Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Alexander v. General Insurance Co. of America

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 17, 2017

APRIL ALEXANDER and JOSEPH WALKER, Plaintiffs,
v.
GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Stefan R. Underhill United States District Judge

         On January 14, 2016, April Alexander and Joseph Walker (“plaintiffs”) filed an action against their homeowner's insurance company, General Insurance Company of America (“General Insurance”), alleging various state law claims arising out of an insurance coverage dispute between the parties. Plaintiffs' allegations stem from the fact that General Insurance failed to provide coverage for the deterioration of the basement walls of plaintiffs' home. On July 7, 2016, I granted General Insurance's motion to dismiss (doc. # 21), and plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration (doc. # 23) on July 21, 2016.

         For the reasons set forth below, I deny the motion for reconsideration.

         I.Background

         April M. Alexander and Joseph Walker own and occupy the residential property at 23 Muddy Brook Road, Ellington, Connecticut. The residence was constructed in 1984 and has been insured by General Insurance since Alexander purchased the property in July 2013.

         In May of 2015, plaintiffs discovered-through their realtor-a series of horizontal and vertical cracks in their basement walls. Upon further inquiry, plaintiffs discovered that the form of “pattern cracking” found in the basement walls of their home was caused by a chemical compound found in walls constructed in the late 1980s and the early 1990s with concrete most likely from the J.J. Mottes Concrete Company. The result of the condition is that the home's walls are in danger of falling in, which would then cause the entire home to fall into the basement.

         In June 2015, plaintiffs notified General Insurance of the defect in their basement walls and made a claim for coverage in accordance with the terms of their insurance policy. That same month, General Insurance denied plaintiffs' claim for coverage.

         The parties agree that the policy would only cover the condition if it put the home in a state of “collapse, ” as defined by the policy. Under the policy's definition, a “collapse” is “an abrupt falling down or caving in of a building or any part of a building . . . .” Exhibit A at 14 (doc. # 1-1). Furthermore, the policy states that a “building or any part of a building that is standing is not considered to be in a state of collapse even if it shows evidence of cracking, bulging, sagging, bending, leaning, settling, shrinkage or expansion.” Id.

         On July 7, 2016, I granted General Insurance's motion to dismiss on the ground that the policy's language expressly excludes coverage for cracking in the basement walls. I held that the policy's definition of “collapse” was unambiguous and expressly did not cover the alleged “cracking” and/or “bulging” of the plaintiffs' basement walls. On July 21, 2016, plaintiffs' filed a motion for reconsideration in which they set forth substantially the same arguments they raised at oral argument on the motion to dismiss.

         II.Standard of Review

         The standard for granting motions for reconsideration is strict; motions for 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). Motions for reconsideration will not be granted where the party merely seeks to relitigate an issue that has already been decided. Id. The three major grounds for granting a motion for reconsideration in the Second Circuit are: (1) an intervening change of controlling law, (2) the availability of new evidence, or (3) the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice. Virgin Atlantic Airways, Ltd. v. Nat'l Mediation Bd., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992) (citing 18 Charles A. Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Edward H. Cooper, Federal Practice & Procedure § 4478).

         The primary function of a motion for reconsideration “is to present the court with an opportunity to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to consider newly discovered evidence.” LoSacco v. City of Middletown, 822 F.Supp. 870, 876 (D. Conn. 1993), aff'd, 33 F.3d 50 (2d Cir. 1994). A court is permitted to reconsider its ruling if such ruling overlooked controlling data or law that, had it been considered, would have altered the court's conclusion. Shrader, 70 F.3d at 257.

         III. Discussion

         Plaintiffs have failed to meet the high bar that would justify reconsideration of my prior ruling. Plaintiffs have not identified any controlling decision that I overlooked, any new evidence that would affect my prior ruling, or any clear error or manifest injustice in need of correction. Rather, plaintiffs' motion merely attempts to relitigate arguments that were considered and rejected on oral argument on the motion to dismiss. To the extent that plaintiffs raise new arguments, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.