United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Westridge
Townhomes Owners Association (“the
Association”)'s Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment. Dkt. #50. Defendants Great American Assurance
Company (“Great American”) and Greenwich
Insurance Company (“Greenwich”) oppose the Motion
and move to continue it for three months to allow for
completion of discovery. See Dkts. #53, #56, and
#58. The Court has determined that oral argument is
unnecessary. For the reasons below, the Court GRANTS IN PART
Plaintiff's Motion and DENIES Defendant's Motion to
is an association of unit owners at Westridge Townhomes
condominium in Kent, Washington. Dkt. #51 at ¶ 3.
Defendants Great American and Greenwich sold the Association
a series of “Difference in Conditions” property
insurance policies, including the one at issue in this
motion. See Dkt. #52-1.
Policy states that it “insures against all risks of
direct physical loss or damage from any external cause except
as hereinafter excluded . . . .” Id. at 6. The
Policy specifically states it will not cover a list of
excluded perils, including “errors in design, errors in
processing, faulty workmanship or faulty
materials…” Id. at 10. However, the
Policy does not explicitly exclude “faulty
construction, ” “faulty maintenance, ” or
“wet or dry rot, ” although those terms are
excluded in other policies issued by Defendants. See
Dkt. #50 at 6-7.
January of 2016, the Association received a report from
architect Keith Soltner, which described damage to the
framing and sheathing that had previously been hidden behind
the condominium's exterior siding. Dkt. #51 at ¶ 5.
April 28, 2016, the Association submitted a claim to
Defendants for this damage. Dkt. #52-6. The Association sent
notice to Great American to the address that Washington's
Office of the Insurance Commissioner instructed the
Association to use. See Dkts. #52-7 and #52-8. The
Association sent the Greenwich notice to the
“registered address” that Greenwich had given to
the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. See Dkt.
#52-9. Defendants failed to promptly respond or investigate,
eventually denying the claims by letter dated April 12, 2017.
Dkt. #47 at 120.
Association filed this lawsuit in June 2016. Dkt. #1. The
current Amended Complaint alleges that Defendants, in failing
to provide coverage and failing to promptly investigate the
Association's insurance claims, acted in bad faith,
violated several insurance regulations, violated RCW
48.30.015, and violated the Washington Consumer Protection
Act, RCW 19.86.020. Dkt. #47 at 5-6.
discovery is still proceeding, the Association now moves for
partial summary judgment, requesting that the Court rule as a
matter of law that: the Policy does not exclude, and
therefore covers, the perils of faulty construction, faulty
maintenance, and wet or dry rot; the Policy covers
non-excluded property damage regardless of when the damage
occurred; Defendants have the burden of proving that other
insurance applies; if the jury decides that damage resulted
from the combination of excluded and non-excluded perils,
then the damage will be covered; and that Defendants'
suit limitation clause and late notice defenses are stricken.
Dkt. #50-3 at 2.
Motion to Continue
initial matter, Defendants move to continue consideration of
the Association's Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. #53.
Defendants cite Rule 56(d):
When Facts Are Unavailable to the Nonmovant.
If a nonmovant shows by affidavit or declaration that, for
specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to
justify its opposition, the court may:
(1) defer considering the motion or deny it;
(2) allow time to obtain affidavits or declarations or to