that this scene is from Spider-Man homecoming I told you before what’s up guys if you got your PIN number four oh you gotta be careful

in terms of the legal issues here he’s not trying to save life he’s trying to save property and that’s a big legal distinction that we make the Good Samaritan Rule says if you’re going to save somebody especially someone’s life and you cause damage say you’re rescuing someone from drowning and you break their arm you’re not liable for breaking their arm because you saved their life he’s not saving any lies he’s merely trying to protect property foreign by getting involved and not letting them take the money and leaving he causes additional damage to that bank area

as well as to the building that it’s in and the deli once an insurance company pays out for damages in order to repair these buildings they’ll do what’s called subrogation they subrogate or they collect against those that are responsible now he didn’t cause the damage to the ATM pulling it out of the wall but when he starts throwing them around in order to stop them as opposed to just webbing them up that type of damage he would be liable for meaning but for his actions there would have been less damage ATMs are about ten thousand

dollars the glass and the poster the window and the metal framing probably another 15 or 20 thousand dollars there was probably ceiling damage if we looked at it a little bit more intently that you’re probably talking about fifty thousand dollars in damage to redo the facade on the bank side you then on the deli side and on that commercial property you’ve got this laser type object going right through the wall you’re probably talking about a total of about three hundred thousand dollars in damage oh come on now more interesting is the deli and the building

across the street the deli would have What’s called the Bop the business owner’s policy part of that coverage which you can also purchase is called business Interruption coverage any of the losses that you sustain from not being in business if that store was making twenty thousand dollars a month the insurance company would pay them twenty thousand dollars a month until they were back on their feet and so then the question arises is is he liable for his actions and the answer generally in the law is yes so in this case Spider-Man would be held by

virtually all courts liable for any damage or additional damage that he caused this scene is from Venom oh so many snacks so little time let’s start by looking at the damages Venom jumps on and destroys probably four vehicles and then smashes the facade of a building and then goes through a column stone fence into the water as he escapes probably looking at no more than 150 or 200 000 worth of damage but what’s interesting is that automobiles have various coverages and if you don’t have the right coverage your vehicle will not be covered for the

damage most people only have what’s called property damage coverage it doesn’t cover your car it covers the car that you hit so if you only have property damage coverage and you get into some kind of accident or damage your vehicle doesn’t get paid for by the insurance company the other two policies are called comprehensive and collision Collision is when a vehicle hits another vehicle or a stationary object the insurance company will pay at that time for the damage to the vehicle comprehensive is everything else a fire a tree falling on top it even an animal

striking the vehicle and in this case Venom almost like an animal an alien symbiote smashes into your vehicle so for those people if they don’t have what’s called comprehensive insurance the insurance company will not be writing a check to those people he’s an equal part to Eddie living inside him Eddie didn’t actually cause any of the damage himself Venom caused the damage which raises an interesting liability issue because if someone is carjacked and forced to be the getaway driver for a bank robbery they’re not responsible they did it under what we call duress duress is

a legal term where you’re forced to do something often under the threat of violence or you could get hurt cooperate and you might just survive that’s duress if I’ve ever heard it so to hold Eddie responsible for this seems very unlikely no insurance company is going to say that you have liability now we’re not talking about mental illness multiple personality disorder courts have often found that that’s not an excuse because it’s still the same person even if you claim to have multiple people living in you but in this case Eddie really does have someone else

living in him and you would say well we’ve never really had that situation the fact is we did have that situation Chang and Eng bunker conjoined twins would often go out to a bar and Chang one half of the conjoined twins would drink too much and get into a bar fight he knocked a guy out cold committed a battery and he was arrested so Chang and Ang were brought before the judge and the judge had to make a decision did he jail Chang who committed a battery but also the conjoined twin Aang who didn’t do

anything wrong or did he let them both go and the judge in that decision said I can’t put an innocent man in jail for this type of crime and he let them both go this scene is from the boys yeah don’t you ever smudge Billy superheroes absolutely if they exist are gonna make mistakes how does the law hold these superheroes accountable or not accountable for their actions in some instances you would think that the law would say they’re helping they’re doing more good than bad and therefore we’re not going to hold them liable and we

have that in some instances right qualified immunity protects police officers or in this case superheroes if they’re acting in the course and scope of their duties it’s qualified by certain rules chasing these bank robbers if you’re going to save money that was stolen from a bank and you’re going to cause additional destruction and in this case debt qualified immunity most likely would not protect you the attorneys for a train and for the corporation come to him and they want to resolve the matter now you two weren’t married and look technically there’s no legal claim but

thought wants to do the right thing if I were representing Huey I would absolutely not sign that non-disclosure agreement the lawyer tells him that he doesn’t have a cause of action and that’s true for wrongful death however there is a separate tort and a tort is when someone is injured called negligent infliction of emotional distress and there’s an argument to be made by a good lawyer that he would have the right to collect for causing you great emotional and mental distress by their negligent acts if he was to file a lawsuit he would be entitled

to what’s called Discovery where you get documents and deposition testimony from people at the company and the superheroes in order to get evidence for your liability case that may be where he can dig up more dirty laundry he could take that information and put it out to the world what happened if you’re looking at the emotional distress you could calculate it as an amount per day that an average person would take in order for you to have this kind of pain in your life I would ask the jury for 100 a day for every day

for the rest of Huey’s life because he’s gonna have to remember that horrific scene of holding Robin’s hands and her blood all over him and the street if you wanted to send a higher level message you would go after what we call punitive damages punitive damages have nothing to do with compensating it’s meant to punish the corporation for acts that they knew or should have known could have happened however insurance does not cover punitive damages that has to come out of the corporation’s pocket which is what makes it so painful for them let’s assume a

company like this is bringing in 60 billion dollars a year in Revenue it would be very easy to ask the jury for one percent of that which would be 600 million dollars you could ask for ten percent and go for six billion dollars if you wanted to no company wants to pay one percent or certainly not ten percent of their income for one case this scene is from Avengers Infinity War if half of humanity disappeared it would almost be impossible to calculate the total amount of damage to all of those lives that disappeared all of

the productivity so as far as I’m concerned that amount of damage incalculable if someone disappears life insurance has some very interesting rules that govern it it would take seven years for you to petition a court in order to prove that somebody was dead get that death certificate issued and collect on the life insurance proceed now if they pay you and then the people come back and as we find out half the population comes back the insurance companies would require you to pay that money back plus interest it’s important to know that insurance companies don’t like

files open they would try to settle the claims with you instead of paying you the full amount of the face value say a hundred thousand on a life insurance policy we’ll pay you a settlement amount say seventy thousand if you agree to that and you collect that money you do not have to pay it back when they’re found alive because that’s a separate agreement and you get to keep that cash this scene is from Hawkeye there’s no doubt that the moving van has lost its value as a moving van is therefore a total loss what

are you gonna do use that moving van now you’re gonna move what dollhouse items back and forth of course not however here’s the problem this van belongs to the bad guys and if a vehicle is being used in any criminal activity like that by either the owner or a permitted driver insurance will not cover it criminal activity is an exclusion in every policy if superheroes suddenly popped up the insurance world would have to change dramatically it would require the industry to take a look at all of their policies and start looking at new perils lasers

aliens super villains all of those things that don’t exist now we’d have to take a look at it find out how to cover those how to exclude those if necessary and more importantly how to charge for that risk Insurance provides peace of mind and if the worst should happen they’re there to provide the money to put you back in the place you were before that incident

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