United States District Court, D. Colorado
OPINION AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY
S. Krieger Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER comes before the Court upon the
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (#
39), the Plaintiff's Response (#
49), and the Defendant's Reply (#
50). For the reasons that follow, the motion is
Court exercises jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
a case in which the Plaintiff, Quail Run II Association Inc.,
seeks to recover insurance benefits for hail damage. Quail
Run owns commercial property located in Aurora, Colorado,
which was insured under an insurance policy (Policy) issued
by Defendant American Alternative Insurance Corp. (AAIC). In
September 2014, Quail Run's property was damaged in a
hail storm. Quail Run submitted a claim to AAIC in May 2015.
The evidence is unclear as to how AAIC responded, but the
parties agree that AAIC made payments on the claim.
Run brought this suit in September 2016 before the
Policy's period to bring suit expired, asserting the
following causes of action: (1) breach of contract based on
denial/failure to pay its claim; (2) a violation of C.R.S.
§§ 10-3-1115, 1116 based on unreasonable delay of
the claim; (3) bad-faith breach of insurance contract based
on, among other things, a failure to conduct a reasonable
investigation and incorrectly valuing the claim, causing it
to initiate litigation; and (4) breach of the implied
covenant of good faith and fair dealing. AAIC now moves for
summary judgment on all claims (# 39).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure facilitates the entry
of a judgment only if no trial is necessary. See White v.
York Int'l Corp., 45 F.3d 357, 360 (10th Cir. 1995).
Summary adjudication is authorized when there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and a party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Substantive
law governs what facts are material and what issues must be
determined. It also specifies the elements that must be
proved for a given claim or defense, sets the standard of
proof, and identifies the party with the burden of proof.
See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
248 (1986); Kaiser-Francis Oil Co .v. Producer's Gas
Co., 870 F.2d 563, 565 (10th Cir. 1989). A factual
dispute is “genuine” and summary judgment is
precluded if the evidence presented in support of and
opposition to the motion is so contradictory that, if
presented at trial, a judgment could enter for either party.
See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. When considering a
summary judgment motion, a court views all evidence in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party, thereby
favoring the right to a trial. See Garrett v. Hewlett
Packard Co., 305 F.3d 1210, 1213 (10th Cir. 2002).
movant has the burden of proof on a claim or defense, the
movant must establish every element of its claim or defense
by sufficient, competent evidence. See Fed. R. Civ.
P. 56(c)(1)(A). Once the moving party has met its burden, to
avoid summary judgment the responding party must present
sufficient, competent, contradictory evidence to establish a
genuine factual dispute. See Bacchus Indus. Inc. v. Arvin
Indus. Inc., 939 F.2d 887, 891 (10th Cir. 1991);
Perry v. Woodward, 199 F.3d 1126, 1131 (10th Cir.
1999). If there is a genuine dispute as to a material fact, a
trial is required. If there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact, no trial is required. The court then applies
the law to the undisputed facts and enters judgment.
moving party does not have the burden of proof at trial, it
must point to an absence of sufficient evidence to establish
the claim or defense that the non-movant is obligated to
prove. If the respondent comes forward with sufficient
competent evidence to establish a prima facie claim
or defense, a trial is required. If the respondent fails to
produce sufficient competent evidence to establish its claim
or defense, then the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986).
moves for summary judgment on all claims. First, it argues
that Quail Run did not give prompt notice of the loss as
required by the Policy, an issue it says affects all three
claims. Second, it argues that Quail Run failed to submit a
proof of loss as required by the Policy, which affects only
the breach-of-contract claim. Finally, it maintains that
Quail Run is limited to the actual cash value of the loss,
not the replacement cost value.