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

DILORETO et al v. ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY

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-12714 Search Pacer
Opposing Party: 
Robert Diloreto
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Eastern District of Michigan
Date Filed: 
Jul 10 2014

COMPLAINT
For their complaint against the Defendant, the Plaintiffs state the following:
Parties, Jurisdiction, and Venue
1. Plaintiffs Robert and Susan DiLoreto are residents of Grosse Pointe Farms,
Wayne County, Michigan and so resided at all times relevant to the matters which, are the subject
of this litigation.
2. Ace American Insurance Company is a Pennsylvania corporation with registered
offices at 436 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106. Ace regularly and
systematically does business in Michigan, including Wayne County, by providing insurance
policies through its agents to individuals such as the Plaintiffs.
2:14-cv-12714-DML-RSW Doc # 1-1 Filed 07/10/14 Pg 3 of 5 Pg IDT
3. The amount in controversy exceeds $25,000.00, so jurisdiction and venue are
appropriate in this Court.
Breach of Contract
4. Plaintiffs purchased a boat insurance policy from Ace through Ace's agent,
Midwest Underwriters of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. The policy number is YKR
Y05698133, and the policy insured two vessels, including a 1991 31 foot Boston Whaler Cruiser
named 'Teterbilt". The policy was in force from February 23,2013 through February 23, 2014.
5. The coverage on the Peterbilt included property damage coverage with limits of
$122,000.00, commercial towing assistance of $1,500.00, personal property coverage of
$10,000.00, and liability and uninsured boater's coverage of $500,000.00.
6. Plaintiffs paid the premiums for the insurance, and Ace issued the policy, a copy
of which is attached to the complaint as Exhibit A.
7. On or about June 15, 2013 when the policy was in effect, the Peterbilt caught fire
shortly after leaving the marina where it had been stored for the winter on its way to its
permanent mooring at the Grosse Pointe Farms Municipal Pier. The fire was extinguished, and
no one was hurt, but the Peterbilt suffered substantial damage and required extensive repairs.
8. Plaintiffs provided immediate notice of the loss and complied with all conditions
precedent to making a claim under the contract of insurance.
9. On or about June 17, 2013, two days after the loss, Ace sent Kevin Bache of
Sandusky, Ohio to inspect the damage and investigate the cause of the frre. On July 8, 2013,
Bache provided Ace's Director of North American Claims with a report that attributed the cause
of the fire to a failed seawater pump impeller which limited the ability of the vessel to draw
cooling water through the exhaust system which overheated resulting in a fire.
2:14-cv-12714-DML-RSW Doc # 1-1 Filed 07/10/14 Pg 4 of 5 Pg ID 8
10. Bache attributed the failed impellers to a lack of maintenance and reported his
conclusions to R. Michael Burns, Ace's Claims Director. On December 12, 2013, Mr. Bums
wrote the Plaintiffs and denied the claim, stating that the "failure of the water pump impellers in
the port and starboard engines was the result of wear and tear, gradual deterioration, neglect, and
a lack of reasonable care and due diligence in the maintenance of the insured vessel". Letter of
R. Michael Burns, December 12, 2013. Burns went on to cite policy language that states that
Ace does not provide coverage for loss or damage resulting from "wear and tear, gradual
deterioration, weathering, neglect, lack of reasonable care or due diligence in the maintenance of
the insured vessel". Burns letter, supra.
11. The contract of insurance provides that Defendant is to pay claims up to the limits
identified in the policy for property damage to Plaintiffs property caused by an "occurrence" that
takes place during the policy period. The policy defines "occurrence" as "a loss or accident to
which this insurance applies and which takes place within the policy period appearing upon the
declaration page of this policy." Insurance policy p. 2, Definitions number 11.
12. The fire was not the result of a lack of maintenance but, rather, the result of a
sudden and catastrophic event, possibly a restriction of water into the cooling system.
Defendant's conclusion that the impellers failed due to a lack of reasonable maintenance is made
in bad faith solely to deny a legitimate claim.
13. Defendant's denial of Plaintiffs' claim is a breach of the contract of insurance.
Plaintiffs are entitled to recover from Defendant the costs of repairing the Peterbilt following the
fire and the associated expenses such as loss of personal property and the expenses of towing.

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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