United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Stephen and Karla Belz (“the Belzes”), have
brought this lawsuit against Defendant, Peerless Insurance
Company (“Peerless”), based on Peerless'
denial of insurance coverage for extensive cracking damage to
the basement walls of the Belzes' home. The Belzes stated
three claims against Peerless: breach of contract, breach of
the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and
violations of the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act
(“CUIPA”) and Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices
Act (“CUTPA”). Peerless moved for summary
judgment on all three claims, arguing that the cracking
damage was not covered by the contract terms and that the
Belzes' bad faith and CUIPA/CUTPA claims were
September 02, 2016, this Court issued an Order denying
Peerless' Motion for Summary Judgment and allowing all
three claims to proceed to trial before a jury. Order, ECF
No. 73. Peerless has now moved for reconsideration of the
Court's decision. Mot. for Reconsid., ECF No. 75. For the
reasons outlined below, Peerless' motion is DENIED.
Standard of Review
Peerless acknowledges in its filings, “[t]he standard
for granting motions for reconsideration is strict.”
Pritsker v. Am. Gen. Life Ins. Co., No. 3:15-CV-846
(SRU), 2016 WL 3747507, at *2 (D. Conn. July 11, 2016). The
Second Circuit has long held that “reconsideration will
generally be denied unless the moving party can point to
controlling decisions or data that the court
overlooked-matters, in other words, that might reasonably be
expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court.”
Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d
Cir. 1995); see also Virgin Atlantic Airways, Ltd. v.
Nat'l Mediation Bd., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir.
1992) (“The major grounds justifying reconsideration
are an intervening change of controlling law, the
availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear
error or prevent manifest injustice” (internal
citations omitted)). “[A] motion for reconsideration
should not be granted where the moving party seeks solely to
relitigate an issue already decided.” Shrader,
70 F.3d at 257.
support of its motion for reconsideration, Peerless does not
identify any controlling decisions or data that the Court
overlooked when making its decision. Instead, it revisits and
expands upon the arguments it previously made to the Court.
Peerless contends that reconsideration is justified here
because (1) the term “collapse” has never been
properly defined by the Connecticut Supreme Court, (2) the
Court should have considered extrinsic evidence supporting
Peerless' interpretation of the terms
“foundation” and “retaining wall”
instead of finding those terms ambiguous and interpreting
them in favor of the insured, and (3) Peerless' denial of
coverage was based on a good faith coverage dispute and its
liability under the contract was not “reasonably
clear” as required for a violation of CUTPA/CUIPA. The
Court has already considered and decided each of these issues
when reaching its decision to deny summary judgment.
has not presented any grounds for reconsideration of this
Court's denial of summary judgment as to the Belzes'
breach of contract claim. The Court has already heard
Peerless' arguments regarding the proper definition for
the term “collapse, ” even allowing the parties
to submit supplemental briefing regarding whether the Court
should adopt the definition provided in a Washington state
court case, Queen Ann Park Homeowners Ass'n. v. State
Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 352 P.3d 790 (Wash. 2015).
See Notice of Supplemental Authority, ECF No. 69;
Supplemental Briefing, ECF Nos. 71, 72. The Court has also
considered Peerless' arguments regarding its
interpretation of the terms “foundation” and
“retaining wall, ” having determined that the
“extrinsic evidence” presented by Peerless does
not change the conclusion that these terms are ambiguous and
should be construed in favor of the insured. Order at 6-7.
The Court found a genuine dispute of material fact between
the parties as to whether a covered “collapse”
occurred under Connecticut law. The Court chooses not to
relitigate these arguments here, and reconsideration is
denied as to the Belzes' breach of contract claim.
rest of Peerless' arguments in support of reconsideration
address the Belzes' two “extracontractual”
claims: breach of the covenant of good faith and fair
dealing, and violation of CUIPA/CUTPA. The Court considered
numerous factors that could support a finding of good faith
on the part of Peerless, including each of the arguments
raised in Peerless' motion for reconsideration. Order at
16. However, the Court is required to draw all inferences in
favor of the plaintiffs when considering a motion for summary
judgment. Kaytor v. Elec. Boat Corp., 609 F.3d 537,
546 (2d Cir. 2010). In light of the genuine factual disputes
regarding Peerless' knowledge of the Belzes'
potential eligibility for coverage and its practices
surrounding these sorts of claims, the Court properly found
that these two remaining claims were more appropriately
addressed by the trier of fact. Order at 16-17. Accordingly,
the Court declines to reconsider the bad faith and
CUIPA/CUTPA claims at this time.