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Cozza v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

July 15, 2011, Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a); July 28, 2011, Filed

No. 10-2811

Opinion

 [*74]  OPINION OF THE COURT

FISHER, Circuit Judge.

Joseph Cozza, on behalf of Filomena Cozza, (collectively "Cozza") appeals an order of the District Court granting summary judgment in favor of Appellee, State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Company ("State Farm") on claims arising from the denial of an insurance claim. For the reasons set forth below, we will affirm.

We write principally for the parties, who are familiar with the factual context and legal history of this case. Therefore, we set forth only those facts necessary to our analysis.

This case arises out of State Farm's denial of a claim for coverage made by Cozza. State Farm issued Filomena Cozza an "all risk" homeowners'  [**2] insurance policy, which covered her residence in Philadelphia but contained a subsurface water damage exclusion. On April 16, 2008, Joseph Cozza filed an insurance claim with State Farm after discovering significant damage to a foundational wall in his mother's basement, ultimately requiring the home to be "shored up" and the basement wall replaced. State Farm conducted an investigation and found that the wall had collapsed due to pressure from supersaturated soil pressing against it from outside the house. Water had been leaking into the surrounding soil from breaks in a drain pipe running parallel to the foundation wall, four-feet underground. The drain pipe carried rainwater collected from Cozza's roof-gutters, fed from three downspouts, to the main city sewer.

State Farm denied Cozza's insurance claim based on a subsurface water damage exclusion in her policy:

We do not insure under any coverage for any loss which would not have occurred in the absence of one or more of the following excluded events.

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440 Fed. Appx. 73 *; 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 15771 **

JOSEPH COZZA, on behalf of Filomena Cozza, Appellant v. STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY

Notice: NOT PRECEDENTIAL OPINION UNDER THIRD CIRCUIT INTERNAL OPERATING PROCEDURE RULE 5.7. SUCH OPINIONS ARE NOT REGARDED AS PRECEDENTS WHICH BIND THE COURT.

PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.

Prior History:  [**1] On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. (D.C. No. 2-09-cv-02380). District Judge: Honorable Legrome D. Davis.

CORE TERMS

district court, subsurface, coverage, plumbing system, pipe, summary judgment, insure, drain