United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. STEELE SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the parties'
Cross-Motions for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings (Docs.
#39, 45) and Responses in Opposition. (Docs. ##48, 53.) For
the reasons set forth below, the Court denies plaintiff's
Motion and grants in part defendant's Motion.
case involves an insurance coverage dispute for damages to
plaintiff's country club property in Naples, Florida from
Hurricane Irma. Plaintiff Grey Oaks Country Club, Inc.
(plaintiff or Grey Oaks) alleges that Zurich American
Insurance Company (defendant or Zurich) breached its coverage
obligations to Grey Oaks under a commercial insurance policy,
which is attached to the Amended Complaint (Doc. #20-1, the
“Policy”) (Count I), and acted in bad faith in
contravention of Fla. Stat. § 624.155 (Count II).
Court dismissed Count II (Doc. #8); therefore, only the
breach of contract count for defendant's failure to
compensate Grey Oaks in the full amount of its damages and
loss resulting from Hurricane Irma remains. Defendant filed
an Answer (Doc. #23) on January 18, 2019.
parties cross move for partial judgment on the pleadings,
asking the Court to favor their interpretation of the limits
of coverage for “Golf Course Outdoor Grounds”
available under the Policy, which turns on the determination
of what the word “premises” means under the
the pleadings are closed - but early enough not to delay
trial - a party may move for judgment on the
pleadings.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). “Judgment on the
pleadings is appropriate when there are no material facts in
dispute, and judgment may be rendered by considering the
substance of the pleadings and any judicially noticed
facts.” Hawthorne v. Mac Adjustment, Inc., 140
F.3d 1367, 1370 (11th Cir. 1998) (citations omitted). The
Court accepts “the facts alleged in the complaint as
true and view them in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party.” Cannon v. City of W. Palm
Beach, 250 F.3d 1299, 1301 (11th Cir. 2001) (citation
omitted). “The complaint may not be dismissed
‘unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can
prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would
entitle him to relief.'” Slagle v. ITT
Hartford, 102 F.3d 494, 497 (11th Cir. 1996) (quoting
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)). The
pleadings considered by the court on a motion for judgment on
the pleadings include the complaint, answer, and the exhibits
thereto. Grossman v. Nationsbank, N.A., 225 F.3d
1228, 1231 (11th Cir. 2000). A motion for judgment on the
pleadings can be granted only if the nonmoving party can
prove no set of facts that would allow it to prevail.
Palmer & Cay, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Cos.,
404 F.3d 1297, 1303 (11th Cir. 2005).
Oaks purchased commercial insurance policy No. CPO
2881188-11, from Zurich with a Policy Period from October 1,
2016 through October 1, 2017. Grey Oaks is situated on 1, 233
acres of land that contains, among other things, two
clubhouses and three championship golf courses, with its
principal place of business at 2400 Grey Oaks Dr. North,
Naples, Florida, 34105. (Doc. #20, ¶¶ 5, 11.) Grey
Oaks purchased a “Golf Course Outdoor Grounds
Coverage” endorsement in light of the substantial
landscaping around Grey Oaks' golf grounds, which
contains an eight-figure value in trees alone. (Id.,
Oaks alleges that the physical building damage from Hurricane
Irma was substantial, with damage to the landscaping, main
clubhouse, the Estuary clubhouse, and the Estuary golf
course. (Doc. #20, ¶¶ 12-17.)
The Relevant Policy Language
only issue raised here is the number of
“premises” subject to the Policy's $500, 000
per premises limit of liability in the Golf Course Outdoor
Grounds Coverage insuring agreement. The parties disagree as
to the meaning of the term “premises” in the golf
course grounds coverage. The Court will first set out the
relevant policy language.
the named insured and mailing address on the Policy is listed
Grey Oaks Country Club, Inc.
(see named insured ENDT [endorsement])
2400 Grey Oaks Dr., Naples, Florida, 34105.
(Doc. #20-1, p. 8.) The Policy lists a Schedule of Forms and
Endorsements that are made a part of the Policy.
(Id., p. 10.)
“Common Policy Forms and Endorsements”, a
Schedule of Named Insureds and a Schedule of Locations are
listed. (Id.) Under “Property Portfolio
Protection Forms and Endorsements”, the Golf Course
Outdoor Grounds Coverage is listed. (Id.) The
Schedule of Named Insureds lists the following named
insureds: Grey Oaks Country Club, Inc.; Grey Oaks Country
Club, Ltd; GO Management Services, LLC; and GO Manager, LLC.
(Id., p. 13.) On the next two pages, the Schedule of
Locations are listed as follows:
#20-1, pp. 14-15.) A nineteenth location - fitness center at
2400 Grey Oaks Dr N. - was added to the Policy at Doc. #20-1,
Commercial Property Definitions
Policy's Commercial Property Definitions section lists