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Porter v. Safeco Insurance Co. of Illinois

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 24, 2017

ANDREW PORTER, Plaintiff,
v.
SAFECO INSURANCE COMPANY OF ILLINOIS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Robert D. Mariani United States District Judge

         I. Introduction and Procedural History

         Presently before the Court is Magistrate Judge Carlson's Report and Recommendation ("R&R"), (Doc. 38), on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc, 28). The underlying lawsuit concerns an insurance dispute brought by the insured Plaintiff, Andrew Porter, against the insurer Defendant, Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois. Plaintiff's Complaint brings a cause of action for breach of contract as it pertains to an insurance claim he filed with Defendant and a cause of action alleging Defendant acted in bad faith in addressing Plaintiff's insurance claim. The underlying insurance claim, in turn, involves a fire at 133 1/2 Morris Avenue and the adjoining property at 135 Morris Avenue, both of which are owned by Plaintiff. In short, Plaintiff claims that his insurance policy with Defendant covered both 133 1/2 and 135 Morris Avenue, and Defendant argues that the insurance policy, on its face, only insures 135 Morris Avenue.

         Defendant moved for summary judgment with respect to Plaintiffs breach of contract claim as it pertains to 133 1/2 Morris Avenue and Plaintiff's bad faith claim.[1] In an R&R on the Motion, Magistrate Judge Carlson recommended granting Defendant's Motion in full. Plaintiff has objected to this recommendation and this Court writes separately to address Plaintiffs objections. For the reasons that follow, the Court will adopt the R&R and grant Defendant's Partial Motion for Summary Judgment.

         II. Undisputed Facts

         The R&R comprehensively lays out the facts of this case. The Court, however, will address some particular facts that Plaintiff has admitted-either directly or by failing to "include references to the parts of the record that support" his statement denying a material fact as required by Local Rule 56.1-that have made summary judgment appropriate in this case. Specifically, Plaintiff admitted the following facts found in Defendant's Statement of Material Facts:

6. Safeco issued a homeowners insurance policy to Andrew Porter, policy number OK5883430, for the annual period beginning March 26, 2014 for the property located at 135 Morris Avenue, Scranton, Pennsylvania
42. The insurance application lists only 135 Morris Avenue and not 133 Vi Morris Avenue. The application was signed by plaintiff on March 26, 2013
46. Berry obtained a copy of the Deed, dated March 15, 2013, which transferred the properties located at 133 1/2 Morris Avenue and 135 Morris Avenue, from plaintiffs father, George Porter, to plaintiff for the amount of $1.00. The properties were listed as separate parcels, each with their own parcel identification number
47. Lackawanna County Assessor's Office identifies 133 1/2 Morris and 135 Morris as separate, single dwelling parcels of land
57. On December 10, 2014, Maureen McLaughlin ("McLauglin") of Connor-Helring Associates, Inc., wrote to Berry advising that the agency did write and issue a separate insurance policy for 133 1/2 Morris Avenue for plaintiff, but it was not with Safeco... .[2]
97. There are three adjoining row-houses with 130 Morris Avenue, 1331/2 Morris Avenue, and 135 Morris Avenue in that order looking at the properties from the perspective of the sidewalk
98. Approximately five years after purchasing 135 Morris Avenue, George Porter purchased 133 1/2 Morris Avenue
99. Since he owned the properties, George Porter maintained two separate insurance policies covering 133 1/2 Morris Avenue ...

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