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City of Renton v. Lexington Ins. Co. (USA)

United States District Court for the Western District of Washington

September 19, 2007, Filed

CASE NO. C06-203RSM

Opinion

ORDER ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

This matter is before the Court for consideration of the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. Dkt. # # 57, 80. Plaintiff has also filed a motion to strike portions of defendants' exhibits. Dkt. # 90. The matter has been fully briefed and, although the parties have requested oral argument, the Court deems it unnecessary. For the reasons set forth below, the Court shall GRANT plaintiffs' motion to strike, DENY plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment, and GRANT defendants' motion  [*2] for summary judgment.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs City of Renton ("City") and the Washington Cities Insurance Authority ("WCIA") filed this action for breach of contract, alleging that defendants improperly failed to pay an insurance claim. The named defendants, Lexington Insurance Company (USA) ("Lexington USA") and Lexington Insurance Company (UK) ("Lexington UK"), are reinsurers as explained further below. The facts giving rise to the insurance claim are not in dispute. By both moving for summary judgment, the parties are in agreement that the matter of insurance coverage is an issue of law for the Court.

The underlying facts shall be stated as summarized by plaintiff:

The Monster Road Bridge ("Bridge") is a 1887-foot long, three-span structure comprised of seven girders per span located within the City of Renton, Washington. The Bridge was designed by INCA Engineers. After the Bridge's completion in early 1999, Renton inspected the Bridge biannually per State of Washington mandated requirements, commencing on September 7, 1999. During this initial inspection, the inspector noted that all interior center span girders had cracks in the bottom flange at each end near the bents. After  [*3] a third biannual inspection on [sic] September 2003, Renton asked CES Engineering to do a full inspection study as to the magnitude of cracks as it appeared the Bridge may have been subject to total failure in the future. Eventually, these cracks worsened to the point that the Bridge required extensive repairs in order to continue safely operating.

Renton went through the formal public bidding process for awarding the repair bid, which was concluded on September 28, 2004. The repairs were completed by Mowat Construction. The total costs expended by Renton to repair the Bridge were $ 690,643.41, completed around July 11, 2005.

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2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69959 *; 2007 WL 2751356

THE CITY OF RENTON, a Washington municipal corporation, et al., Plaintiffs, v. LEXINGTON INSURANCE COMPANY (USA), a foreign corporation doing business in Washington; et al., Defendants.

CORE TERMS

reinsurance, Bridge, certificate, insured, inherent vice, Declaration, coverage, summary judgment, facultative, fortunes, settlements, conditions, defendants', plaintiffs', peril, insurance company, primary insurer, good faith, policies, matter of law, parties, cracks, limits, partial summary judgment, provide coverage, obligations, reimburse, clauses, genuine, girders