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.

Clough v. Allstate Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

August 29, 2017

LINDA CLOUGH and GARNET DRAKIOTES, Plaintiffs,
v.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY and LIBERTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.

          RULING ON DEFENDANT ALLSTATE'S MOTION TO DISMISS [#30]

          Janet Bond Arterton, U.S.D.J.

         Plaintiffs Linda Clough and Garnet Drakiotes brought this action alleging breach of an insurance contract against Defendant Allstate Insurance Company ("Allstate") (Count 1); violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act ("CUTPA") and the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act ("CUIPA") against Allstate (Count 2); breach of an insurance contract against Defendant Liberty Insurance Company ("Liberty") (Count 3); and violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act ("CUTPA") and the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act ("CUIPA") against Liberty, all four counts in connection with denial of coverage for Plaintiffs' claim to cover the cost of a crumbling house foundation. Allstate now moves [Doc. # 30] to dismiss Counts 1 and 2. For the reasons set forth below, Allstate's Motion is GRANTED.

         I. Facts Alleged

         From 1998 through 2015, Plaintiffs insured their home through a homeowner's insurance policy issued by Allstate and timely made all required premium payments. (Amended Complaint ("Compl.") [Doc. # 29] ¶¶ 6-7.) From 2015 to 2016, Plaintiffs insured their home through a homeowner's insurance policy issued by Liberty and timely made all required premium payments. (Id. ¶¶ 42-43.)

         In July of 2016, Plaintiffs noticed that the frost walls[1] of their home had a series of horizontal and vertical cracks throughout. (Id. ¶¶ 8.) Plaintiffs consulted with various professionals and discovered that the cracking was caused by "a chemical compound" that, when mixed with the water, sand and cement necessary to form the concrete, "began to oxidize (rust) and expand, breaking the bonds of the concrete internally and reducing it to rubble." (Id. ¶¶ 9-11.) The complaint alleges that "at some point between the date on which the frost walls were poured [in 1998] and July of 2016, the frost walls suffered a substantial impairment to their structural integrity" and that "it is only a matter of time until the frost walls of the plaintiffs' home will fall in" (Id. ¶ 11-12.) At some unknown point in the future, "the entire home will fall to the ground" because of the eventual collapse of the frost walls. (Id. ¶ 13.) Plaintiffs therefore allege that "while the process of decay occurs over the course of years, ultimately resulting in substantial impairment and complete degradation, it may cause sudden events throughout the course of decay" and, as the "strength of the frost wall weakens, external forces may cause a series of sudden events where the frost walls bulge and shift in some increment or pieces of concrete become dislodged and fall to the floor." (Id. ¶¶ 16-17.) Finally, the Complaint alleges that "there is no known scientific or engineering method or process which is effective in reversing the deterioration, it continues to advance with or without the presence of visible water." (Id. ¶ 12.)

         On August 8, 2016, Plaintiffs notified Allstate and Liberty of this substantial impairment and made a claim for coverage under their homeowner's insurance policy because of the "damages caused by the chemical reaction." (Id. ¶¶ 15, 51.) Both Allstate and Liberty denied the claim. (Id. ¶¶ 16, 52.)

         The Allstate insurance policy at issue is a Deluxe Homeowners Policy issued by Allstate. (See Ex. C ("Policy") to Mem. Supp. Mot. to Dismiss [Doc. # 31-3].) The Policy provides the following general coverage:

We will cover sudden and accidental direct physical loss to property described in Coverage A-Dwelling Protection and Coverage B-Other Structures Protection except as limited or excluded in this policy.

(Policy at 31.)[2]

         The Policy then lists a series of exclusions, several of which are relevant to the instant dispute. The Policy does not cover losses "consisting of or caused by . . . Collapse, except as specifically provided in Section I." (Id. at 32.) Further, the policy does not cover losses "consisting of or caused by ... deterioration, inherent vice, or latent defect, " "rust or other corrosion, ..." or "settling, cracking, shrinking, bulging or expansion of... foundations [or] walls ... ." (Id.)

         Although the policy generally excludes collapse, it specifies a set of conditions under which collapse would be covered in the "Additional Protection" section:

         Collapse:

We will cover
a) the entire collapse of a covered building structure
b) the entire collapse of part of a covered building ...

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.