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Pinon Sun Condominium Association, Inc. v. Atain Specialty Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

October 26, 2018

PINON SUN CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC., a Colorado non-profit corporation, Plaintiff and Counter Defendant,
v.
ATAIN SPECIALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, a foreign corporation, INDIAN HARBOR INSURANCE COMPANY, a foreign corporation, and GREAT LAKES INSURANCE, SE, f/k/a Great Lakes Reinsurance UK, Plc, a foreign corporation, Defendants and Counterclaimants. ATAIN SPECIALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, a foreign corporation, INDIAN HARBOR INSURANCE COMPANY, a foreign corporation, and GREAT LAKES INSURANCE, SE, f/k/a Great Lakes Reinsurance UK, Plc, a foreign corporation, Defendants and Third-Party Plaintiffs,
v.
CLAIM SOLUTIONS LLC, a Colorado limited liability company, SCOTT BENGLEN, SHALZ CONSTRUCTION LLC, a Colorado limited liability company, and BRADLEY SHALZ, Third Party Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S AND CERTAIN THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR BIFURCATION AND STAY

          CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Pinon Sun Condominium Association, Inc.'s and Third-Party Defendants Claim Solutions LLC and Scott Benglen's joint Motion for Bifurcation and Stay of Plaintiff Pinon Sun's Separated Action Against Defendants and Third-Party Plaintiffs. (Doc. # 126.) The Court denies the Motion for Bifurcation and Stay for the reasons identified below.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Movants' request requires the Court to address the multifarious parties and claims tangled together in this action, some of which the Court identified in its Order Denying the Motion to Compel Appraisal. See (Doc. # 111.)

         Plaintiff Pinon Sun Condominium Association, Inc. (“Plaintiff Pinon Sun”), is the homeowners' association for a multi-family condominium property in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is organized as a non-profit Colorado corporation. (Doc. # 43 at 2-3.) Plaintiff sought and obtained an insurance policy (the “Policy”) from Defendant Great Lakes Insurance, SE (“Defendant Great Lakes”) on its property for the period of August 15, 2015, to August 15, 2016. See (Doc. # 71-3). Defendant Great Lakes was the primary insurer of the Policy, covering up to $10, 000, 000.00 for any given incident. (Doc. # 43 at 25.) Defendant Atain Specialty Insurance Company (“Defendant Atain”) and Defendant Indian Harbor Insurance Company (“Defendant Indian Harbor”) were the excess carriers under the Policy. (Id.); see also (Doc. # 49 at 2.)

         Plaintiff Pinon Sun filed a claim under the Policy after its properties allegedly sustained hail and wind damage on July 28, 2016. (Doc. # 43 at 4.) Plaintiff Pinon Sun retained Third-Party Defendant Claim Solutions LLC as its public adjuster during the claims process (Doc. # 49 at 8); Third Party Defendant Scott Benglen is the managing partner of Claim Solutions LLC (together, “Third-Party Defendant Claim Solutions”) (Doc. # 43 at 2). Plaintiff Pinon Sun and Third-Party Defendant Claim Solutions engaged in a year-long dispute with Defendant Great Lakes over the value of Plaintiff Pinon Sun's alleged damage and the cost of allegedly necessary repairs. See, e.g., (id. at 4-25.) At some point over the course of that year, Plaintiff Pinon Sun and Third-Party Defendant Claim Solutions hired Third-Party Defendant Shalz Construction LLC, managed by Third-Party Defendant Bradley Shalz (together, “Third-Party Defendant Shalz”), to repair the roofs of Plaintiff Pinon Sun's properties. See (id. at 15; Doc. # 49 at 15.) The estimates for and invoices from Third-Party Defendant Shalz's work were central to Defendant Great Lake's claim investigation and dispute with Plaintiff Pinon Sun and Third-Party Defendant Claim Solutions. See (Doc. # 43 at 4-25.)

         Plaintiff Pinon Sun initiated this action on June 30, 2017 (Doc. # 1), and filed the operative Complaint against Defendant Great Lakes, Defendant Atain, and Defendant Indian Harbor on September 25, 2017 (Doc. # 43). Plaintiff Pinon Sun asserts the following claims:

1. Breach of contract, against Defendant Great Lakes;
2. Breach of contract, against Defendant Atain;
3. Breach of contract, against Defendant Indian Harbor;
4. Violation of Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 10-3-1115, -1116, for unreasonable delay or denial of payment of a claim for benefits, against all Defendants;
5. Breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, against all Defendants; and
6. Violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 6-1-101, et seq., against all Defendants;

(Id. at 25-34.) Plaintiff Pinon Sun seeks monetary damages under these claims, as well as reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. (Id. at 34.)

         Defendant Great Lakes answered the Complaint on October 17, 2017, and therein asserts counterclaims and third-party claims against Plaintiff Pinon Sun, Third-Party Defendant Claim Solutions, and Third-Party Defendant Shalz:

1. Breach of contract, against Plaintiff Pinon Sun;
2. Fraud and misrepresentation; against Plaintiff Pinon Sun, Third-Party Defendant Claim Solutions, and Third-Party Defendant Shalz;
3. Insurance fraud, against Plaintiff Pinon Sun, Third-Party Defendant Claim Solutions, and Third-Party Defendant Shalz;
4. Civil conspiracy, against Plaintiff Pinon Sun, Third-Party Defendant Claim Solutions, and Third-Party Defendant Shalz;
5. Civil theft, against Plaintiff Pinon Sun, Third-Party Defendant Claim Solutions, and Third-Party Defendant Shalz;
6. Violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (“COCCA”), Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-17-104, et seq., against Plaintiff Pinon Sun, Third-Party Defendant ...

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