United States District Court, D. Colorado
THE PINEWOOD TOWNHOME ASSOCIATION, INC, a nonprofit Colorado corporation, Plaintiff,
AUTO OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY, a Michigan Insurance Company, Defendant.
AMENDED ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. #
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant Auto Owners Insurance
Company's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. (Doc. #
51.) Defendant argues for the dismissal of Plaintiff Pinewood
Townhome Association's First and Second Claims for Relief
because, Defendant contends, they are barred by applicable
statute of limitations periods. (Id. at 2.) For the
following reasons, Defendant's motion is granted in part
and denied in part.
case arises from a property damage claim, initiated by
Plaintiff, under an insurance contract (Insurance Policy)
issued by Defendant. (Doc. # 5 at ¶ 1.) The Insurance
Policy, referred to by Plaintiff as a “Business
Owner's Policy, ” covered Plaintiff's
commercial buildings located in Aurora, Colorado, effective
June 1, 2012. (Id. at ¶¶ 1, 3; Doc. #
51-1.) On June 6, 2012, a “hail/wind” storm
caused damaged to those building/s. (Doc. # 5 at
¶¶ 7-8.) Plaintiff submitted a claim to Defendant
for damages arising from the storm, and Defendants appraised
the property and agreed to pay on the claim. (Id. at
¶¶ 11, 13.)
fall of 2012 and January 2013, Plaintiff submitted two
“supplements for additional work” regarding
“damage [Defendants] missed.” (Id. at
¶ 14.) In June 2014, Plaintiff submitted a “final
supplement” requesting over $860, 000 for damages to
Plaintiff's property. (Id. at ¶ 15; Doc. 7,
at ¶ 15.) Plaintiff argues that much of its claimed
losses remain unpaid, giving rise to the present suit.
contends that it submitted payments to Plaintiffs on four
separate occasions between fall of 2012 and July 2015,
totaling $2, 623, 678.82. As pertinent here, Defendant adds
that any other payment requests made by Plaintiff are not
covered by the Insurance Policy and remain unpaid for that,
and other, reasons.
5, 2014, Plaintiff initiated this suit, arguing primarily
that money remains owing to Plaintiff for loss sustained to
the property and covered by the Insurance Contract. Plaintiff
specifically raises four claims for relief: (1) breach of
contract, (2) unreasonable delay and denial of payment of
covered benefits under Colo. Rev. Stat. §§
10-3-1115 and 10-3-1116; (3) bad faith breach of the
insurance contract; and (4) breach of the covenant of good
faith and fair dealing.
requests that this Court grant summary judgment on
Plaintiff's first two claims for relief.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
judgment is appropriate if the moving party demonstrates that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that
it is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). In applying this standard, the Court views the
evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. Adler v. Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., 144 F.3d 664, 670 (10th Cir. 1998) (citing
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986)). A fact is material if,
under the applicable substantive law, it is essential to the
proper disposition of the claim. Id. (citing
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986)). A dispute of fact is genuine if there is sufficient
evidence on each side so that a rational trier of fact could
resolve the issue either way. Id. (citing
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248).
issues of statutory interpretation, the Court interprets a
statute as a whole, giving the words in the statute their
plain and ordinary meanings, attempting to give effect to the
legislature's intent. Platt v. Aspenwood Condo.
Ass'n, 214 P.3d 1060, 1063 (Colo.App. 2009). The
Court also looks at the context in which a statutory term
appears, and the meaning of a word may be ascertained by
reference to the meaning of words associated with it.
diversity jurisdiction cases, the court applies the
substantive law of the forum state. Barrett v.
Tallon, 30 F.3d 1296, 1300 (10th Cir. 1994). In this
case, the forum state is Colorado.
BREACH OF CONTRACT CLAIM
first question before this Court is rather simple-whether a
two- or three-year statute of limitations applies to
Plaintiff's First Claim for Relief: “Breach of
Contract.” If a two-year limitations period applies,
Plaintiff's breach of contract claim is barred and
summary judgment is warranted. If a three-year period
applies, the claim is timely and summary judgment will be
denied. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-101(1)(a) states that
all contract actions “shall be commenced within three
years after the cause of action accrues, and not
thereafter.” However, parties may shorten the length of
time by which a party may file suit, unless it is prohibited
by statute. Grant Family Farms, Inc. v. Colo. Farm Bureau
Mut. Ins. Co., 155 P.3d 537, 538 (Colo.App. 2006). The
Insurance Policy in this case did so shorten the length of
time by which Plaintiff could file suit by providing that any