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Lehrfield v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

July 9, 2019

Moshe Lehrfield and Jennifer Lehrfield, Plaintiffs
v.
Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Defendants

          OPINION ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Robert N. Scola, Jr. United States District Judge

          Plaintiffs Moshe and Jennifer Lehrfield (the “Lehrfields”) bring this suit to recover benefits allegedly owed under an insurance policy (the “Policy”) issued by Defendant Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company (“Liberty Mutual”).

         Liberty Mutual now moves for summary judgment on the Lehrfields sole claim for breach of contract (the “Motion, ” ECF No. 33). Having carefully considered the parties' submissions, the record in this case and the applicable law, the Court grants the Motion (ECF No. 33) as set forth below.

         1. Background

         In opposition to the Motion, the Lehrfields failed to respond to the statement of material facts proffered by Liberty Mutual in support of its Motion. The Court therefore treats those facts as undisputed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2) (where a party fails to properly address another party's assertion of fact, the court may treat that fact as undisputed in resolving a motion for summary judgment); S.D. Fla. L.R. 56.1(b) (“All material facts set forth in the movant's statement filed and supported as required above will be deemed admitted unless controverted by the opposing party's statement, provided that the Court finds that the movant's statement is supported by evidence in the record.”). The following is a summary of only those undisputed facts that are material to this opinion.

         A. The Undisputed Material Facts

         The Lehrfields own a home (the “Property”) in Miami-Dade County, Florida. (ECF No. 33 at p. 20.) From January 27, 2017 through January 27, 2018, the Lehrfields insured the Property through the Policy, which was issued by Liberty Mutual. (Id.) The Policy imposed a duty on the Lehrfields to promptly notify Liberty Mutual of a suspected covered loss:

Your Duties After Loss. In case of a loss to covered property, we have no duty to provide coverage under this Policy if failure to comply with the following duties is prejudicial to us. These duties must be performed either by you, an "insured" seeking coverage, or a representative of either:
a) Give prompt notice to us or your insurance agent.
b)
(1) to the degree reasonably possible, retain the damaged property; and
(2) allow us to inspect, subject to b. (1) above, all damaged property prior to its removal from the "residence premises"

(ECF No. 33 at p. 54.)

         On or about April 5, 2017, the Lehrfields discovered a water leak under their kitchen sink. (ECF No. 35 at ¶ 3.) Watermen Plumbing repaired the leak that same day. (ECF No. 33 at p. 83.) Liberty Mutual was not afforded an opportunity to ...


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