Wingenroth v. American States Ins. Co., 2-583A154

Docket NºNo. 2-583A154
Citation455 N.E.2d 968
Case DateNovember 10, 1983
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 968

455 N.E.2d 968
Edward S. WINGENROTH and Mildred B. Wingenroth, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
No. 2-583A154.
Court of Appeals of Indiana,
Second District.
Nov. 10, 1983.

John F. Townsend, Jr., Townsend, Hovde, Townsend & Montross, Indianapolis, for plaintiffs-appellants.

Kent O. Stewart, John M. McCrum, Stewart & Reeder, Indianapolis, for defendant-appellee.

RATLIFF, Judge (writing by designation)


The Wingenroths appeal from the granting of summary judgment by the Marion Superior Court to the defendant, American States Insurance Company, in an action for recovery of insurance proceeds under the terms of their homeowner's policy. We reverse and remand.


During a storm on June 29, 1976, a tree fell on the roof of the Wingenroth home causing extensive damage. The Wingenroths notified American States of the damages and repairs were commenced.

Some time prior to August 25, 1977, American States issued a check to the Wingenroths for $11,664.13 for payment of the repairs made to the roof. The Wingenroths, however, were hesitant to endorse the check, fearing that if they did, American States might refuse to pay for any additional damages subsequently discovered. To assuage their fears, Arthur Smith, a claims representative of American States, wrote the Wingenroths on August 25, 1977, informing them that

"In the event additional damage [sic] are discovered at a later date that are a result of the storm loss of June 29, 1976, we will honor the additional claim.

The endorsement of the draft in no way releases us from our obligation to

Page 969

fulfill the terms of your insurance contract."

Record at 58. The Wingenroths subsequently endorsed the check.

Problems with the roof persisted and further repairs were necessary; however, the parties disagreed as to the cause of the problems. While the Wingenroths attributed them to the original storm damage, American States contended they were due to the roof's natural deterioration. Nevertheless, on December 4, 1979, American States issued a second check to the Wingenroths, this one in the amount of $1,851.18. In the accompanying letter the company stated that with issuance of the check it hoped to "bring this matter to an amicable conclusion." Record at 29.

Such a conclusion was not reached, however, and the Wingenroths continued to experience problems with the roof. Following further negotiations, American States' president, Edwin Goss, in a letter dated January 6, 1981, offered to pay as much as $500 for additional repairs. Believing this amount to be insufficient, the Wingenroths rejected the offer on February 17, 1981.

Feeling the negotiations with American States to be at an impasse, the Wingenroths contacted the Indiana Department of Insurance. After several months of correspondence, the Department advised the Wingenroths that their dispute appeared to be of a contractual nature and that judicial proceedings would probably be necessary.

On April 29, 1982, the Wingenroths initiated suit against American States to recover the additional costs incurred in repairing their roof. American States, citing a provision of the Wingenroth's policy requiring any cause of action to be initiated within one year of the inception of the loss, moved for summary judgment. This motion was granted by the Marion Superior Court on February 15, 1983, and the Wingenroths now appeal.


A single issue is raised by the Wingenroths in their brief. We restate it as follows:

Are there any genuine issues of material fact present regarding whether American States waived the one year limitation period which serve to preclude the granting of summary judgment?


Because there are genuine issues of material fact in dispute concerning whether the one year limitation period was waived by American States, the granting of summary judgment was improper. Accordingly, we reverse and remand for trial.


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16 cases
  • Ludwig v. Ford Motor Co.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • July 9, 1987
    ...the same standard of review utilized by the trial court in examining its granting of summary judgment. Wingenroth v. American States Insurance Co. (1983), Ind.App., 455 N.E.2d 968, 969. Issue Ludwig asserts that the trial court erred in holding that his claims against Ford and GM for breach......
  • Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC v. Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 1:07-cv-01449-SEB-DML
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
    • March 29, 2012
    ...[Ocwen] into not pressing [its] rights and then deny liability on the basis of the limitation period." Wingenroth v. Am. States Ins. Co., 455 N.E.2d 968, 970 (Ind. Ct. App. 1983). With these points in mind, we conclude that there is no genuine issue of material fact regarding the question o......
  • Brenneman Mechanical & Elec., Inc. v. First Nat. Bank of Logansport, 2-885A251
    • United States
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    • July 17, 1986
    ...the same standard of review utilized by the trial court in examining its granting of summary judgment. Wingenroth v. American States Insurance Co. (1983), Ind.App., 455 N.E.2d 968, 969. Brenneman argues, under issues 1b and 1c as rephrased, that the trial court went beyond the matter put at......
  • Haverstock v. State Public Employees Retirement Fund, 2-585A160
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    • Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 20, 1986 no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Wingenroth v. American States Insurance Co. (1983), Ind.App., 455 N.E.2d 968, 969; Nahmias v. Trustees of Indiana University (1983), Ind.App., 444 N.E.2d 1204, 1206, trans. denied; English ......
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