Jeweler Sues Insurer Over Diamonds Tossed in Garbage

Company asked for extensive backup and then refused to pay up, the suit says

47th Street retailer Max Jewelry is suing its insurer for allegedly not reimbursing him for $800,000 in diamonds that he says were mistakenly tossed in the garbage.

According to papers filed on Aug. 4 in the Supreme Court of New York, owner Bobby Yashaya planned to attend last year’s JCK Las Vegas show with four 8 ct.-plus diamonds as well as a pair of 7 ct. diamond earrings, worth $864,000 in total.

Yashaya told the New York Post that he bundled all the diamonds into a napkin, which ended up with other napkins and papers on a countertop.  “The preoccupied jeweler [then] unknowingly brushed the whole pile into the garbage can,” the report said. He discovered his mistake when he got to the show.

“I didn’t sleep. I was praying. I was praying that they would be found. My heart fell, and I couldn’t work,” he told the newspaper.

Following the loss, Yashaya filed a claim with his insurer, Wasserman & Wexler, an agent of Lloyd’s of London.

The agent, however, asked for extensive backup of the claim, including an inspection of his booth and vault, paperwork regarding his finances, and two days of testimony under oath. To date, the insurer has not paid out the claim. “More than a year after Plaintiff’s initial loss, [Lloyd’s] continues to carry on an unreasonable and frivolous investigation,” say the papers.

The policy was later canceled, and having a pending claim means that Yashaya has not been able to secure additional coverage, the papers say.

The suit charges breach of coverage, breach of implied coverage of good faith, and tortious interference with business relations.

“This is an accident,” Yashaya told the Post. “This is why we have insurance, for accidents.”

Yashaya’s lawyer and Lloyd’s of London did not return requests for comment at press time. At press time, Lloyd’s had not filed a response.

JCK News Director