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Miracle Temple Christian Academy v. Church Mutual Insurance Company

March 5, 2013

MIRACLE TEMPLE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHURCH MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Buckwalter, S.J.

MEMORANDUM

Currently pending before the Court is Defendant Church Mutual Insurance Company's Motion for Summary Judgment. For the following reasons, the Motion is denied.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

This action arises from Plaintiff Miracle Temple Christian Academy 's ("Miracle Temple) attempt to recover losses sustained on its property. At issue is whether or not this damage was covered by the insurance policy provided by Defendant Church Mutual Insurance Company ("Church Mutual").

Specifically, was the damage to buildings on Miracle Temple's property*fn1 the result of wind and water from a storm on March 18, 2010 or the result of normal wear and tear or negligence on behalf of Miracle Temple. (Compl. ¶ 6.) The provisions of the insurance policy at issue state the following:

We will not pay for loss or damage caused by or resulting from any of the following . . .

d. (1) wear and tear;

(2) rust, or other corrosion, decay, deterioration, hidden or latent defect or any quality in property that causes it to damage or destroy itself; . . .

f. continuous or repeated seepage or leakage of water, or the presence or condensation of humidity moisture or vapor that occurs over a period of 14 days or more . . .

l. neglect of an insured to use all reasonable means to save and preserve property from further damage at and after the time of loss (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J., Ex. I, Insurance Policy.)

Six months after the March storm, on September 29, 2010, Miracle Temple retained Metro Public Adjustment to handle the claim. (Req. for Admission 3.) Miracle Temple informed Church Mutual of the alleged damage and loss on November 9, 2010. (Req. for Admission 4.) Miracle Temple and/or Metro Public Adjustment hired Pennypack Contractors to repair the roofs on Miracle Temple's buildings, which Pennypack did in November of 2010. (Req. for Admission 5.) Prior to the repairs (though it is unclear at exactly what time), photographs were taken of the damage which depicted open seams in the roof coverings and flashings. (Req. for Admission 9.) The photographs do not depict wind damage. (Req. for Admission 10.)

On February 11, 2011, Russel Daniels of Paul Zamrowski Associates inspected seven buildings on the property. (Def. Mot. Summ. J., Ex. K, Feb. 28, 2011 Report of Russel E. Daniels ("Daniels Report").) Mr. Daniels's report stated that, except for one classroom in the school building where a roof patch was blown off, the cause of damage to the church property was not from the storm but from long term deterioration and inadequate installation of the roof and flashing. Id.

On March 16, 2011, Kurt Klein of Professional Insurance Adjustment notified Metro Public Adjustment that Church Mutual would provide coverage only for the damage to the roof of the school building, water damage to one second floor classroom, the roof of a playground building, and the capping/second floor porch of the convent building. (Req. for Admission 12.) On March 30, 2011, Mr. Klein sent the Daniels Report, Church Mutual's Statement of Loss, and a Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss to Metro Public Adjustment for Miracle Temple's signature (Req. for Admission 13.) Upon receiving this information, Metro's representative, Joe Mellesky, advised Mr. Klein that he disagreed with the findings in the Daniels report, and that Miracle Temple was considering hiring counsel and taking legal action. (Req. for Admission 14.) Mr. Klein responded to Mr. Mellensky and told him to send him Miracle Temple's engineer's report and that Church Mutual would be open to readjusting the loss. (Req. for Admission 15.) Church Mutual claims that this engineer's report was never sent. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 33.)

On April 18, 2011, Mr. Klein sent Metro Public Adjustment a revised Statement of Loss and revised proof of loss for Miracle Temple's signature. (Req. for Admission 16.) In June of 2011, Miracle Temple agreed to accept payment for the "undisputed" loss of $28,065.50 minus a $1,000 deductible. (Req. for Admission 17.) A check for $27,065.50 was issued on June 15, 2011 and cashed by Miracle Temple. (Req. for Admission 18, ...


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