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On June 30, 2017, after a five day trial in Bartow, Florida, a jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense in a suit filed by a homeowner/insured, Janet Boyette, against Universal Insurance Company of North America. The lawsuit was filed in October of 2015. After extensive discovery, and unsuccessful negotiations, the case went to trial before the Honorable Roger A. Alcott, Circuit Judge. Three highly experienced attorneys represented Mrs. Boyette, who squared off against the trial team of Fred Zinober and Michelle Sabin, ably assisted by paralegal Jessica Francis. Dr. Donald McNeil, Ph.D., P.G., a professor from the University of Miami testified, on behalf of Mrs. Boyette, that sinkhole activity existed below Mrs. Boyette’s house, and Sunil Gulati, P.E., promoted the Plaintiff’s position that sinkhole activity had caused structural damage to her home and its foundation. This testimony was supplemented by that of Tom Miller, P.E., a structural engineer who testified that, as a result of the sinkhole activity, the insured’s home suffered structural damage. Following the Plaintiff’s presentation, Fred Zinober and Michelle Sabin presented Dr. Bruce Nocita, PhD., P.G., who testified that sinkhole activity did not, in fact, exist at the residence. Following his testimony Steve Meiggs, P.E., offered his opinion that the differential settlement, causing some of the damage to Mrs. Boyette’s home was unrelated to sinkhole conditions, but was a result of variable soil conditions, inadequate compaction, and erosion. Following the testimony of Don Grimm, Universal’s corporate representative, Bill Bracken, P.E. , of Bracken Engineering presented powerful testimony establishing that the cause of the cracks were natural conditions in Florida, and the house was not structurally damaged. Following closing arguments, the jury deliberated for approximately two and a half hours before reaching a verdict that established that Universal had proved, by the greater weight of the evidence, that the damage to Mrs. Boyette’s house was due to causes that were excluded under her policy.