Another Curtin & Heefner Victory!

Curtin & Heefner partner, Thomas Mueller, recently obtained summary judgment in favor of our client in a case removed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

In Tillman-Langford, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., the State Farm insureds filed a homeowners claim after discovering that their basement floor had taken water as a result of it escaping through a backed-up floor drain in the basement. State Farm inspected the loss and issued payment to the insureds for the actual cash value of the insureds’ interior damage, less the policy’s deductible. State Farm denied coverage for the cost of replacing the plumbing system or accessing the pipe beneath the basement floor.

The insureds filed suit, claiming that State Farm breached its policy by denying coverage for the replacement of the plumbing system. During the adjustment of the claim, the insureds produced an estimate and a plumbing report, indicating that the entire plumbing system at the home needed to be replaced, including the portion of the system beneath the basement floor.

In its Motion for Summary Judgment, State Farm argued that it had paid all amounts due under the terms and conditions of the policy, and the policy’s “tear out” provision, which provides coverage to access only that portion of the system or appliance from which water escaped, was not implicated, since the water escaped only from the floor drain, which already was accessible, and the loss was caused by wear, tear, and deterioration.

Plaintiffs acknowledged the strength of State Farm’s arguments, eventually filing a letter to the Court indicating that they were “not in a position to oppose the motion.”

Judge Anita B. Brody granted summary judgment in State Farm’s favor and dismissed Plaintiffs’ case.