In 1975 the Court of Appeals was faced with a similar problem and ruled, following Jefferson, that an insured was entitled only to minimal recovery because his destroyed dwelling had almost no market value at the time of the fire. Elliano v. Assurance Company of America, 45 Cal. App. 3d 170, 119 Cal. Rptr. 653 (1975). In Elliano, the litigant’s roles were reversed: Mr. Elliano, the insured, argued that he should be entitled to recover, as had Fong, the replacement cost of his dwelling, less physical depreciation; his insurer argued that Jefferson was dispositive of the issue, since “actual cash value is synonymous with fair market value.”
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