Jon Morrow, Elaine Moss, and Killian Walsh of KNM’s St. Louis office recently secured summary judgment in the Western District of Missouri. In the case, the insured argued that it was entitled to a six-figure cost under the code upgrade coverage for “demolition” for the removal and replacement of old materials on the exterior of the property. KNM raised two arguments against these claims. First, they argued that the insured had failed to produce any evidence tying the exterior damage to a covered loss under the policy, such as a wind or hailstorm. Second, and most importantly, KNM argued that regardless of a covered loss, no “demolition” actually occurred. Courts typically interpret demolition based on the dictionary definition which is to “tear down, break to pieces, or destroy.” The Court agreed that the under this definition and prior Court’s interpretation of the same, removal and replacement of old materials did not qualify as demolition and there was no coverage under the policy, granting summary judgment as to the demolition claims.
Read the full order here.