July

On July 13, 2016, attorneys Frank Patterson and Hillary Patterson obtained a directed verdict for the defendant in the case of My Roofer, Inc. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company (Weld County District Court, 2015CV30425).

Plaintiff was a roofing company.  State Farm’s insureds suffered roof damages as a result of a hail/wind event.  State Farm determined decking was not damaged in the event, and damage to decking was excluded as wear, tear, and deterioration.  The insureds and the roofer argued State Farm should cover replacement cost of decking under OL coverage (Ordinance or Law) because code required replacement before new shingles were applied.  State Farm contended excluded damages for wear, tear, and deterioration are not restored under OL coverage.

The roofer replaced the decking and took an assignment from the owners for a breach of contract claim.  The roofer brought a first-party claim in its own right alleging unreasonable delay and denial pursuant to C.R.S. §§ 10-3-1115 and 10-3-1116.

The Honorable Judge Todd L. Taylor ruled on State Farm’s oral motion for directed verdict after Plaintiff rested its case-in-chief that.  Judge Taylor held that, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, Plaintiff had not met its evidentiary burden on the breach of contract claim.  The evidence was overwhelmingly clear beyond doubt that the damage to decking was caused by wear, tear, or deterioration, and that the State Farm policy did not provide coverage for the loss.  All of Plaintiff’s claims were dismissed pursuant to C.R.C.P. 50.

Prior to trial, attorney Hillary Patterson successfully argued a pre-trial motion regarding Plaintiff’s spoliation of evidence, and the Court issued an order for adverse inference instruction.


On July 18th Heather A. Salg obtained a defense verdict in the case of Tower Ridge II Townhome Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Holyoke Mutual Insurance Company in Salem, Inc. (14CV33306) in Arapahoe District Court.

Plaintiff HOA claimed damages from hail and windstorms in early June, 2012. In August of 2013, Plaintiff made a claim for benefits under an “all risk” policy issued by Defendant. After inspection, Defendant determined that there was no storm damage present, but rather damage due to improper installation and manufacture. Subsequent to the inspection defendant learned Plaintiff had made a prior construction defect claim regarding roof shingles that were not adhered properly. Defendant denied Plaintiff’s claim.

Plaintiff sued for breach of contract and statutory unreasonable denial.  During litigation, and after two significant storms in 2014, Plaintiff’s expert, Joe Novotny, inspected the property. The last time he had seen the property was in 2010 during a construction defect case. He believed the roof showed significantly different wind damage than what he originally saw in 2010.  Defendant obtained summary judgment on Plaintiff’s statutory claim which was barred by the statute of limitations. At trial, Plaintiff claimed $2.6 million in damages for roof replacement.

The jury found that the wind damage only occurred because of pre-existing construction defects, wear and tear, and/or failure to maintain and returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.


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