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Schulz Farm Enterprises, Inc. v. IMT Insurance

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 11, 2017

SCHULZ FARM ENTERPRISES, INC., Appellant,
v.
IMT INSURANCE, Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Arthur E. Gamble, Judge. Schulz Farm Enterprises, Inc. appeals a grant of summary judgment to IMT Insurance. AFFIRMED.

          Eldon McAffee and Julie Vyskocil of Brick Gentry, P.C., West Des Moines, for appellant.

          Caroline K. Bettis and Scott Wormsley of Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, P.C., Des Moines, for appellee.

          Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, Judge.

         Schulz Farm Enterprises, Inc. (Schulz) appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment to IMT Insurance. We hold the district court properly found there were no genuine issues of material fact and IMT was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. We affirm the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of IMT.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         Schulz is a farming operation based in New Hampton, Iowa. Schulz contracted with Clark Swine Technology, Inc. (Clark) to custom feed hogs owned by Schulz at a site owned by Wilson Agriculture. The contract required Clark to take delivery of hogs weighing fifty pounds and raise them until they attained the market weight of approximately 275 pounds. The hogs were owned by Schulz but were under the care and control of Clark.

         Clark contacted his independent insurance agent, Melanie Umble, regarding the custom feeding operation. Umble had previously provided Clark with homeowners, renters, health, and life insurance, as well as some farm liability insurance for buildings he owned in other locations. Umble, as an independent agent, does not work for IMT. Clark told Umble he owned neither the hogs nor the building but was responsible for utilities, his own insurance, labor, repairs, feed, and medicine. Based on this information, Umble recommended Clark purchase an IMT Insurance Farmers Personal Liability Coverage policy (Policy). Clark also purchased a Custom Feeding Endorsement (Endorsement) for an annual premium of $118. The relevant portions of the insurance policy are set forth below:

         Definitions

A. In this policy, "you" and "your" refer to the "named insured" shown in the Declarations and the spouse if a resident of the same household. "We", "us" and "our" refer to the Company providing this insurance.
B. In addition, certain words and phrases are defined as follows:
. . . .
5. "Custom feeding" means the raising or care of "livestock" or "poultry", performed by an "insured" for others for a charge under a written or oral contract or ...

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