Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rembrandt Enterprises, Inc. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

November 30, 2017

Rembrandt Enterprises, Inc., Plaintiff,
v.
Illinois Union Insurance Company, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Paul A. Magnuson United States District Court Judge

         This matter is before the Court on the parties' Motions in Limine. Trial in this matter is set to begin on Monday, December 4, 2017.

         A. Plaintiff's Motions

         1. HPAI as a naturally occurring material

         Plaintiff moves the Court for an order precluding Defendant from claiming that highly pathogenic avian influenza (“HPAI”) is a naturally occurring material, arguing that the naturally occurring material exception in the insurance policy is ambiguous as a matter of law. Defendant opposes the Motion.

         This Court previously held that fact issues precluded a legal determination on the applicability of the naturally occurring material exclusion. (Docket No. 146.) Plaintiff's Motion is, in effect, dispositive. And in denying the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment, the Court held that this exclusion was not ambiguous. The Motion will therefore be denied, and the parties should be prepared to establish whether the exclusion for naturally occurring materials applies and whether the HPAI virus spread to Plaintiff's facilities as a result of human activity.

         2. Layer hen replacement cost and USDA indemnity payments

         Plaintiff asks the Court to preclude any testimony or evidence “relating to (1) the costs it would have incurred to replace or repopulate its egg-laying hens in the normal course of business at any point after the euthanizations, and (2) any indemnity payments or reimbursement it received from the USDA.” (Pl.'s Mot. in Limine (Docket No. 233).) Defendant previously moved for partial summary judgment on this issue, arguing in part that the cost to repopulate Plaintiff's layer hens is not a “remediation cost” under the policy because Plaintiff replaces layer hens in the normal course of its business. (Docket No. 178.) This Court rejected that argument, concluding that Defendant “ignores that [Plaintiff] had to significantly expedite its replacement cycle due to the forced euthanization, replacing some birds almost twice as rapidly as normal.” (Order at 7.) This Court also declined to give the remediation-cost provision such a limited reading because Defendant could have drafted it to exclude the cost of replacing “damaged property that might have eventually required replacement” if it so desired. (Id. at 8.)

         Defendant argues again that Plaintiff will receive a windfall because it would have replaced some or all of the euthanized hens regardless of the HPAI outbreak. But the Court has already rejected Defendant's argument that Plaintiff's cost to repopulate its layer hens is not a remediation cost, and Defendant has identified no other basis for the Court to conclude that evidence of the cost to repopulate Plaintiff's laying hens in the normal course of business is relevant.

         Defendant also argues that evidence that Plaintiff received indemnity payments from the USDA is relevant because it was germane to the opinion of Defendant's expert, Matthew Woodcock. But Defendant fails to identify any basis for the Court to conclude such evidence is relevant to the issues at trial, other than quoting Woodcock's references to the USDA indemnity payments in his expert report. This Motion will be granted.

         B. Defendant's Motions

         1. Testimony on insurance policy construction

         Defendant moves the Court for an order precluding Plaintiff from eliciting testimony on the construction of its insurance policy. Plaintiff does not intend to offer any such testimony. The Motion will therefore be denied as moot.

         2. Availability of avian influenza endorsements or exclusions

         Defendant asks the Court to preclude Plaintiff from advising the jury as to the availability of avian influenza endorsements or exclusions. Plaintiff does not intend to advise the jury on this issue. The Motion will therefore be denied as moot.

         3. Defendant's initial bases ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.