Posts tagged "Preferred"

Hawley, et al. v. Preferred Mutual Insurance Company (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-146-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   14-P-917                                        Appeals Court    LINDA HAWLEY & another[1]  vs.  PREFERRED MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY. No. 14-P-917. Hampden.     April 10, 2015. – September 16, 2015.   Present:  Cypher, Trainor, & Katzmann, JJ. Insurance, Reference process, Arbitration, Coverage, Water damage.  Contract, Insurance.  Consumer Protection Act, Insurance, Unfair act or practice.  Limitations, Statute of.  Practice, Civil, Statute of limitations, Consumer protection case.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on June 2, 2008.   The case was heard by Cornelius J. Moriarty, II, J.     James E. Grumbach for the plaintiffs. Jeffrey L. McCormick for the defendant.     KATZMANN, J.  This appeal arises from a dispute between an insurer and its insured, based on a denial of coverage for water damage, and largely concerns the question whether the insured’s mere request for a reference for arbitration pursuant to G. L. c. 175, § 99, Twelfth, as appearing in St. 1951, c. 478, § 1, operates to toll the statute of limitations period contained in § 99 and incorporated by the insurance policy.[2]  We conclude that it does not. On November 12, 2012, after a seven-day bench trial, a Superior Court judge issued a ruling in favor of the defendant, Preferred Mutual Insurance Company (Preferred), on a breach of contract claim and an unfair and deceptive insurance practicesclaim under G. L. c. 93A and G. L. c. 176D.  The decision was based on the grounds that the breach of contract claim was barred by the statute of limitations and that there were no facts to support the claim that Preferred acted unfairly or deceptively in denying the insurance claim or in its failure to proceed to reference.  A second amended judgment entered on February 11, 2013, and the insureds, Linda and Robert Hawley (the Hawleys), appealed.  We affirm on the grounds that (1) the breach of contract claim was filed outside the statute of limitations, as the request for reference did not toll the statute of limitations, and, even if it had, the complaint was not filed within a reasonable time after the denial of the request for reference; and (2) because the loss at issue did not fall within the policy, the c. 93A and c. 176D claims also fail. Background.  The facts as found by the Superior Court judge are as follows.  Linda Hawley owns the dwelling at issue and Robert Hawley manages it.  The dwelling is a […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 16, 2015 at 11:57 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Preferred Mutual Insurance Company v. Vermont Mutual Insurance Company, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-062-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   13-P-1890                                       Appeals Court   PREFERRED MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY  vs.  VERMONT MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY & others.[1] No. 13-P-1890. Middlesex.     October 7, 2014. – June 17, 2015.   Present:  Cohen, Wolohojian, & Blake, JJ.     Insurance, Coverage, Insurer’s obligation to defend, Defense of proceedings against insured, Homeowner’s insurance, Business exclusion, Excess Liability Insurance.  Contract, Insurance.  Practice, Civil, Summary judgment.  Indemnity.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on March 30, 2012.   The case was heard by Dennis J. Curran, J., on motions for summary judgment, and the entry of separate and final judgment was ordered by him.     Peter C. Kober for Vermont Mutual Insurance Company. Robert A. Curley, Jr., for the plaintiff.     COHEN, J.  This insurance dispute arises from an accident in which Richard Dubois was injured while working at a residence in Medford.  The residence was owned by Francis and Eileen Munyon, who lived there with their adult son, Joseph.[2]  In October, 2009, the Munyons undertook to renovate their second-floor bathroom and hired Dubois’s employer as the plumbing contractor.  On Dubois’s first day on the job, he removed old copper piping and other debris from the bathroom and attempted to throw it into the backyard from a second-floor deck.  Unbeknownst to Dubois, on the previous day, Joseph had unfastened the porch railing in order to push the old cast iron bathtub into the backyard; but when he finished, he left the railing in an upright position so it appeared to be securely in place.  While leaning against the unsecured railing, Dubois fell to the ground and was injured.  Dubois and his wife later filed suit against Joseph and his parents, alleging that they were liable for Dubois’s personal injuries and his wife’s loss of consortium. At the time of the accident, Francis and Eileen were the named insureds under a homeowner’s policy issued by the defendant, Vermont Mutual Insurance Company (Vermont).  In addition, by virtue of his status as a resident relative, Joseph, too, was an insured under the Vermont policy.  Independently, Joseph was the named insured under a commercial lines policy issued by the plaintiff, Preferred Mutual Insurance Company (Preferred), in connection with Joseph’s business as a self-employed licensed electrician.  Both Vermont and Preferred were notified of the Duboises’ claims.  Vermont assumed the defense of Francis and Eileen, but refused to […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 17, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,