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Enderle v. Amica Mutual Ins. Co

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

May 2, 2018

JOHN ENDERLE and MARGUERITE ENDERLE,
v.
AMICA MUTUAL INSURANCE CO.

          RULING ON MOTION TO DISMISS

          Warren W. Eginton Senior U.S. District Judge

         In this action, plaintiffs John and Marguerite Enderle challenge the defendant Amica Mutual Insurance's failure to provide coverage for the damage to basement walls of their home. Plaintiffs allege breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (“CUTPA”). Defendant has filed a motion to dismiss.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         For purposes of ruling on this motion to dismiss, the Court assumes that all of the factual allegations in the complaint are true. The Court also includes facts concerning the insurance policies that plaintiff did not attach but that are integral to the complaint.[1]

         Plaintiffs own a home in South Windsor, Connecticut that was built in 1984. Plaintiffs have insured the property with defendant since their purchase of the home.

         Plaintiffs have discovered visible cracking in the concrete of their home. On October 16, 2015, and April 20, 2017, professional engineers inspected the concrete at plaintiffs' home. The engineers reported that a chemical reaction was occurring within the concrete that would eventually cause the structure to fail.

         Plaintiffs requested coverage for the damage caused by the condition of the basement walls. On May 30, 2017, defendant denied the coverage request from plaintiffs.

         Policies

         Defendants issued four policies of insurance to plaintiffs for their home between March 3, 2014 and March 3, 2018.

         The policies all provided additional coverage for collapse and reasonable repairs. Relevant to reasonable repairs, the policies provided that defendant “will pay the reasonable cost incurred by you for the necessary measures taken solely to protect covered property that is damaged by a Peril Insured Against from further damage.” However, the Collapse provisions applied “only to an abrupt collapse” which was defined as “an abrupt falling down or caving in of a building with the result that the building or part of the building cannot be occupied for its intended purpose.” The Collapse coverage specified that it did not apply to: “(1) A building or any part of a building that is in danger of falling down or caving in; (2) A part of a building that is standing, even if it has separated from another part of the building; or (3) A building or any part of a building that is standing, even if it shows evidence of cracking, bulging, sagging, bending, leaning, settling, shrinkage or expansion.”

         The policies insured for “physical loss to covered property involving collapse of a building or any part of a building if such collapse was caused by one or more of the following: (1) The Perils Insured Against; (2) Decay…that is hidden from view, unless the presence of such decay is known to an insured prior to collapse; … (6) Use of defective material or methods in construction, remodeling or renovation.” In Section 2(b) of the Perils Insured Against provision, the policies provided that defendant did not insure for loss involving collapse including:

(1) An abrupt falling down or caving in;
(2) Loss of structural integrity including separation of parts of the property or property in danger of falling down or caving in; or
(3) Any Cracking, bulging, sagging, bending, leaning, settling, shrinkage or expansion as such condition relates to (1) or (2) above; Except as provided in E.8. Collapse under Section I - Property Coverages. However, any ensuring loss to property described in Coverages A and ...

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