Plaintiff Procedural Posture

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Deviation Actions

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Procedural Posture: California employer defense law firm


Appellant insured challenged the order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which entered summary judgment for respondent insurer in a homeowner's insurance policy coverage issue.


Overview


Appellant insured was covered under a homeowner's insurance policy issued by respondent insurer. Respondent denied the payment of benefits upon appellant's claim for property loss for a stolen sandrail vehicle, and appellant sued for breach of contract and bad faith. The trial court granted summary judgment for respondent on the ground that the loss was excluded by clear and unambiguous terms of the policy, and appellant raised no triable issues of material fact. On appeal, the court affirmed because it found that the sandrail vehicle was expressly excluded under the clear language of the policy in the section for motor propelled vehicle designed for movement on land. Further, appellant had no reasonable expectation of coverage where the agent had never represented that the vehicle would be covered, and the policy terms were unambiguous.


Outcome


The trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of respondent insurer in appellant insured's suit for breach of contract and bad faith for respondent's refusal to pay insurance benefits for property loss was affirmed because the court found that the clear and unambiguous language of the policy excluded coverage for the sandrail vehicle, and appellant raised no triable issue of material fact.


Procedural Posture


The Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) entered judgment in favor of defendants, seller and termite inspector, in plaintiff buyers' action for fraud and breach of a real estate contract. The buyers appealed.


Overview


The buyers and the sellers agreed to exchange real property with the buyers receiving three apartment buildings. Under the contract, the sellers were to provide a termite clearance on the property issued by a licensed termite control company. In conjunction with a previous sale of the property, the termite inspector had issued a report, finding a lot of termite damage and recommending that certain work be performed. The buyers were given only an outline of the work that had been performed along with a letter from the termite inspector stating the apartment building was free of termites that could have reasonably been detected. When the buyers took possession fi the property, however, they learned of a severe termite problem. The buyers filed an action against the sellers and the termite inspector for fraud and breach of contract. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the sellers and the termite inspector. On appeal, the court affirmed the judgment in the sellers' favor. The court reversed the judgment in the inspector's favor, finding that the inspector knowingly made a false certificate or representation that the property was free of all termites.


Outcome


The court affirmed the judgment in favor of the sellers but reversed the judgment in favor of the termite inspector.

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