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Aziz v. Allstate Insurance Co.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

November 16, 2017

Azim Aziz; Kina Aziz Plaintiffs - Appellants
v.
Allstate Insurance Company Defendant-Appellee

          Submitted: September 21, 2017

         Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis

          Before COLLOTON, BENTON, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

          BENTON, Circuit Judge.

         A fire damaged Azim and Kina D. Aziz's house. Allstate Insurance Company denied their homeowner's insurance claim. They sued for coverage. The case went to trial. At the close of the Azizes' evidence, the district court[1] granted Allstate's motion for judgment as a matter of law. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court affirms.

         I.

         The policy provides $60, 000 in dwelling coverage and $30, 000 in personal property coverage. If the insured does not repair or replace the damaged property, the policy pays "actual cash value:"

         5. How We Pay For A Loss

Under Coverage A - Dwelling Protection, Coverage B - Other Structures Protection and Coverage C - Personal Property Protection, payment for covered loss will be by one or more of the following methods:
. . . .
c) Actual Cash Value
If you do not repair or replace the damaged, destroyed or stolen property, payment will be on an actual cash value basis. This means there may be a deduction for depreciation. Payment will not exceed the limit of liability shown on the Policy Declarations for the coverage that applies to the damaged, destroyed or stolen property, regardless of the number of items involved in the loss.

         After the fire, the Azizes submitted a claim for damages to their real and personal property. They claimed they purchased everything in cash, and the fire destroyed all receipts. Allstate denied the claim.

         Almost eight years later, Azim sued Allstate for breach of contract, vexatious refusal to pay, specific performance, unjust enrichment, and negligent misrepresentation. On Allstate's motion, the court joined Kina as a plaintiff. It dismissed all but the breach-of-contract and vexatious-refusal claims. At trial, Azim testified that he and his wife accumulated the damaged property over 10 to 15 years, and the values on their proof-of-loss list were estimates of original purchase prices. At the close of the Azizes' evidence, the district court granted ...


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