247 F.3d 822 (8th Cir. 2001), 00-2598, Brandt Dist. Co. v. Federal Insurance Co.
|Citation:||247 F.3d 822|
|Party Name:||BRANDT DISTRIBUTING CO., INC., A MISSOURI CORPORATION, APPELLANT, v. FEDERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, AN INDIANA INSURANCE CORPORATION, APPELLEE.|
|Case Date:||April 25, 2001|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit|
Submitted: March 16, 2001
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Before Hansen and Heaney, Circuit Judges, and Fenner, 1 District Judge.
Fenner, District Judge.
On March 6, 1996, a fire destroyed a two-story office building and adjoining warehouse in St. Louis, Missouri. The tenant of the building, Brandt Distributing Co., Inc. ("Brandt"), a distributor of coin-operated amusement equipment, filed a claim under its commercial insurance policy. The insurer, Federal Insurance Company ("Federal Insurance"), denied the claim because it believed that: (1) Brandt concealed or misrepresented its alleged involvement in causing the fire, and (2) Brandt was involved in intentionally causing the fire, either directly or indirectly. Federal Insurance relied upon the following provisions of the policy:
(1) Insured's Duties in the Event of Loss or Damage
You must see to it the following are done in the event of a loss or damage: Cooperate with us in the investigation, settlement or handling of any claim. Authorize us to obtain records or reports necessary for our investigation. As often as may reasonably be required, permit us to inspect the property and examine your books and records.
This insurance is void if you or any other insured intentionally conceals or misrepresents any material fact or circumstance related to this insurance at any time.
(2) Policy Exclusion
This insurance does not apply to loss or damage caused by or resulting from fraudulent, dishonest, or criminal acts or omissions committed alone or in collusion with others, by you, your partners, directors, trustees, and employees, or by anyone authorized to act for you or anyone to whom you have entrusted covered property for any purpose.
Brandt filed suit in Missouri state court to enforce the fire insurance policy, and Federal Insurance removed the case to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri based upon diversity jurisdiction. Brandt asserted claims under several provisions of the policy, including: (1) loss of the premises, (2) cost of conducting an inventory, (3) loss of inventory and stock, (4) loss of personal property, and (5) cost of the demolition and removal of debris.
Federal Insurance answered the complaint with the affirmative defenses, regarding each count, stating that: (1) the loss arose out of the intentional acts of Brandt, and (2) Brandt made material misrepresentations and concealed material facts relating to the insurance claim during Federal Insurance's examinations under oath, thereby voiding...
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