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Posted by: Landry Butler on Jan 26, 2018

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

William L. Harbison, Phillip F. Cramer, and Lauren Z. Curry, Nashville, Tennessee, and Peter E. Kanaris and David E. Heiss, Chicago, Illinois for the appellants Arch Insurance Company; Aspen Insurance UK Ltd.; General Security Indemnity Company of Arizona Hiscox Inc., Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company; Lexington Insurance Co.; Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company; Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London; Maiden Specialty Insurance Co.; RSUI Indemnity Company; Sompo Japan Insurance Company of America; Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. (U.S. Branch); Torus Specialty Insurance Co.; and XL Insurance America, Inc.

Attorneys 2:

Byron R. Trauger, Paul W. Ambrosius, Nashville, Tennessee, and J. Randolph Evans, and Anthony W. Morris, Atlanta, Georgia, attorneys for appellant Zurich American Insurance Company.

Donald Capparella and Gregory L. Cashion, Nashville, Tennessee, and Andrew J. Detherage and Charles P. Edwards, Indianapolis, Indiana, for the appellees Simon Property Group L.P. and Opry Mills Mall Limited Partnership.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

The primary claim at issue in this appeal is for breach of an insurance contract. The insured property at issue, Opry Mills Shopping Mall, sustained catastrophic damages from the May 2010 flood in Nashville, Tennessee. Following the flood, the insureds contended the policy provided $200 million of coverage. The insurers insisted the policy limit for the claim was $50 million pursuant to the High Hazard Flood Zones Limit due to the fact the location of the Mall had been designated on a Flood Insurance Rate Map as a Special Flood Hazard Area. The trial court summarily ruled that the policy limits were $200 million finding, inter alia, the insured properties that were limited to $50 million of coverage were listed on the High Hazard Flood Locations schedule in Endorsement 6 of the policy, and Opry Mills Shopping Mall was not listed. Therefore, the trial court ruled that the policy limits for the claim were $200 million. Following a lengthy trial, the jury awarded the insured a judgment of almost $200 million. The insurers appealed. We have determined the policy limits are $50 million. Because the insurers paid the insureds $50 million before the commencement of this action, which is all the insurers are obligated to pay on the claim, the judgment of the trial court is reversed. We have also determined that the trial court did not err by summarily dismissing the insureds’ alternative claim that was based on promissory estoppel.