Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Vista Pointe Townhome Association, Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

April 13, 2018

VISTA POINTE TOWNHOME ASSOCIATION INC., Plaintiff,
v.
AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE CO., Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER ON THE PLAINTIFF'S STANDING TO BRING SUIT

          Marcia S. Krieger Chief Judge

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court upon the Court's Order to Show Cause (#34) as to why this case should not be dismissed to lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and Responses thereto (## 35, 36). For the reasons that follow, the Court concludes that the Plaintiff has standing to bring some, but not all, of its claims.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case arises from a hail storm that occurred in 2014, damaging the Plaintiff's (“Vista Pointe”) property. Vista Pointe filed a claim with its insurer, Defendant Auto-Owners Insurance Co. (“Owners”). Owners determined that at least part of the claimed loss was covered by the insurance policy (“the Policy”) and paid a portion of the amount claimed by Vista Pointe. The Policy provided that disputes over the value of a claim could be resolved via an “appraisal” process, and Vista Pointe invoked that process. Pursuant to that process, Vista Pointe and Owners each designated an “impartial appraiser” to present their claims, with the expectation that the two appraisers would then appoint a third-party “umpire” whose valuation of the claim would be binding. However, Owners disputed whether Vista Pointe designated appraiser was truly impartial, the parties reached impasse over that issue, and Vista Pointe filed this action.

         In its Complaint (# 1), Vista Pointe asserts three causes of action: (1) a claim for breach of contract, apparently under Colorado law, in that Owners failed to pay the full amount of benefits called for under the Policy; (2) bad faith breach of insurance contract, apparently under Colorado common law, in that Owners failed to reasonably investigate Vista Pointe's claim, failed to promptly offer and pay the full amount of the claim, and compelled Vista Pointe to initiate litigation, among other things; and (3) unreasonable delay and denial of benefits in violation of C.R.S. § 10-3-1115 and -1116. The Complaint also purports to be a “Motion to Stay and Compel, ” requesting that the Court stay the newly-filed lawsuit and compel Owners to accept Vista Pointe's chosen appraiser and to thereafter proceed with the appraisal process.

         Three provisions in the Policy are pertinent to the issue of Vista Pointe's standing in this case. First, the Policy's “Commercial Property Conditions” section states:

Legal action against us
No one may bring a legal action against us [Owners] under this Coverage part unless:
1. There has been full compliance with all of the terms of this Coverage Part; and
2. The action is brought within 2 years after the date on which the direct physical loss or damage occurred.

(# 36-2 at 113) (the “Action clause”)

         Second, the terms of the “Commercial Property Conditions” of the Policy expressly incorporate the Provisions of the “Loss Conditions” section of the Policy. These provisions dictate when Owners is required to make a payment for a covered loss:

We will pay for covered loss or damage within 30 days after we receive the sworn proof of loss, if:
(1) You [Vista Point] have complied with all of the terms of this Coverage Part; and
(2) (a) We have reached agreement with you on the amount of loss; or
(b) An appraisal award has been made.

(# 36-2 at 122) (the “Payment clause”).

         Third, if there is a disagreement as to the amount of loss, either party can invoke an appraisal process:

If we and you disagree on the value of the property or the amount of loss, either may make written demand for an appraisal of the loss. In this event, each party will select a competent and impartial appraiser. The two appraisers will select an umpire. If they cannot agree, either may request that selection be made by a judge of a court having jurisdiction. The appraisers will state separately the value of the property and amount of loss. If they fail ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.