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MESSIER et al v. ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY Complaint

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.

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Case 1:12-cv-00892-S-PAS Document 1-1 Filed 12/06/12 Page 1 of 6 PageID #: 7
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STATE OF RHODE ISLAND
WASHINGTON, SC.
BRYAN MESSIER and
KIMBERLEY MESSIER,
Plaintiff,
ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE
COMPANY,
Defendant.
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COMPLAINT
Parties
SUPERIOR COURT
C.A. No. WC-2012-0678
1. Plaintiffs, Bryan Messier and Kimberley Messier (together, the "Messiers"), are
individuals residing in Exeter, Rhode Island.
2. Defendant, ACE American Insurance Company ("ACE"), is an insurance
company duly licensed in the State of Rhode Island.
3. Washington County is the appropriate ve11ue for this action.
Jurisdiction
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jurisdiction over this action.
5. ACE has sufficient minimum contacts with the State of Rhode Island to confer
this Court's personal jurisdiction over it.
6. At all relevant times, the Messiers owned a 1999 Bayliner 3055 Ciera (the
"Boat").
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Case 1:12-cv-00892-S-PAS Document 1-1 Filed 12/06/12 Page 2 of 6 PageID #: 8
7. At all relevant times, ACE was engaged in the business ofwriting and issuing
recreational marine insurance in Rhode Island.
8. For a premium paid by the Messiers, ACE issued a Yachtsman Recreational
Marine Insurance Policy to the Messiers, policy number YKRY07698148, with an effective
coverage period from June 25, 2012 to June 25, 2013 (the "Policy").
9. The Policy was entered into and issued in the State ofRl1ode Island.
10. On or about July 1, 2012, the Boat, while the Policy was in effect and while being
piloted by Bryan Messier ("Mr. Messier'') from Warwick Cove Marina to Apponaug Harbor,
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sustained an engine hose rupture causing the engine compartment to flood with salt water.
11. Realizing the Boat was taking on water, Mr. Messier opened the engine
compartment and discovered the ruptured hose.
12. Mr. Messier ran the bilge pumps to drain the engine compartment and bandaged
the hose in a temporary fashion in order to return the Boat to the Messiers' slip located at
Apponaug Harbor Malina.
13. Upon returning to their slip, the Messiers notified ACE by telephone of the
incident and were given a claim number.
-----------1-4-:----en-er-abeut-the-rneming-ef-July-2,-20-l-2,-Mr-.:-Messigr-again-tgJgphGngd-AC.:E-and-- ···-------
was infonned by an adjuster that a Surveyor had been assigned to his claim.
15. That same day, Mr. Messier telephoned the assigned Surveyor and was informed
that the Surveyor could not address the Messiers' claim until July 6, 2012.
16. Mr. Messier was informed by two marine repair facilities that the engines had
most likely sustained significant damage from being fully submerged in salt water and would
need to be replaced.
2
Case 1:12-cv-00892-S-PAS Document 1-1 Filed 12/06/12 Page 3 of 6 PageID #: 9
17. On or about July 6, 2012, the Surveyor inspected the Boat and took possession of
the 1Uptured starboard engine hose in question.
18. Mr. Messier received a letter from the ACE adjuster dated July 3, 2012 ("July 3rd
Letter') stating that ACE was handling the claim "under a complete Reservation of Rights under
the te1ms and conditions ofthe policy." (See 7/3/2012 Letter, attached as Exhibit A).
19. The July 3rd Letter also stated ACE was "proceeding to investigate this loss."
20. On or about July 14,2012 Mr. Messier was infmmed by ACE that there was
nothing wrong with the Boat's engines.
21. On or about July 18,2012, Mr. Messier, along with a licensed marine repair
specialist, inspected the engines and found that a new hose had been installed on the starboard
engine, internal rust was present in both engines, and the starboard engine was completely
inoperable.
22. Mr. Messier called ACE in order to ascertain what repairs or actions they had
authorized to be done to the Boat.
23. Mr. Messier was told that ACE had no knowledge of what precisely had been
authorized or actually done to the Boat and that he should speak with the individuals who
------.,.,.erformed-the-inspectiDn-on-behalf-ef-AGE.
24. On or about July 30, 2012, after multiple attempts at contacting the indjviduals
who inspected the Boat on ACE's behalf, Mr. Messier received an e-mail response stating that
both engines were operational when they were inspected.
25. On or about July 3 I, 2012, Mr. Messier again inspected the Boat, with a licensed
marine repair specialist, and found that both engines were completely inoperable.
26. As ofthe date of this filing more than four months later, ACE has made no offer
3
Case 1:12-cv-00892-S-PAS Document 1-1 Filed 12/06/12 Page 4 of 6 PageID #: 10
under the Policy for this claim.
COUNT I
Breach ofContract
2 7. The prior paragraphs are incorporated herein by reference as if set forth in their
entirety.
28. The Messiers entered into an insurance contract with ACE that included full
replacement cost coverage for property damage sustained due to a covered loss.
29. ACE breached the terms ofthe contract by failing and refusing to cover the loss
and pay to repair the Boat.
30. The Messiers fulfilled their obligations under the contract or were otherwise
excused from performing such obligations.
31. The performance or occun-ence of any and aU conditions precedent have been
performed or have occurred.
32. As a proximate result of ACE's breach, the Messiers have incuned and will
continue to incur significant and substantial losses and damages.
COUNT II
;Breach. of Fiduciary Duties
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entirety.
34. At all relevant times, ACE owed the Messiers fiduciary duties as their insureds.
35. ACE breached its fiduciary obligations to the Messiers by failing and refusing to:
(a) act in the best interests of the Messiers;
(b) pay or settle the Messiers claim for a covered loss; and
(c) handle and resolve the Messiers' claim in a prompt and diligent manneL
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Case 1:12-cv-00892-S-PAS Document 1-1 Filed 12/06/12 Page 5 of 6 PageID #: 11
36. As a proximate result of ACE's breach of fiduciary duties, the Messiers have
incun-ed and wi11 continue to incur significant and substantial losses and damages.
COUNT Ill
,Bad Faith Pursuant to Gen. Laws§
37. The prior paragraphs are incorporated by reference as if set forth herein in their
entirety.
38. ACE has wrongfully and in bad faith refused to pay or settle a claim made
pursuant to the provisions of its Policy, or otherwise wrongfully and in bad faith refused to
timely perform its obligations under its contract of insurance.
39. As a direct and proximate result of ACE's bad faith, the Messiers have incurred
and will continue to incur significant and substantial losses and damages.
·wHEREFORE, the Messiers demand judgment against ACE for:
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)
(v)
compensatory damages;
punitive damages;
attorneys' fees;
interest and costs; and
any other relief this Court deems just and proper.
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Plaintiffs,
BRYAN MESSIER and
KIMBERLEY MESSIER,
By their Attorney, _.·· · ]
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Stephen J. :Brouillard, Esq. #6284
Bianchi & Brouillard, P.C.
128 Dorrance Street, Suite 550
Providence, Rl 02903
401.223.2990 telephone
877.548.4539 facsimile
Case 1:12-cv-00892-S-PAS Document 1-1 Filed 12/06/12 Page 6 of 6 PageID #: 12

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D.E. 1-1 NOTICE OF REMOVAL from Washinton County Superio Court, case number WC 2012-0678-Exhibit A - State Court Complaint.pdf456.49 KB

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