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Supreme Court of Washington
March 12, 2009, Argued; June 18, 2009, Filed
¶1 Stephens, J. — Petitioners Dale Campbell and Tina Fereira, a married couple (the Campbells), purchased a lot in Stevens County that had once been part of a larger parcel. At the time of purchase, they obtained title insurance from Ticor Title Insurance Co. Some years later a neighbor initiated an action to reform the Campbells's deed so that it would be encumbered by a pedestrian easement. The easement was originally granted at the time the larger parcel was subdivided and was intended to burden the lot next to the Campbells but was obstructed by a home on the burdened property. The Campbells tendered defense of the reformation suit to Ticor. Ticor refused to defend, claiming the title policy clearly excluded coverage where the public records about the Campbells's property did not disclose the existence of the easement. The Campbells and Ticor cross-moved for summary judgment on the issue of the duty to defend. The [***2] superior court granted summary judgment in favor of Ticor and the Court of Appeals affirmed. We affirm the Court of Appeals, agreeing that Ticor had no duty to defend under the title policy here.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
¶2 Frank and Rita Vickery (the Vickerys) owned a parcel of land in Stevens County located on Deer Lake. In 1995, [*469] they received a certificate of exemption from Stevens County in order to subdivide the land into three lots, designated as lots A, B, and C. At the time of the subdivision, the Campbells lived in an existing house on lot A and another family lived in an existing house on lot B (the Gromo house). In 1996, the Vickerys granted a pedestrian easement benefiting lot C and burdening lot B so that lot C could have access to a dock on Deer Lake. The easement was intended to run adjacent to lot A, along the property line between the Gromo house on lot B and the Campbells house on lot A.
¶3 In 2001, the Campbells purchased lot A. They obtained title insurance from Ticor.
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166 Wn.2d 466 *; 209 P.3d 859 **; 2009 Wash. LEXIS 624 ***
Dale Campbell et al., Petitioners, v. Ticor Title Insurance Company, Respondent.
Prior History: Appeal from Stevens County Superior Court. 06-2-00118-2. Honorable Rebecca M Baker.
Campbell v. Ticor Title Ins. Co., 139 Wn. App. 1033, 2007 Wash. App. LEXIS 1809 (2007)
easement, public record, title insurance, coverage, insurer, duty to defend, reformation, pedestrian, subdivided, parcel, insurance contract, insurance policy, summary judgment, title policy, parties, Lake, deed
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Genuine Disputes, Insurance Law, Types of Insurance, Property Insurance, Title Insurance, Liability & Performance Standards, Good Faith & Fair Dealing, Duty to Defend, Claim, Contract & Practice Issues, Policy Interpretation, Ordinary & Usual Meanings, Exclusions, Judicial Review