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Camper v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.

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

November 7, 2019

VANESSA CAMPER, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY and ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Company (“State Farm”) motion for partial summary judgment re damages. Dkt. 35. The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby grants the motion for the reasons stated herein.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On May 16, 2018, Plaintiff Vanessa Camper (“Camper”) filed a complaint in Pierce County Superior Court for the State of Washington against State Farm and Allstate Insurance Company (“Allstate”). Dkt. 1-2. Camper alleges that the insurance companies are liable for all damages associated with the flooding of her house on May 17, 2017. Id.

         On June 14, 2018, Allstate removed the matter to this Court. Dkt. 1.

         On June 19, 2019, State Farm and Allstate filed motions for summary judgment on coverage. Dkts. 17, 21. On August 7, 2019, State Farm filed the instant motion for partial summary judgment on damages. Dkt. 35. On August 26, 2019, Camper responded. Dkt. 38. On August 30, 2019, State Farm replied. Dkt. 41.

         On September 9, 2019, the Court granted Allstate's motion on coverage and denied State Farm's motion on coverage. Dkt. 43.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On the morning of May 17, 2017, Camper walked down the stairs of her home to the lower level and “walked right into water.” Dkt. 18-1 at 4. She could not find where the water was coming from, so she sought help from her neighbor. Dkt. 25, Declaration of Vanessa Camper (“Camper Decl.”), ¶¶ 5-6. They discovered that water was flowing down her driveway and into her garage. Id. ¶ 7. At some point, Camper discovered that the water was emanating from a broken pipe between the main water connection and her house. Camper contacted Allstate and Washington Restorer, a home restoration company. Id. ¶ 8. Washington Restorer sent its employee Maggie King (“King”) to Camper's house to appraise the damage and develop a remediation plan. Dkt. 26, ¶ 2.

         When King arrived at the house, the water had been turned off, but the source of the leak had not been identified. Id. ¶ 6. King asserts that the water heater was damaged and the electrical wiring in the house had been compromised by the flooding. Id. King opines that the house was uninhabitable because (1) there was no water, (2) the electrical system was compromised, (3) asbestos insulation had been damaged and needed to be removed, and (4) mold had started to form. Id. ¶ 7.

         Camper submitted the remediation plan and construction bids to Allstate, but Allstate denied coverage. Several weeks after the incident, Camper discovered that she also had a homeowner's policy with State Farm. Camper Decl., ¶ 13. Camper submitted a claim, and State Farm assigned adjustor Fred Long (“Long”) to the claim. Id. Initially, State Farm denied coverage, but it eventually provided some coverage for the damage. Id. ¶ 15. Although King told Camper that the home was uninhabitable, State Farm refused to compensate Camper for substitute housing. Id. ¶ 16. Camper claims that Long would not authorize remedial work until Camper paid to fix the broken pipe. Id. In September, Camper obtained funds to pay for the pipe repair. She then hired DrainTech Northwest to excavate and repair the water line. Id., Exh. A.

         As a result of King's conclusion that the house was uninhabitable, Camper and her daughter moved in with Camper's mother. Dkt. 25, ¶ 13. Camper asserts that she was unable to pay the mortgage on her uninhabitable house and rent for a separate apartment. Id.

         On the date of the loss, Camper had a homeowner's insurance policy with State Farm. Dkt. 18-3. The relevant part of the policy for this motion provides that State Farm will cover necessary costs Camper incurs when her premises becomes uninhabitable. Dkt. 18-3 at 17.

         III. ...


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