Premier New England Trial Attorneys

Bill Chapman and John Wheatley Secure Summary Judgment

The firm’s client, an insurance broker, was sued by a moving and storage company for failing to secure coverage for loss of customer property, valued at $180,000, which was damaged in the course of a search and seizure operation by state and local police.  The Superior Court agreed that the claims were without merit because the broker obtained the coverage which the plaintiff had requested in accordance with its written applications.  In particular, the plaintiff requested commercial coverage including $1,000,000 limits for losses occurring “in the ordinary course of business”.  The defense argued that a police search and seizure does not occur in the normal course of business, and the plaintiff never requested coverage for losses attributable to the plaintiff’s own criminal conduct or to the execution of a lawful search warrant.  The court also agreed with defense arguments that plaintiff failed to meet its burden of producing evidence that a policy covering such losses was available from any source, and thus plaintiff failed to show it had been harmed by the alleged breach.