Collapse: Edith R. Jemiola, Trustee of the Edith R. Jemiola Living Trust v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Company

Jemiola v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co (SC 19978):

In Jemiola, the Connecticut Supreme Court, in determining whether cracking to plaintiff’s foundation constituted a “collapse” as defined by plaintiff’s homeowners insurance policy, affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment to the defendant. The plaintiff claimed defendant breached the policy in denying coverage for cracking of foundation, alleging a substantial impairment of the structural integrity of the foundation constituted a “collapse” under the policy. The trial court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment, finding the policy’s definition of “collapse” was unambiguous and that there was no genuine issue of material fact regarding a “collapse” under the policy to the foundation of the home. The plaintiff appealed. The Supreme Court held that the trial court properly ruled that the plaintiff failed to provide a factual basis that the structural integrity of her basement walls suffered from a substantial impairment prior to 2006, and that the “collapse” provision of the applicable policy unambiguously excludes coverage for a “home, such as the plaintiff’s, that is still standing and capable of being safely lived in for many years – if not decades – to come.”