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Insurance Dispute Based On Allegedly Deficient Property Inspection

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By FindLaw Staff on May 03, 2010 11:37 AM

Praetorian Ins. Co. v. Site Inspection, LLC, No. 09-2008, concerned an action by an insurer against a property inspector claiming that the insurer issued a policy to a third party based on an inadequate inspection by defendant.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment and an award of attorney's fees for defendant, on the grounds that 1) the only affidavit submitted by plaintiff in opposition to summary judgment was purely self-serving; 2) the parties' agreement contained an enforceable indemnification clause; and 3) this situation was clearly one of these unique circumstances under Missouri law where attorney's fees were not specified in the contract, but where defendant was defending a suit brought against it in reference to the matters against which it was indemnified.

As the court wrote:  "The district court (1) granted Site's motion for summary judgment on Praetorian's claims, finding that no genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether Praetorian would have cancelled Vantage's policy had Site reported the inadequacies, (2) denied Praetorian's cross motion for summary judgment on its own claims, and (3) granted Site's motion for summary judgment on its counterclaims. The court found that "Site's exculpatory clause and indemnity provision are enforceable contractual provisions that relieve Site from any liability." (D. Ct. Or. 24.) Site moved for damages on its counterclaim and the district court awarded Site $379,520.12 in damages, attorney's fees, and costs. Praetorian appeals."

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