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IDS Property Casualty Insurance Co. v. Kaisch

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

March 7, 2017

IDS PROPERTY CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant,
v.
DAVID P. KAISCH and JULIE KAISCH, Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs; And DAVID M. KAISCH, Intervening Plaintiff,
v.
IDS PROPERTY CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 25]

          LINDA V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This action involves a dispute over automobile insurance policy coverage. On April 30, 2015, Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company (“Plaintiff” or “IDS”) filed this action seeking declaratory relief against Defendants David P. Kaisch and Julie Kaisch (collectively “Defendants”). On September 14, 2015, Defendants' son, Intervenor David M. Kaisch (“Intervenor”) filed a complaint against Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant IDS for their refusal to pay for collision damage arising out of an automobile accident that occurred on February 2, 2015. (ECF No. 16.)

         Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 25.) Plaintiff requests that this Court issue an order rescinding Defendants' automobile policy to an appropriate date and state that Plaintiff is not obligated to pay benefits for any accidents after the appropriate date. (Id. at Pg ID 142.) In particular, Plaintiff requests that this Court find that Plaintiff does not owe Defendants any benefits from the November 5, 2014 automobile accident. (Id.)

         Finding the facts and legal arguments sufficiently presented in the parties' briefs, the Court dispensed with oral argument pursuant to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f). For the reasons that follow, the Court is denying Plaintiff's motion.

         I. Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 is appropriate “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The central inquiry is “whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986). After adequate time for discovery and upon motion, Rule 56 mandates summary judgment against a party who fails to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case and on which that party bears the burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

         The movant has the initial burden of showing “the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Id. at 323. Once the movant meets this burden, the “nonmoving party must come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Electric Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). To demonstrate a genuine issue, the nonmoving party must present sufficient evidence upon which a jury could reasonably find for that party; a “scintilla of evidence” is insufficient. See Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 252.

         “A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed” must designate specifically the materials in the record supporting the assertion, “including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations, admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). The court must accept as true the non-movant's evidence and draw “all justifiable inferences” in the non-movant's favor. See Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 255.

         II. Factual Background

         The relationship between the parties began in 2002 when they entered into a contract for an automobile insurance policy for Defendants. (ECF No. 25 at Pg ID 108.) The insurance policy stated that Defendants resided at 8527 Alwardt Drive, Sterling Heights, Michigan 48313. (Id.) On July 24, 2012, Defendant David P. Kaisch contacted Plaintiff to inform them that Defendants were considering a move to Florida. (ECF No. 35 at Pg ID 929.) During that call, Plaintiff advised Defendant David P. Kaisch that it did not write any new insurance policies in Florida. (ECF No. 25 at Pg ID 109.) Plaintiff sent Defendants a nonrenewal notice after the call due to Defendants plan to move to Florida. (Id.) The letter states, in part:

This action has been initiated because you have moved to a different state, and regulations require that we cancel coverage if a policyholder moves residency from one state to another.
….
You have the statutory right within seven days from date of mailing to dispute this decision, should you have reason to believe this denial is improper.

(ECF No. 26-5 at Pg ID 310.) On August 23, 2012, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant David P. Kaisch contacted them to inform them that he was not moving to Florida. (Id.) Plaintiff did not cancel the policy, relying on Defendant David P. Kaisch's statement that he was not moving. (ECF No. 25 at Pg ID 109.) Defendant David P. Kaisch testified at a later date that he does not recall either phone call with Plaintiff.[1] (ECF No. 30-2 ...


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