United States District Court, E.D. Washington
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
PLAINTIFF'S SECOND MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY
Salvador Mendoza, JR. United States District Judge
the Court is Plaintiff GB Auctions Inc.'s Second Motion
for Partial Summary Judgment, ECF No. 30. Plaintiff seeks
partial summary judgment in its favor on the duty and breach
elements of its claims for breach of contract and violation
of the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (“IFCA”),
Revised Code of Washington (“RCW”) chapter 48.30.
Id. at 16. Defendants Old Republic Insurance Company
and Old Republic Aerospace Inc. oppose the motion. ECF No.
Court held a hearing on the motion on August 20, 2019. ECF
No. 52. In preparation for the hearing, the Court reviewed
the record and relevant legal authority. At the conclusion of
the hearing, the Court orally granted in part and denied in
part the motion. This Order memorializes and supplements the
Court's oral ruling.
November 2017, the parties executed a contract for Defendants
to insure Plaintiff's 1998 Beech King Aircraft Model 200.
ECF No. 1 at 3; ECF No. 6 at 3. In the contract, Defendants
promised to Plaintiff that “[i]f your aircraft is
damaged but is not a total loss or constructive total loss,
and someone else makes repairs, we will pay for the net cost
to you of repairing your aircraft with material and parts of
a similar kind and quality, less any deductible that
applies.” ECF No. 31-1 at 49.
contract provides, “Proof. If we ask,
you agree to let us see any damaged property. You also agree
to be questioned under oath by someone we choose, and to let
us see all relevant records and invoices, or copies of these
if the originals are lost.” Id. at 64.
Relatedly, the contract provides, Inspection and
You agree to let us inspect your property and operations at
any reasonable time. These inspections are made for our
benefit. You cannot use them as proof or as a guarantee by us
that you comply with any safety, health, or legal regulation.
You also agree to let us examine the books and records you
keep that concern the use, ownership, and maintenance of your
aircraft. We can make these audits:
• Up to three years after the end of the policy period;
• Until we settle all claims for losses.
Id. at 62. Further, the contract provides,
“When we will pay. We will pay for a
covered loss within 30 days after we reach an agreement with
you, or a final court judgment is entered, or an appraisal
award is filed with us. But you must comply with all terms of
this policy before we pay.” Id. at 50.
January 2018, the aircraft suffered partial damage while
landing and Plaintiff submitted an insurance claim to
Defendants. ECF No. 1 at 3; ECF No. 6 at 4. Plaintiff alleges
that it elected to have a third party repair the aircraft.
ECF No. 1 at 4; ECF No. 6 at 4. Plaintiff solicited repair
cost estimates from three companies. ECF No. 1 at 4; ECF No.
6 at 4. Plaintiff alleges it determined the median estimate
of $1, 036, 962 was the sum most likely to restore the
aircraft to its prior condition while using material and
parts of similar kind and quality. ECF No. 1 at 4; ECF No. 6
at 5. Plaintiff sent the repair cost estimate to Defendants.
ECF No. 35-1 at 2, 84, 99-100. Defendants solicited their own
repair cost estimates. ECF No. 1 at 4; ECF No. 6 at 5.
Plaintiff declined Defendants' invitation for a joint
inspection. ECF No. 35-1 at 3, 84.
11, 2018, Defendants offered to settle Plaintiff's
insurance claim for $314, 338. ECF No. 35-1 at 4, 85, 92-93.
The parties dispute the value of the insurance claim. ECF No.
1 at 5; ECF No. 6 at 6. Plaintiff alleges that
“[d]uring the dispute, [Defendants have] attempted to
enforce a binding arbitration provision, in violation of
Washington law.” ECF No. 1 at 5; ECF No. 6 at 6. That
provision reads, Appraisal
there is damage or loss to your aircraft and we cannot agree
with you on the amount of the loss, we will use the ...