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Zamichiei v. CSAA Fire & Casualty Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

February 20, 2018

BART ZAMICHIEI AND TAMMY ZAMICHIEI, Plaintiffs,
v.
CSAA FIRE & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Bart and Tammy Zamichiei (“the Zamichieis” or “Plaintiffs”) sued CSAA Fire & Casualty Insurance Company (“CSAA” or “Defendant”), after CSAA denied coverage for visible cracking in concrete in the Zamichieis' unfinished basement, claiming breach of contract.

         CSAA moves for summary judgment, arguing that the insurance policy at issue unambiguously covers only abrupt collapses-not, according to CSAA, an ongoing condition from which damage results. CSAA argues that it properly denied coverage and did not breach its contract.

         For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         A. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS[1]

         The Zamichieis live at 39 Old Monson Road in Stafford Springs, Connecticut (“Property”). Def.'s SMF ¶ 4.

         1. The Policy

         CSAA issued a homeowners insurance policy (“Policy”), effective January 23, 2015 through January 23, 2016. The Policy provides, in pertinent part:

SECTION I: PERILS INSURED AGAINST A. COVERAGE A - DWELLING AND COVERAGE B - OTHER STRUCTURES
1. We insure against risk of direct physical loss to property described in Coverages A and B.
2. We do not insure, however, for loss:
a. Excluded under Section 1 - Exclusions;
* * * c. Caused by:
* * * (6) Any of the following:
(a) Wear and tear, marring, deterioration;
(b) Mechanical breakdown, latent defect, inherent vice, or any quality in property that causes to damage or destroy itself;
* * *
(f) Settling, shrinking, bulging or expansion, including resultant cracking, of . . . foundations, [and] walls . . . .

Id. ¶ 7.

SECTION I - EXCLUSIONS
I. We do not insure for loss caused directly or indirectly by any of the following. Such loss is excluded regardless of any other cause or event contributing concurrently or in any sequence to the loss. These exclusions apply whether or not the loss event results in widespread damage or affects a substantial area.
* * *
3. “Water” Damage “Water” Damage means:
a. Flood or surface “water” from rain or snow, waves, tidal “water”, or spray from any of these, whether or not driven by wind;
b. “Water” or water-borne material which backs up through sewers or drains or which overflows or is discharged from a sump, sump pump or related equipment; or
c. “Water” or water-born material below the surface of the ground, including “water” which exerts pressure on or seeps or leaks through a building, sidewalk, driveway, foundation, swimming pool or other structure, caused by or resulting from human or animal forces or any act of nature.
* * *
II. We do not insure for loss to property described in Coverages A and B caused by any of the following. However, any ensuing loss to property described in Coverages A and B not precluded by any other provision in this policy is covered.
A. Weather Conditions. However, this exclusion only applies if weather conditions contribute in any way with a cause or event excluded in A. above to produce this loss.
B. Acts or decisions, including the failure to act or decide, of any person, group, ...

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