Yesterday I commented on Judge Sharp’s denial of the insurer’s motion for summary judgment on the policyholder’s bad faith claim in New Hampshire Ins. Co. v. Blackjack Cove, LLC, but there was another gold nugget in his opinion as well. The basic facts of the case were that Blackjack Cove (a marina on Old Hickory Lake) was damaged during a tornado that hit the Nashville area in 2009. During the course of repairs to the marina, the heavy trucks hauling debris and construction material from the property caused more than $350,000 of damage to the asphalt parking lots. The owner of the marina correctly made a claim for repair cost to the asphalt, and the insurance company rejected the claim, arguing that the “covered peril” – the storm – did not cause the asphalt damage. Judge Sharp’s rejected the argument, and his ruling was clear and concise:
[The] argument fall[s] flat. For one thing, [the insurer] reads the debris-removal provision’s causation language too narrowly. While the storm did not “cause” the asphalt damage, a reasonable jury could find the asphalt damage “resulted from” the storm.
This was the right result, and the holding can be applied to dozens of similar claims where there are consequential type damages that are not directly caused by a covered loss but do result from the covered loss. Another win for the policyholder.