Monday, March 16, 2009

New decision on collapse

I posted recently on the meaning of "collapse." The Massachusetts Appeals Court has issued an unpublished decision affirming that "there are no degrees of collapse."

In 529 E. Broadway Condo. Trust v. Vermont Mut. Ins. Co., an unpublished decision of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, condominium owners asked their all-risk insurer to cover the cost of structural repair when an outside brick wall was detaching from the building. The insurer's investigator concluded that the problem was a result of water infiltration.

The court held that the detaching wall did not meet the definition of collapse, which, as established by case law, includes "both a temporal element of suddenness . . . and a visual element of altered appearance that comprises a structural collapse, distinct from the degenerative process causing the collapse."

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