Source: http://www.mondaq.com, March 26, 2019
By: Seth D. Jaffe, Foley Hoag LLP
Any good trial lawyer will tell you that the law is about telling stories.
Once upon a time, Timothy and Stacy Creamer bought a house. Only after they closed did they realize that some strategically placed rugs were hiding the evidence that, “up from the ground come a bubblin’ crude.”
Unlike Jed Clampett, rather than finding themselves millionaires, the Creamers found themselves with a million dollar liability – literally.
This being a law story, of course the sellers were bankrupt. The Creamers thus pursued the sellers’ insurer. The case ended up in the Appeals Court, which held that the Creamers could pursue their claims under the policy.
The insurer, Arbella, made three arguments in support of its summary judgment motion. The Court rejected them all. In order, the Court held that:
The Creamers will thus get their day in court, but, depending on when the sellers learned of the contamination, their recovery could be significantly limited. They certainly will not get enough to move to Beverly Hills. No swimming pools or movie stars for the Creamers.
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