First party Insurer obtains Summary Judgment dismissing water damage claims under All-Risk policy

Astoria Island Restaurant Corp. v. QBE Insurance Corp., 36-02 35th Avenue Development, LLC, and 42-18 Development, LLC, Index No. 15607/2010 (Sup.Ct. Queens Cty. 2014)

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In a seven-page decision, the Hon. Sidney F. Strauss held that Plaintiff's claims against its Commercial Property insurer were barred by multiple policy exclusions.

Tenant Insured brought suit against its Insurer for recovery of insurance proceeds on a claim for interior water intrusion damage to personal property and against its Landlord for negligence in the maintenance of the leased premises. The Insurer's disclaimers cited various policy exclusions.

The Insurer established that the exclusions in its policy applied and were subject to no other reasonable interpretation The policy did not cover ordinary wear and tear, or damages caused by faulty maintenance, or by water intrusion in the absence of a covered cause of loss to the building's roof, walls, or exterior. Defendant successfully argued that purported issues of fact concerning other causes of the water penetration besides a clogged drain, did not create a possibility of coverage because they tended to show only damages resulting from the nature and inherent qualities of the property, which are not covered. The Insurer showed that its disclaimers were proper.

Plaintiff claimed damages in an amount several times the total original claim under the policy, including consequential damages pursuant to the Bi-Economy and Panasia Estates doctrine. Thus, AGF&J protected its client the insurer from an exposure far in excess of the policy limits.

The defense of this matter was handled by AGF&J partners Chris Christofides and Thomas R. Maeglin.