A Washington court has appealed a lower court of justice and held a WR Berkley Corp. the unit's definition of the word "decay" to deny a roof damage claim was too crowded.
Part of the roof body system of a 40-year-old Auburn, Washington, commercial building owned by Seattle-based Feenix Parkside LLC failed in July 2015, and that part of the roof collapsed according to Monday's Washington State Appeal Court judgment in Seattle in Feenix Parkside LLC by Berkley North Pacific and Continental Western Insurance Co.
Feenix insurer Bellevue, Washington-based Berkley North Pacific, a WR Berkley Corp. unit, denied coverage for the loss because it said it was caused by "defective design methods and excessive wind temperatures", which are not covered causes of loss during policy collapse coverage, according to judgment.
Feenix brought an action against Berkley in the State Court, including a policy provision that provided coverage for "maturity hidden from view, unless the existence of such maturity is known to an insured before collapse".
Feenix suggested that "decay" be defined, based on Webster's ninth college dictionary definition, as "a gradual decrease in strength, health".
The trial was dominated in Berkley's favor, stating the term decay used in politics is ambiguous and the idea that it would mean a reduction in strength is not a reasonable use of the term in the context of the policy.
Berkley argued that Feenix's broader definition of decay was unreasonable and nothing more than an attempt to "characterize the dangers of excessive heat (in the wind) and excessive moisture content in trusses … as" decay ".
The unanimous three judges The appeal court panel disagreed.The "only reasonable implication is that the common and common sense of maturity used in politics includes decay in the broader sense of a gradual deterioration or reduction of strength or health," the appeal court said in turning the court. ] Feenix lawyer Thomas D. Adams, shareholder of Karr Tuttle Campbell PS in Seattle, said in a statement that the company "is satisfied with the court's decision, which is fully in line with similar decisions issued by other courts and gratifying that it should now have it collapse tire that it thought it had all the time. "
Berkley's lawyer could not be reached immediately for comment.