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Michael F. Schmidt And Nate Peplinski Obtain Affirmance Of Summary Judgment From U.S. Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals For Claim For Insurance Coverage For A Fire Loss

Hatcher v Nationwide Property & Casualty Insurance Company, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Court of Appeals No. 14—2068. Claim by plaintiff to recover dwelling and content loss in excess of $250,000 from a fire at plaintiff’s home pursuant to the homeowner policy issued by Nationwide. We obtained a summary judgment in the trial court on the basis that there was a material misrepresentation in the application by the plaintiff’s statement that taxes on the property were not delinquent more than two years at the time of the application. We determined through discovery that the property taxes were delinquent for 2010 at the time of the application in 2012. The Sixth Circuit affirmed our summary judgment in a 7 page written opinion. The Sixth Circuit rejected the plaintiff’s argument that taxes are not termed delinquent per the Michigan General Property Tax Act until March 1 of the year after they were due. The court agreed with our argument that the Michigan General Property Tax Act indicates when action may be taken on delinquent taxes but does not define when they are delinquent. The court followed our argument of applying the standard dictionary definition that something is “delinquent” when it is “past due” and “overdue” and that the property taxes were “past due” and thus “delinquent” when they were not paid in 2010.