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Zou v. American Modern Home Insurance Company

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

February 18, 2015

Jin Zun Zou and Hua Ting Gao, Plaintiffs,
v.
American Modern Home Insurance Company, an Ohio corporation, Defendant

Decided February 17, 2015

Timothy D. Johnson, Esq. and Roeder Smith Jadin, PLLC, Bloomington, MN, counsel for plaintiffs.

Christina E. VonderHaar, Esq. and Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak & Pikala, P.A. Minneapolis, MN, counsel for defendant.

Page 1051

ORDER

David S. Doty, United States District Judge.

This matter is before the court upon the cross-motions for summary judgment by plaintiffs Jin Zun Zou and Hua Ying Gao and defendant American Modern Home Insurance Company (AMI). Based on a

Page 1052

review of the file, record, and proceedings herein, and for the following reasons, the court grants plaintiffs' motion and denies AMI's motion.

BACKGROUND

This insurance-coverage dispute arises out of AMI's denial of plaintiffs' claim for losses to their home and personal property as a result of a fire. Plaintiffs are insured by AMI under Commercial General Liability Policy Number CP21884000 (Policy). See Lund Aff. Ex. 4. The Policy carries a $100,000 limit on the building and $2,000 limit on personal property. Id. at AMIG 000042, 58. The Policy includes a " Protective Safeguards" endorsement as follows: " As a condition of this insurance, you are required to maintain the protective devices or services listed in the Schedule above." Id. at AMIG 000149. The schedule identifies the protective system as " smoke detectors." [1] Id. The endorsement contains the following bar to coverage:

We will not pay for loss or damage caused by or resulting from fire if, prior to the fire, you:
1. Knew of any suspension or impairment in any protective safeguard listed in the Schedule above and failed to notify us of that fact; or
2. Failed to maintain any protective safeguard listed in the Schedule above, and over which you had ...

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