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Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. Chata Coating and Laminating

June 22, 2005

HARTFORD FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHATA COATING AND LAMINATING, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS
ANTHONY M. BRIDA, INC., THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF,
v.
SAMUEL P. MARTIN INSURANCE AGENCY, INC., THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Simandle, U.S. District Judge

OPINION

This insurance related dispute is before the Court upon the cross- motions for summary judgment by Hartford Fire Insurance Co. ("Hartford") and Anthony M. Brida, Inc. ("Brida"), as well as the motion for summary judgment by Brida against Samuel P. Martin Insurance Agency d/b/a the Martin Company ("Martin"). For the reasons expressed below, the Court will grant the motion by Hartford, and deny the motions by Brida.

I. BACKGROUND

This action arises out of a suit filed on April 26, 2002 in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina by Chata Coating and Laminating, Co. ("Chata") against Brida, as well as others, alleging that machinery belonging to Chata was damaged by water in the course of Brida's authorized transportation of that machinery in December 2001 ("Underlying Action"). The complaint in the Underlying Action alleges that the damage was caused by Brida's failure to tarp the machinery in the course of transportation and seeks damages, inter alia, for the loss of use of the allegedly damaged machinery, loss of profits, and loss of reputation and goodwill.

At all relevant times, Brida was a motor carrier authorized to transport goods for hire in interstate and intrastate commerce. On or about October 25, 1999, Hartford issued policy no. 13 UUM 1D8655 (the "Policy") to Brida, effective October 25, 1999 through October 19, 2000. The Policy was procured through Martin, a licensed insurance agent, and provided coverage under Form MS 00 39 04 89 (the "Cargo Coverage Form") for those sums that Brida becomes legally obligated to pay under a contract of carriage for direct physical loss to property being transported by Brida.*fn1

Section "B" of the Cargo Coverage Form contains the following exclusions from coverage:

B. Exclusions

1. [Omitted Here]

2. We will not pay for "loss" caused by or resulting from any of the following.

a. Delay, loss of use, loss of market, or any other causes of consequential "loss".

b. [Omitted Here]

c. [Omitted Here]

d. Poor or insufficient packaging or packing of the Covered Property; or poor packing of the Covered Property in or on the transporting vehicle.

e. Rust, corrosion, contamination, leakage, breakage, marring, scratching, wetness, dampness or exposure to light or darkness. But we will pay for such direct physical "loss" to Covered Property caused by any of the ...


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