Monzo et al. v. Nationwide Property & Casualty Insurance Co.

The Supreme Court for the State of Delaware ruled on a coverage dispute regarding standard water and earth movement exclusions. Heavy rains during a thunderstorm swept away a pedestrian bridge and a retaining wall located on the Insureds’ property. The court ruled that the exclusions barred coverage for the loss of the bridge, as both the water and earth movement exclusion unambiguously contemplated the cause of the loss sustained in this case when the rainwater saturated the earth and caused rapid erosion. However, the Supreme Court overruled the trial courts order granting summary judgment in favor of Nationwide pertaining to the retaining wall. The court found that a genuine dispute as to a material fact existed as the insureds alleged that the wall collapsed due to faulty gutter and drainage systems, and not merely erosion caused by the heavily saturated earth, and that this question of fact should be decided by a jury.