Skip to Navigation
The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY V. KODIAK RASPBERRY ISLAND REMOTE LODGE, INC. et al

ATTENTION: It is possible that this information may no longer be current and therefore may be inaccurate. The index contains both open and closed cases and is not a complete list of cases in which an ACE Insurance Group company is involved. This information is provided to give interested persons an idea of the issues disputed in the indexed cases. For a full understanding of a case, one should read the rest of the court file, including the response. For the most up-to-date and complete information on a case, visit www.pacer.gov or contact the clerk of the relevant court.

Case Number: 
3:14-cv-00071 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
District of Alaska
Date Filed: 
Apr 10 2014

Plaintiff ACE American Insurance Company ("ACE"), by and through its
undersigned attorneys, for its Complaint for Declaratory Judgment against Kodiak
Raspberry Island Remote Lodge, Inc. and Birch and Tiffany Robbins, alleges as follows:

I. PARTIES

1. ACE is an insurance company incorporated in Pennsylvania and having its
principal place of business in Pennsylvania. ACE is, therefore, a citizen of the State of
Pennsylvania.
2. Birch and Tiffany Robbins (hereinafter the "Robbins") are individuals
domiciled in Alaska. They are, therefore, citizens of the State of Alaska.
3. The Robbins are the sole owners and operators of "Kodiak Raspberry
Island Remote Lodge, Inc." (hereinafter, the "Lodge"), a company incorporated in
Alaska with a principal place of business in Kodiak, Alaska. The Lodge is, therefore, a
citizen of the State of Alaska.

II. JURISDICTION

4. This Court has jurisdiction by virtue of 28 U.S.C. §1332, as there is
complete diversity of citizenship and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
5. Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1391, as
Defendants are residents of this judicial district and a substantial part of the events
giving rise to this action occurred in this district.
6. Pursuant to the Federal Declaratory Judgment Act, 18 U.S.C. §2201 (a),
this Court has the power to declare all rights, duties, and obligations under the relevant
insurance policy, whether or not further relief is or could be sought.

III. FACTS

A. The Sinking of the "Gemini."

7. The Lodge is a recreational facility located on Raspberry Island in the
Kodiak Island Archipelago.
8. The Robbins and/or the Lodge own a 37-foot Maxweld aluminum
catamaran cabin cruiser named the "Gemini," which vessel bears the identification
number AAMRI322G303.
9. The Robbins use the Gemini throughout the year for transportation to/from
Raspberry Island.
10. When not in use, the Gemini was tied to a mooring buoy in Muskomee
Bay.
11. The Robbins last boarded the Gemini on or about December 14, 2013
12. Sometime thereafter, the Gemini sunk to the bottom of Muskomee Bay,
while still tied to the mooring buoy.
13. The Robbins reported the vessel missing on or about January 9, 2014.

B. The Policy

14. ACE issued Recreational Marine Charter Policy No. SPC Y08360418 to
"Kodiak Raspberry Island Remote Lodge" and "Birch and Tiffany Robbins," effective
March 1, 2013 through March 1, 2014 (hereinafter, the "Policy"). The Policy is attached
hereto as Exhibit A and incorporated by reference herein.
15. As pertains to the Gemini, the Policy contains property damage limits of
$200,000 for the vessel.
16. As to property damage coverage, the Policy provides, in relevant part, as
follows:

PART A: PROPERTY DAMAGE COVERAGE

PERILS INSURED AGAINST: We will provide coverage for
accidental, direct physical loss or damage from any external cause
to your insured vessel as well as salvage charges, except as
specifically excluded in this policy.
EXCLUSIONS: We do not provide coverage under Part A: Property
Damage Coverage against loss or resulting damage from:
a. wear and tear, gradual deterioration, weathering . . .
d. manufacturer's defects or defects in designs.
17. The Policy defines the term "warranty" as:
Warranty means an agreement in the policy or provided by law that
must be strictly and literally complied with. A breach of warranty
voids the insurance contract during the terms of such a breach.
18. The Policy contains the following relevant warranties:
LAY-UP WARRANTY: Means a series of consecutive months
during the policy period when your vessel is laid up and out of
Complaint for Declaratory Judgment
ACE American Insurance vs. Kodiak Raspberry Island Remote Lodge et al. 3:14-cv-
AMZ:jlw/923-1/Complaint for Decl Judgment MZ Page 3 of 6
Case 3:14-cv-00071-SLG Document 1 Filed 04/10/14 Page 3 of 6
commission. During this time your vessel must be laid up in a safe
berth ashore or afloat, and not navigated or used for living aboard.
All removable gear and equipment must be taken off the vessel and
stored ashore.

SEAWORTHINESS WARRANTY: Warranted that, at inception of
coverage and throughout the policy term, the vessel shall be in
seaworthy condition, the insured shall exercise due diligence to
keep the vessel seaworthy, and in all respects fit, tight, and
properly manned, equipped and supplied.
19. As pertains to the Lay-Up Warranty, the Declarations Page of the Policy
states:
It is warranted the vessel will be laid up for part of the year, the dates are:
"From noon: 12/01 —To noon: 05/30"
20. The Policy contains the following provision related to the Lay-Up
Warranty:

EXTENSION OF COVERAGE: If the Navigation Warranty or the
Lay-Up Warranty shown on the Declarations Page, are breached
due to matters beyond your control, the policy will remain in effect,
but only if you give us written notice of the breach within ten (10)
days after the breach and pay any additional premium due us for
this extension of coverage. If the Navigation Warranty or the Lay-
Up Warranty are breached voluntarily, there shall be no coverage
under this policy without both prior notice to us and approval by us.
21. As pertains to the Gemini, the Policy contains limits of $2,500 for personal
property.
22. As to personal property, the Policy provides, in relevant part, as follows:
PART G: PERSONAL PROPERTY COVERAGE
PROPERTY COVERED: We will cover clothing, fishing
equipment and personal effects that belong to you, your clients,
or members of your family while these items are on board your
vessel, or are being loaded or unloaded.
EXCLUSIONS: We do not provide coverage under Part G:
Personal Property Coverage against loss or resulting damage from:
a. wear and tear, mechanical breakdown, gradual
deterioration, weathering . . .

Complaint for Declaratory Judgment

ACE American Insurance vs. Kodiak Raspberry Island Remote Lodge et al. 3:14-cv-
AMZ:jlw/923-1/Complaint for Decl Judgment MZ Page 4 of 6
Case 3:14-cv-00071-SLG Document 1 Filed 04/10/14 Page 4 of 6
d. manufacturer's defects or defects in design, or latent
defects.
CAUSES OF LOSS WHICH ARE COVERED: We will cover direct
physical loss or damage from any external cause, except as
specifically excluded in this policy.

C. ACE's Investigation and Coverage Determination.

23. After receiving notice of the Gemini's sinking, ACE retained a marine
surveyor to determine what caused the vessel to sink.
24. ACE issued a reservation of rights letter advising the Lodge and the
Robbins of potential coverage issues.
25. The marine surveyor concluded that lack of maintenance, wear & tear,
and gradual deterioration to the transom seals and other components of the vessel was
the cause of the loss. The marine surveyor also concluded that the vessel had not been
winterized and remained in use at the time of the sinking.
26. After completing its investigation, ACE denied the claim, based on the
Policy's Seaworthiness Warranty and/or the Lay-Up Warranty, and/or the "wear and
tearTgradual deterioration" exclusions.
IV. CLAIM FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF
27. An actual and justiciable controversy exists between ACE and the
Lodge/Robbins regarding the scope of coverage under the Policy's terms and
applicable law.
28. Coverage for the claim is precluded based on the Seaworthiness
Warranty.
29. Coverage for the claim is precluded based on the Lay-Up Warranty.
30. Coverage for the claim is precluded based on the "wear and tear" and/or
"gradual deterioration" exclusions.
Complaint for Declaratory Judgment
ACE American Insurance vs. Kodiak Raspberry Island Remote Lodge et al. 3:14-cv-
AMZ:jlw/923-1/Complaint for Decl Judgment MZ Page 5 of 6
Case 3:14-cv-00071-SLG Document 1 Filed 04/10/14 Page 5 of 6
31. ACE has no obligation to provide coverage for any portion of the Lodge
and/or the Robbins' claim arising out of the sinking of the Gemini.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff ACE American Insurance Company respectfully requests
that this Court adjudicate and declare the rights of the parties, and that the Court:
(a) Declare that coverage for the claim is precluded based on the
Seaworthiness Warranty;
(b) Declare that coverage for the claim is precluded based on the Lay-Up
Warranty;
(c) Declare that coverage for the claim is precluded based on the "wear and
tear" and/or "gradual deterioration" exclusions; and
(d) Grant such other relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

The provided text is an excerpt from a document filed in this case. For a full understanding of the case, one should read the complete court file, including the response.

Javascript is required to view this map.