Southern District of Florida Grants Insurer’s Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim in Insurance Coverage Dispute
By Kelly M. Vogt
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim in an insurance coverage dispute.
In Panetta v. USAA General Indemnity Company, the insurer defendant argued that the claimed damage to the insured plaintiff’s property was not covered under the subject policy because the area in question is a “sunken room,” meaning it is below grade on all four sides, and such areas are excluded from coverage under the policy.
The plaintiff argued that he stated a claim for relief because the insurer issued a flood insurance policy for his property but refused to pay his claim even though his property was damaged in a flood.
The Court held that the complaint fails to state a claim for relief as a matter of law because the plaintiff did not allege that the “sunken room” exception is inapplicable to his claim, or that the area in question on the property is not a “sunken room” that triggers application of the exception.
Kelly Vogt focuses her practice on first party property and insurance coverage matters. She is also experienced in the areas of third party liability, appellate law, general civil litigation, and professional liability defense.