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Michael F. Schmidt Obtains Summary Judgment In A U. S. District Court Case For Claim For Insurance Coverage For Fire Loss

Hatcher v Nationwide Property & Casualty Insurance Company, U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Civil Action Number 13—13926. Suit by plaintiff to recover dwelling and content loss in excess of $250,000 from a fire at plaintiff’s home pursuant to a homeowner policy issued by Nationwide. After raising multiple policy defenses we requested that the court allow us to file a motion for summary judgment before completion of discovery on the sole issue of whether there had been a material misrepresentation in the application. The court ordered that motion could be filed on the issue whether there was a material misrepresentation by the plaintiff’s statement that the taxes on the property were not delinquent more than two years. We filed the motion and brief, the plaintiff filed a response brief and we filed a reply brief. The plaintiff argued that the taxes were not delinquent for two or more years pursuant to the Michigan General Property Tax Act. We argued that this Act had no relevance to the case and that the phrase “delinquent two or more years” must be interpreted per well settled Michigan law pursuant to the common use, and meaning of the language. The court issued a twelve page written Opinion agreeing with our argument and granting summary judgment to Nationwide as to all claims made by the plaintiff.