LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Discussions toward a possible settlement have begun in a lawsuit filed by actor Nick Nolte and his wife against Allstate Insurance Co. over the insurer's handling of their claim filed after their Malibu property sustained significant damage during the 2018 Woolsey Fire, attorneys in the case told a judge.
During a case management conference Friday, the lawyers informed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Christopher K. Lui that talks toward a potential resolution are ongoing, but that no discovery between the parties has taken place.
The judge scheduled a post-mediation status conference for Jan. 25, 2022, and trial for April 25, 2022, if no settlement is reached.
The 80-year-old “Prince of Tides'' actor and spouse Clytie Lane brought the lawsuit last Oct. 29, alleging breach of contract, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The couple seek unspecified damages.
On Nov. 8, 2018, the couple's residential property and possessions were “either destroyed and/or substantially damaged'' by the Woolsey Fire, the suit states. One of the residential structures, known as the Rock House, sustained substantial smoke and heat damage, and several other structures were burned to the ground, the suit states.
“In addition, extraordinarily valuable and more importantly, deeply personal, film memorabilia that spanned the entire career of Mr. Nolte was destroyed,'' according to the suit.
The fire caused $3 million in damage to the structure and contents of the house, but the home was not destroyed, firefighters said at the time.
After the fire, Allstate “unreasonably delayed the handling, adjustment and resolution of the claim, and have taken unreasonable coverage and claim positions,'' the suit alleges.
Allstate's conduct is “contrary to the terms of the insurance policy, their duties owed to plaintiffs and the controlling law,'' according to the suit.
In its handling of the couple's claim, Allstate, “wrongfully put its interests ahead of'' those of Nolte and Lane, the suits states.
The plaintiffs provided Allstate copies of the couple's consultants' reports and findings that the insurer disregarded and ignored, the suit alleges. Nolte and Lane also allege Allstate misled them into the false belief the insurer wanted to reach a settlement when the company's actual intent was to dissuade them from suing.
The Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties burned nearly 100,000 acres. It killed three people, destroyed more than 1,640 structures and forced the evacuation of around 300,000 people.
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