United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the defendant's motion for
partial summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
Plaintiff has responded in opposition, and the issues are
Norwood-Redfield Apartments Limited Partnership brings this
action against defendant American Family Mutual Insurance
Company for breach of contract and vexatious refusal to pay a
claim under a business owners' policy of insurance.
Plaintiff owns an apartment complex consisting of 32 separate
buildings covered by the policy. After a fire damaged
Buildings 6, 7, and 9, plaintiff submitted a claim. Defendant
made payments under the policy totaling $2, 897, 896.90.
Plaintiff contends that because the fire completely destroyed
Building 7, there was a "total loss" within the
meaning of Missouri's valued policy statutes. Plaintiff
also contends that Building 7 was insured for $31, 773, 600
under the policy's Blanket Coverage Endorsement, which
provides as follows:
The most we will pay for loss or damage in any one occurrence
is the applicable Limit of Insurance shown in the
Declarations. When a coverage is Blanket, the Limit of
Insurance shown in the Declarations applies to all the
premises described in the Declarations for that coverage. All
policy and endorsement language that refers to the Limit of
Insurance shown in the Declarations also applies to any
Blanket Coverage Limit of Insurance.
[Doc. #27, ¶ 18].
instant motion, defendant argues that the Blanket Coverage
Endorsement does not entitle plaintiff to recover the policy
limit and that the Missouri valued policy statutes do not
apply to plaintiff's loss.
56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
summary judgment shall be entered if the moving party shows
"that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of
law." In ruling on a motion for summary judgment the
court is required to view the facts in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party and must give that party
the benefit of all reasonable inferences to be drawn from the
underlying facts. AgriStor Leasing v. Farrow, 826
F.2d 732, 734 (8th Cir. 1987). The moving party bears the
burden of showing both the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact and its entitlement to judgment as a matter of
law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242
(1986); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). Once the moving
party has met its burden, the non-moving party may not rest
on the allegations of his pleadings but "must set forth
specific facts, " by affidavit or other evidence,
showing that a genuine issue of material fact exists.
United of Omaha Life Ins. Co. v. Honea, 458 F.3d
788, 791 (8th Cir. 2006) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). Rule
56 "mandates the entry of summary judgment, after
adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party
who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's case,
and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at
trial." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
Missouri Valued Policy Statutes
contends that the loss of Building 7 constitutes a total loss
of the insured property and argues that the Missouri valued
policy statutes require defendant to provide the full value
of the policy. Defendant argues that plaintiff is not
entitled to the policy limit as a matter of law, because the
destruction to Building 7 does not constitute a total loss
and is thus not covered by the valued policy statutes.
Missouri valued policy statutes provide, in relevant:
...and in case of total loss of the property insured, the
measure of damage shall be the amount for which the same was
insured, less whatever depreciation in value, below the
amount for which the property is insured, the property may
have sustained ...