Calistoga Ranch homeowners sue Auberge Resorts for $100M, claiming inadequate insurance for Glass Fire damage

The aerial photo shows the devastation of the 2020 Glass Fire at 580 Lommel Road in Calistoga on June 16, 2021. Photo courtesy of Fenton Grant Mayfield Kaneda & Litt, LLP
July 13, 2021

Plaintiffs in a $100 million lawsuit claim owners of the Calistoga Ranch development reduced insurance coverage just before the destructive Sept. 27, 2020, Glass Fire destroyed their homes.

The suit, filed July 7 in Napa County Superior Court, states Auberge Resorts Collection engaged in deceptive insurance practices.

The complaint alleges Auberge either intentionally or negligently reduced the coverage from $175 million to $100 million for Calistoga Ranch located in Calistoga and added on other properties that split the pie. The Auberge Resorts Collection also manages Solage and Auberge du Soleil in the Napa Valley.

Nancy Serrurier, a Palo Alto resident who lost her second home on Lommel Lane to the Glass Fire, insists the cost to replace the homes should have been set at a higher value.

"There should have been a conversation about the risk we all were bearing," she told the Business Journal. "I don’t relish being in a lawsuit with Auberge. They ran a beautiful resort with quality service that was fabulous. That’s why we lived there. But this is inconceivable," she said.

If anything, Serrurier hopes the legal challenge will open "people’s eyes" to the dramatic effects of climate change and need for adequate insurance coverage in these types of catastrophes.

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"Auberge really dropped the ball here," she said.

The resort management company based in Mill Valley, which declined to comment on the matter, is accused of breach of contract, constructive fraud and negligence.

"The inadequate insurance policy limits have made rebuilding Calistoga Ranch seem impossible," the complaint reads.

Damages are set at $100 million.

Plaintiff attorneys are currently collecting depositions to make their case in showing how woefully underinsured the units were for the development off the Silverado Trail in the path of the firestorm.

Calistoga Ranch, which included 48 guest houses, hiking trails, a vineyard, shops and other luxury amenities, opened in 2004 as a 157-acre destination resort.

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