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Colorado Casualty Insurance Co. v. Starline Windows, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

April 1, 2014

COLORADO CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
STARLINE WINDOWS, INC., Defendant.

ORDER

JOHN C. COUGHENOUR, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on coverage, defense costs, and bad faith (Dkt. No. 90), Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on indemnity issues (Dkt. No. 110), and Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on coverage for assumed liability under the written warranty (Dkt. No. 112). Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby DENIES the motions for the reasons explained herein.

I. BACKGROUND

This Court has already ruled on Defendants' motion for summary judgment and Plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 96.) That order described the background of this case. ( Id. at 1-3.) In brief, Defendant Starline Windows ("Starline") provided defective windows for an apartment complex owned by The Bristol at Southport, LLC ("Bristol"). Starline performed repair work in early 2002, but Bristol discovered in 2010 that the damage had not been repaired and there was widespread water damage.

Plaintiff Colorado Casualty Insurance Company is one of Starline's insurers. Starline's other insurers (referred to as the "Settling Insurers") entered into a February 2013 with Starline, Bristol, and two related Starline entities, Starline Windows Ltd. ("LTD") and Starline Windows (2001) Ltd. ("Starline 2001"). Colorado's Second Amended Complaint names as defendants Starline, Bristol, and Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada ("RSA"). (Dkt. No. 87.) Colorado seeks a declaratory judgment affirming that it has no duty to pay any amount to Starline. ( Id. )

This Court has already granted in part the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 96.) Colorado has now filed three additional summary-judgment motions, largely concerning issues related to those already decided. (Dkt. Nos. 90, 110, 112.)

II. DISCUSSION

A. Local Rules

Colorado has filed 41 pages worth of summary-judgment motions (not included its cross-motion for summary judgment). The local rules require that motions for summary judgment not exceed 24 pages. See W.D. Wash. Local Civ. R. 7(e)(3). In recognition that parties may attempt to evade these page limits by filing multiple motions on discrete claims, the Rules also prohibit parties from making contemporaneous filings on discrete issues, such as those here. See id. These limitations serve to ensure that the issues on summary judgment are clear. Here, Colorado has filed three summary-judgment motions. The Court considers the first summary-judgment motion but only briefly explains why summary judgment would be inappropriate on the issues raised in Colorado's second and third improperly filed summary-judgment motions.

B. Summary-Judgment Standard

"The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Material facts are those that may affect the case's outcome. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute about a material fact is genuine if there is enough evidence for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See id. at 49. At the summary judgment stage, evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, and all justifiable inferences must be drawn in the nonmovant's favor. See Johnson v. Poway Unified Sch. Dist., 658 F.3d 954, 960 (9th Cir. 2011).

C. Coverage, Defense Costs, and Bad Faith

Colorado's first motion for summary judgment presents four questions:

(1) Was Bristol's 2010 claim related to property damage occurring ...

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