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Ice Cube Building LLC v. Scottsdale Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 18, 2018

ICE CUBE BUILDING, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTTSDALE INSURANCE COMPANY d/b/a SCOTTSDALE INSURANCE GROUP, Defendant.

          RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION TO COMPEL APPRAISAL AND STAY LITIGATION

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Ice Cube Building, LLC (“Plaintiff”) has sued Scottsdale Insurance Group[1] (“Scottsdale” or “Defendant”) for breach of a contract of insurance.

         Ice Cube Building moves to compel appraisal of Ice Cube Building's alleged losses and to stay this case until appraisal has concluded.

         For the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES the motion.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Ice Cube Building allegedly owns real property in Groton, Connecticut. Notice of Removal, Ex. 1 (“Complaint” ¶ 1); ECF No. 1. Scottsdale, allegedly an Arizona insurance company, is authorized to do business within the State of Connecticut. Id. ¶ 13. The issue is whether Scottsdale, under the operative insurance policy (the “Policy”), is under a legal duty to cover damage to Ice Cube Building's property.

         A. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         On January 8, 2016, Scottsdale allegedly issued the Policy to Ice Cube Building for coverage of real property in Groton, Connecticut. Pl. Mot. Compel ¶ 1, ECF No. 21; Notice of Removal, Compl. ¶ 3. The Policy allegedly includes commercial property coverage with a limit of $2, 603, 669 (the agreed value) for the property, limited coverage for fungus, wet rot, dry rot, and bacteria with limits of $15, 000 and a $5, 000 deductible. Answer and Countercl. ¶¶ 6-7, ECF No. 9.

         The Policy allegedly contains an appraisal clause that states:

If we and you disagree on the value of the property or the amount of loss, either may make a written demand for an appraisal of the loss. In this event, each party will select a competent and impartial appraiser. The two appraisers will select an umpire. If they cannot agree, either may request that selection be made by a judge of a court having jurisdiction.

Pl.'s Mot. Compel ¶ 2.

         While the Policy was allegedly operative, a snow or ice storm allegedly caused damage to Ice Cube Building's property. Notice of Removal, Compl. ¶ 4. The weight of snow and ice allegedly caused the roof to begin to leak and for water to come into the building. Answer and Countercl. ¶ 9.

         On May 3, 2016, Ice Cube Building allegedly notified Scottsdale of the claim. Id. ¶ 9. Scottsdale allegedly acknowledged the claim, and, following an investigation, Scottsdale allegedly issued a position letter that accepted coverage in part and denied coverage in part. Id. ¶¶ 10-11. Scottsdale maintains that it paid Ice Cube Building for the undisputed amount of damages arising out of the claim covered by the Policy. Id. ¶ 12. It also maintains Ice Cube Building submitted its own estimate of damages in excess of $1 million dollars that Ice Cube Building contends arise from the claimed damage to its property. Id. ¶ 13.

         B. ...


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