Summary Judgment Granted, Plaintiff’s Motions to Vacate Denied in Hail Storm Case
Feb 28, 2023
Saint Paul partner Christopher Goodman’s motion for summary judgment was granted and the court subsequently denied plaintiff’s motions to vacate an order for sanctions and vacate an appraisal award in a case involving hail damage to a homeowner’s association.
The Maple Ridge Homeowners Association alleged its property sustained over $2 million of damage during an August 2018 hail storm, and commenced suit in August 2020 seeking indemnification for the storm loss. The association moved to compel appraisal and stay discovery on coverage issues and the motion was granted. Before the appraisal occurred, the association was repeatedly ordered to produce information necessary for appraisal, such as identification of the roofing and siding material on each of the buildings that were the subject of the appraisal.
The district court warned that if the association did not produce the requested information before appraisal, then the association would not be allowed to seek compensation for damage to any building for which the information was not provided. The appraisal was completed in July 2022 but the association failed to identify the siding material on a number of buildings. After the appraisal award issued, Hiscox moved for sanctions, the motion was granted, and the association was precluded from recovering the amounts awarded at appraisal for the handful of buildings for which the siding information was withheld.
Hiscox then moved for summary judgment because none of the damages awarded for the remaining buildings exceeded the $20,000, per-building deductible. The association responded by moving to vacate the appraisal award and vacate the sanctions order.
The district court was required to determine whether (1) the appraisal panel exceeded its authority by resolving any coverage issues, (2) the court had the authority to require the association to identify the roofing and siding material and sanction the association for failing to produce it, and (3) Hiscox was entitled to summary judgment once the amounts awarded for the buildings that were the subject of the sanctions order were excluded.
The district court concluded the appraisal panel did not resolve any coverage issues when it determined the scope of repair and awarded damages to repair each of the buildings that were the subject of the award. Additionally, the district court determined that it had the authority to order the association to identify the roofing and siding material on each building, and that once the buildings that were the subject of the sanctions order were excluded, none of the damages awarded for the remaining buildings exceeded the $20,000 deductible.
Hiscox was therefore entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and the district court granted the motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case.