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Cozza v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

June 16, 2010, Decided; June 16, 2010, Filed

CIVIL ACTION NO. 09-2380-LDD

Opinion

ORDER

AND NOW, this 16th day of June 2010, upon consideration of Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Company's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 16), Plaintiff Filomena Cozza's Response in opposition thereto (Doc. No. 17), and Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Company's Reply in support thereof (Doc. No. 20), it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Company's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 16) is GRANTED. Accordingly, it is further ORDERED that Plaintiff's claims are DISMISSED with prejudice.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This case arises out of Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Company's denial of a claim for coverage made by Plaintiff Filomena Cozza.1 The material facts are undisputed. Defendant issued to Plaintiff a homeowner's insurance [*2]  policy. (See Homeowner's Policy, attached to Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. as Ex. 2(B) (hereinafter, "Policy").) Plaintiff's son found cracks in Plaintiff's basement wall, and he immediately hired a contractor and engineer to evaluate the property. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 16; Pl.'s Resp. Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 16.) It was discovered that the home had to be shored up and the basement wall replaced. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 16; Pl.'s Resp. Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 16.) Plaintiff reported a claim to Defendant for coverage to repair the collapsed wall. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 12; Pl.'s Resp. Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 12.) Plaintiff sought a total of $66,110.00 for the necessary repairs. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 5; Pl.'s Resp. Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 5.)

Defendant denied Plaintiff's claim based on the Policy's subsurface water damage exclusion. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 19; Pl.'s Resp. Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 19.) Defendant conducted an investigation and determined that the basement wall collapsed under pressure from water-saturated soil. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. ¶ 19 & Ex. 4.) In denying Plaintiff's claim, Defendant relied on the following provisions of the Policy:

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2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159285 *

JOSEPH COZZA v. STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY

CORE TERMS

coverage, plumbing system, summary judgment motion, non-moving, insure, material fact, matter of law, water damage, drain pipe, downspouts, escaped, genuine, drain