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Posted by: Landry Butler on Mar 15, 2018

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Albert J. Harb and Bart C. Williams, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jefferson County Schools.

Attorneys 2:

Russell E. Reviere and Jonathan D. Stewart, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellees, Tennessee Risk Management Trust and the Travelers Indemnity Company.

Judge(s): SWINEY

In this appeal concerning insurance coverage, Jefferson County Schools (“Plaintiff”) sued its insurers, Tennessee Risk Management Trust and Travelers Indemnity Company (“Defendants”), in the Chancery Court for Jefferson County (“the Trial Court”). Building 8 at Jefferson County High School collapsed during a rainstorm. The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office ordered Plaintiff to implement repairs to prevent a future collapse of both the damaged and undamaged portions. Plaintiff asserted that, pursuant to an “ordinance or law” provision in its insurance policy, Defendants were responsible for coverage for additional work in undamaged portions of Building 8 in order to comply with the Fire Marshal’s directive. Defendants argue in response that the additional work was discretionary and went beyond what the insurance policy covered. After a hearing, the Trial Court entered judgment in favor of Defendants. Plaintiff appeals. We hold that the Fire Marshal’s directive, issued under that office’s authority, qualified as an “ordinance or law.” Defendants were, therefore, required to cover the additional work. We reverse the judgment of the Trial Court and remand for determination and entry of a monetary judgment in favor of Plaintiff.