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Cincinnati Insurance vs. RCSC

Sundial Roof Collapse Lawsuit

Click here for Complaint and Answer

*To view the Complaint and Answer, as well as the Deposition Notice below, you will need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.  To install the free Acrobat Reader, click here.

On or about June 19, 2006, the Sundial roof collapsed over the L-shaped swimming pool, heated exercise pool, and two steamy spas.  When the RCSC filed a timely claim, Cincinnati Insurance denied it citing "material defects."  The Cincinnati Insurance Company contends that "material defects" are excluded from coverage.

There is a history of glu-lam beam failure over the swimming pool.  In 1986, the failure was discovered, thus preventing a roof collapse.  According to newspaper accounts at the time, the cause was from humidity that could not escape the building.  Three of four air handlers were not operating. 

This time the glu-lam beam failure wasn't detected in time to prevent the roof collapse.  We have witness testimony from the RCSC employee who was in charge of the air handlers since 1987 until the end of 2005.  Coincidentally, his testimony is that three of four air handlers were inoperative since 2001.  This is history repeating itself.

Click here for Notice of Deposition

0608-BeamsBrokenCU.JPGAt his November 15, 2007, deposition, this witness testified that during the circa 2002 renovation, the electric lines to the air handlers on the roof were cut.  Although he repeatedly submitted (in triplicate) work order requests to restore the electricity, the work was never done.  

In 1986, a single air handler failed to expel the excess humidity caused by one swimming pool.  We may surmise that a single air handler would fail to expel excess humidity from the swimming pool, together with the addition of the exercise pool (installed in 1987) and two steamy spas (installed in 2002).

If this witness testimony is credible --- and we believe it is --- the reason for the roof collapse is "humidity", not "material defects", which affirms historical evidence as to why the claim should be paid.

(Click here for the 11/15/07 Beck Depo)

(Click here for Sundial roof collapse history)

UPDATE 5/28/08:

On March 31, 2008, the Judge published his Opinion and Order to wit: 
". . . Court declares that the roof collapse at issue falls within the collapse coverage extension for hidden decay."

The insurance policy had two exclusions that Cincinnati claimed: 1) "material defects," and 2) "known, or should have known" about the decay.  As to the first, the Judge wrote that in 2001 an inspection showed everything to be okay.  As to the second, the Judge wrote that even if the board knew that the electricity had been cut, there was no evidence brought by Cincinnati Insurance that proved anyone who was responsible knew that there was hidden decay and that, since they were laymen, they would not have necessarily known the consequences. 

This opinion reinstates the insurance policy in favor of the RCSC.  The amount to be recovered still needs to be settled and Cincinnati may appeal.  The RCSC membership is not out of the woods yet for the cost of replacing the roof and fixing the damage.

(Click here to read Judge's Order -- 16 pgs 24.65 MB)

(Click here for "Vindicated? Not Exactly" by Anne Randall Stewart)

(Click here for Sundial history.)

Contact Anne Randall StewartPHONE_Ringing.GIF
 Phone: (623) 933-6192
Cell: (602) 318-0708



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