from the Iowa District Court for Buchanan County, Joel A.
insured appeals a ruling granting the insurer's summary
judgment motion based upon a policy exclusion.
W. Hosack of Roberts, Stevens & Prendergast, P.L.L.C.,
Waterloo, for appellant.
E. Kanaris and Jefferson D. Patten of Fisher Kanaris, P.C.,
Chicago, Illinois, pro hac vice, and Martin J. Demoret of
Faegre Baker Daniels L.L.P., Des Moines, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor,
Iowa Plastics, Inc. (EIP) appeals the district court ruling
granting summary judgment to Hartford Casualty Insurance
Company (Hartford). On appeal, EIP argues the district court
improperly relied on Hartford's statement of undisputed
Background Facts and Proceedings.
April 2016, EIP filed a petition against Hartford, their
insurer, for breach of contract, claiming Hartford failed to
compensate EIP in full for damages to their property arising
from an incident in April 2014. In April 2014, flooding
occurred in the EIP building when the underground fire
suppression system became disconnected from the underground
water service line. To repair the damage, the floor and an
office above the line were excavated, the pipes were
reconnected, a portion of the concrete floor was re-poured
where the floor was excavated, and a new office was
constructed. Hartford paid EIP $25, 543.27 for the repairs.
EIP claims Hartford is liable for additional damages to
repair another portion of the concrete floor, measuring
twenty-five by one hundred feet, which settled a few inches.
The insurance policy contains an exclusion for damage caused
by earth movement, including settling as a result of water
underneath the ground surface.
filed a motion for summary judgment in May 2017, arguing the
settlement of a portion of the building's concrete floor
was caused by soil underneath the floor compacting after
water leaked from the underground pipe and the damage was
explicitly excluded from coverage in the insurance policy.
Hartford argues there is no dispute as to the cause of the
damages and that EIP's insurance policy does not cover
damages arising from earth movement, including soil
conditions caused by water. To support their statement of
undisputed facts, Hartford included deposition testimony of
Edgar Larson, owner of Larson Construction, the company who
constructed the building and repaired the damage to the
floors; Shane Solomon, the specific person who excavated the
pipe following the event; Jim Ellis, EIP's retained
expert engineer; Bret and Jean Kivell, owners of EIP; photos
of the damage from EIP; and the insurance policy itself.
filed a resistance and a statement of material disputed
facts. EIP argued "the parties dispute the exact nature
of the pipe's failure." EIP argued the insurance
policy was ambiguous and the policy provides coverage for the
collapse or explosion of a building. EIP filed the following
statement of material disputed facts:
1. The foundation of EIP's building is undefined and is a
question of fact that should be resolved in favor of the
2. The concrete slab floor is a part of the ...