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Taven Apartments Limited Partnership v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

October 23, 2017

TAVEN APARTMENTS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
STATE FARM FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          AUDREY G. FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion to compel participation in the appraisal process (ECF No. 19) and motion for protective order (ECF No. 21). Defendant State Farm filed memoranda in opposition to both motions (ECF Nos. 23 and 24), and Plaintiffs filed replies (ECF No. 25 and 27). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant the motion to compel participation in the appraisal process and deny the motion for protective order.

         BACKGROUND

         This dispute concerns a loss claimed by Plaintiffs Taven Apartments Limited Partnership, Taven Housing, LLC, and James Schubiner (“Plaintiffs”) regarding real estate located on 1008 Marler Road in the City of Caruthersville, Pemiscot County, Missouri (hereinafter referred to as “Taven Apartments”). Plaintiffs claim that they purchased a policy of insurance from Defendant State Farm Fire & Casualty Company (“State Farm”), which insured against damage or destruction of Taven Apartments by fire.

         On or about May 6, 2015, Taven Apartments was damaged and destroyed by a fire. Complaint (“Compl”), Doc. 1, at ¶¶ 5-7. Plaintiffs contend that they filed claims and proofs of loss with State Farm for property damage to Taven Apartments, as well as lost income caused by the fire. Plaintiffs claim that State Farm failed to pay the amount demanded by Plaintiffs for the loss and failed to participate in the process of appraising the damaged property. State Farm generally denied the allegations. Answer, Doc. 17, at ¶¶ 3-4.

         State Farm concedes that the policy of insurance was in effect at the time of the fire loss and that it has made payments to Plaintiffs for “covered losses” under the policy.

         However, State Farm contends that the structure built to replace Taven Apartments is not a “like kind and quality” as required under the policy. Specifically, the policy provides the following with regard to loss payments by State Farm:

4. Except as provided in Paragraphs (b) through (e) below, we will determine the value of Covered Property as follows: a. We will:
(1) For loss covered by this policy, other than described in Paragraph (2) below, at our option, either:
(a) Pay the value of lost or damaged property as determined in the Valuation Condition shown in the applicable coverage form;
(b) Pay the cost of replacing or repairing the lost or damaged property, plus any reduction in value of repaired items;
(c) Take all or part of the property at an agreed or appraised value; or
(d) Repair, rebuild, or replace the property with other property of like ...

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