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Gregory Packaging, Inc. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am.

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

November 25, 2014, Decided; November 25, 2014, Filed

Civ. No. 2:12-cv-04418 (WHW) (CLW)

Opinion

Walls, Senior District Judge

This insurance coverage dispute arises out of a property insurance policy which Defendant Travelers Property Casualty Company of America ("Travelers") issued to Plaintiff Gregory Packaging, Inc. ("Gregory Packaging"). Subject to limitations and exclusions, the policy covered "direct physical loss of or damage to" Gregory Packaging's property. In July 2010, ammonia was released inside one of Gregory Packaging's facilities. Gregory Packaging now moves for partial summary judgment on the issue of whether it incurred "direct physical loss of or damage to" property from the ammonia release. Without oral argument under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78(b), the Court finds that Gregory Packaging sustained "direct physical loss of or damage to" property and grants Gregory Packaging's motion.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Gregory Packaging, headquartered in [*2]  Newark, New Jersey, makes and sells juice cups. Pl.'s Mem. 1, ECF No. 40; Pl.'s Statement of Material Facts ("Pl.'s SMF") ¶ 1, ECF No. 41; Def.'s Opp. 4, ECF No. 49; Def.'s Responsive Statement of Material Facts ("Def.'s Resp. SMF") ¶ 1, ECF No. 49-1. In 2009, Gregory Packaging decided to build a new juice packaging facility and purchased a building for that purpose on Amlajack Boulevard in Newnan, Georgia. Pl.'s Mem. 2; Pl.'s SMF ¶ 7; Def.'s Opp. 4; Def.'s Resp. SMF" ¶ 7. Travelers issued Gregory Packaging a property insurance policy for the period running from February 28, 2010 to September 11, 2010. Pl.'s Mem. 5; Def.'s Opp. 13.

The insurance policy states that Travelers "will pay for direct physical loss of or damage to Covered Property caused by or resulting from a Covered Cause of Loss." Pl.'s SMF ¶ 3; Def.'s Resp. SMF ¶ 3. It defines "Covered Property" to include "designated buildings or structures at the premises described in the Declarations, including: . . . (2) Fixtures . . . [and] (3) Machinery and equipment permanently attached to the building . . . ." Pl.'s SMF ¶ 4; Def.'s Resp. SMF ¶ 4; Cert. of Robert D. Chesler ("Chesler Cert.") ¶ 3, Ex. A, Form DX T1 00 03 98. The [*3]  policy's "Declarations" indicate, and the parties have not disputed, that the policy covered the buildings and structures Gregory Packaging purchased in Newnan, Georgia. Chesler Cert. ¶ 3, Ex. A, Form IL T0 03 04 96.1

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2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165232 *; 2014 WL 6675934

GREGORY PACKAGING, INC., Plaintiff, v. TRAVELERS PROPERTY CASUALTY COMPANY OF AMERICA, Defendant.

Notice: NOT FOR PUBLICATION

CORE TERMS

Packaging, ammonia, physical loss, genuine dispute, refrigeration, material fact, partial summary judgment, incapacitated, occupancy, choice of law, temporarily, argues, physical damage, remediation, dissipate, disputes, asserts, parties, uninhabitable, alteration, explosion, hired, plant, terms, insurance policy, juice, air