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

AMI STAMPING LLC v. ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY 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: 
2:14-cv-10176 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
AMI Stamping LLC
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Eastern District of Michigan
Date Filed: 
Jan 15 2014

COMMON ALLEGATIONS
6. In October 2007, Plaintiff AMI Stamping, LLC entered into a Loan Document
Assignment Agreement with National City Bank wherein AMI acquired the rights, title and
interest in all loan documents and collateral securing same between National City Bank (f/k/a
Provident Bank) and Dearborn Gear & Tool Company, Inc.
7. As a result of the Assignment from National City, Plaintiff AMI received a security
interest in the assets, including but not limited to the tools and equipment of Dearborn Gear &
Tool.
8. As a result of the Assignment from National City, the Plaintiff AMI received a security
interest in the mortgage that encumbered the property where Dearborn Gear & Tool operated, i.e.
4300 Cabot, Detroit, Michigan.
9. As a result of the agreement reached with National City, Plaintiff AMI stepped in
National City's shoes as the lender to Dearborn Gear & Tool Company.
10. As a result of the defaults of Dearborn Gear & Tool under the terms of the Loan
Documents assigned to Plaintiff AMI, the Plaintiff initiated legal proceedings against Dearborn
Gear & Tool in the Wayne County Circuit Court, case number 09-025105-CK, entitled AMI
Stamping, LLC v. Dearborn Gear & Tool Company, Inc., et. at, which was assigned to the
Honorable Prentice Edwards.
11. In November, 2010, an Amended Final Judgment was entered in favor of Plaintiff AMI
in the matter pending in the Wayne County Circuit Court Case No: 09-025105-CK. The Court
awarded physical possession to the Plaintiff of all of Dearborn Gear & Tool's equipment and
machinery.
12. The tools and equipment and other personal property located at 4300 Cabot Drive,
Detroit, Michigan, were added to the operative insurance policy by the Defendants. (AMI is one
of many related and/or affiliated entities insured under a global policy issued by the Defendant
ACE through Defendant STARR, collectively "Defendants").
13. In January, 2012, it was discovered by the Plaintiff that an unidentified person or persons
had taken the property belonging to AMI that was located at the 4300 Cabot Drive property.
14. On or about January 18, 2012, a police report was made reporting the theft of the tools,
equipment and machinery to the Detroit Police Department.
15. The Defendants were timely notified of the loss by the Plaintiff and the claim was
assigned Claim Number 266 under Policy PGLN05100276.
16. On or about April 11, 2012, the Defendants agent and claims administrator Engle Martin
& Associates, Inc. sent correspondence to Plaintiff's counsel requesting additional information
regarding the claim as well as seeking Plaintiffs cooperation in obtaining access to the building
to allow the Defendant ACE's representative to conduct an inspection of the premises where the
theft occurred and reserving Defendant ACE's rights to defenses under the policy.
17. Over the course of the next several months, the Defendants sought and the Plaintiff
provided all of the information available to the Plaintiff regarding its claim for the property loss.
18. Per the Defendants request, the Plaintiff made arrangements to have the Wayne County
Sheriff open the building in September, 2012 so that Defendant's agent could conduct its further
investigation regarding the claim.
19. On October 17, 2012, the Plaintiff sought information from Defendant ACE's
representative at Engle Martin, (Justin Miles), in an effort to understand ACE's timetable for
responding to the claim that was submitted ten months previously. Defendant's representative
advised that he "should be able to find something out this week".
20. On or about November 12, 2012, the Plaintiff was advised that ACE was requesting that
its agent Engle Martin obtain further information from the Plaintiff and ask the Plaintiff to
answer additional questions.
21. On or about November 19, 2012, the Defendant ACE through its agent Engle Martin,
issued correspondence to Plaintiff seeking additional information regarding the Plaintiffs claim.
•22. On December 1, 2012, the Plaintiff provided the detailed information in response to the
latest set of questions posed by Defendants regarding the claim made by AMI.
23. Over a month passed and Defendants provided no further information regarding the
claim. Accordingly, Plaintiff again followed up with Defendants' representative Engle Martin to
determine the status of their claim.
24. Plaintiff was informed that their responsive information to the November 19, 2012 letter
was submitted to ACE for consideration and that Plaintiff would have information within the
next week regarding ACE's position. Notwithstanding the assurances of ACE's representative,
no information was forthcoming.
25. On January 21, 2013, Plaintiff again followed up seeking information regarding the status
of their claim. The response received from Defendants' representative was that "the insurance
company has required me to perform a few more tasks on this file for our investigation. I should
be able to come to some kind of closure in a few more weeks."
26. By this time, the claim submitted by the Plaintiff was over a year old.
27. With no information provided to the Plaintiff, AMI again followed up with ACE's
representative inquiring on February 6, 2013 as to the status of the claim.
28. On February 12, 2013, the Plaintiff received correspondence from ACE's adjustor, Engle
Martin stating: "We are now ready to finalize the claim. Can you confirm the exact amount you
are claiming? Is it what I have attached? $138,100.00?"
29. Accordingly, as of February 12, 2013, it appeared that ACE was prepared to finalize the
claim with a payment of $138,100, which is what ACE believed at that time was the amount of
the claim being made. There was no indication of any kind as of February 12, 2013 that ACE
was intending to deny the claim.
30. On February 21, 2013, Plaintiff pointed out to Defendants' agent that the policy provides
for "replacement value" and that the $138,100 value was based on a "forced liquidation value"
and not replacement value. Accordingly, the Plaintiff notified the Defendant's representative
that they would request an updated appraisal to address replacement value of the lost equipment.
31. At no time did the Defendant indicate that it was not honoring the policy or otherwise
denying the claim submitted by the Plaintiff.
32. On or about March 26, 2013, the Plaintiff provided Defendants representative Engle
Martin with an appraisal that sets forth the replacement value for all of the stolen equipment.
The replacement value of the equipment and personal property equals $1,907,000.
33. No communication from Defendant ACE or its agent was received in response to the
replacement cost value appraisal sent to them by Plaintiff. Accordingly, on April 5, 2013,
Plaintiff again followed up with Defendant's agent Engle Martin, seeking information regarding
the status of the claim. No response was received,
34. On April 12, 2013, Plaintiff again sought to understand the status of the claim submitted
to the Defendant.
35. Inexplicably and notwithstanding all indications that the investigation was complete and
that the claim would be honored pursuant to the Policy, the Plaintiff was notified on May 2,2013
that the claim had been transferred from the Engle Martin Senior Property Adjustor, Justin M.
Miles, (who had been handling the claim from its inception and conducting all communication
on behalf of the Defendant), to Jeff Nonhof, an "Executive General Adjustor" in Engle Martin's
Minneapolis Office.
36. On July 15, 2013, the new adjuster assigned to handle the Plaintiffs claim, (once it was
realized to be more than $138,000 and instead, a claim for $1.9 million), sent correspondence to
Plaintiff seeking even more information - - information that was in some part, already provided
i
to ACE for its investigation.
3 7. The Plaintiff submitted the additional information requested by Defendant ACE.
38. On August 12, 2013, the Plaintiff received communication from a law firm stating that it
represented ACE American Insurance Company regarding the claim submitted by AMI. A
demand was made for Plaintiff to produce a witness with knowledge regarding certain areas of
inquiry described to provide testimony under oath regarding the claim.
39. As it had all along, Plaintiff complied with its insurance carrier's request and a
representative for AMI appeared to provide testimony regarding Plaintiffs claim.
40. Two more months passed and on November 13, 2013, correspondence was sent to
Plaintiff indicating that Defendant ACE was denying the claim. Defendant ACE has alleged
that Plaintiff misrepresented the value of the equipment insured and alleges that Plaintiff was in
violation of the "Protective Safeguards Endorsement" concerning the property at issue.

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.

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