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Lightning Rod Mutual Insurance Co. v. Southworth

Supreme Court of Ohio

September 5, 2017

Lightning Rod Mutual Insurance Company, Appellee,
v.
Southworth, d.b.a. Bob's Home Service, L.L.C., et al.; CMH Homes, Inc., d.b.a. Luv Homes, Appellant.

          Submitted June 20, 2017

         Appeal from the Court of Appeals for Scioto County, No. 15CA3704, 2016-Ohio-3473.

          Weston Hurd, L.L.P., Ronald A. Rispo, and Robert E. Goff Jr.; and David L. Jarrett, for appellee.

          Brouse McDowell, L.P.A., Caroline L. Marks, Clair E. Dickinson, Amanda M. Leffler, Lucas M. Blower, and Paul A. Rose, for appellant.

          Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease, L.L.P., Natalia Steele, and Thomas E. Szykowny, urging affirmance for amicus curiae Ohio Insurance Institute.

          Bruns, Connell, Vollmar & Armstrong, L.L.C., and T. Andrew Vollmar, urging affirmance for amicus curiae Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys.

         {¶ 1} This cause is dismissed as having been improvidently accepted.

          O'Connor, C.J., and Kennedy, O'Neill, Fischer, and DeWine, JJ, concur.

          O'Donnell, J., dissenting.

         {¶ 2} I respectfully dissent from the majority's decision to resolve this appeal by declaring that it was improvidently accepted.

         {¶ 3} CMH Homes, Inc., d.b.a. Luv Homes, presented the following proposition of law, which in my view, raises an important issue that should be decided on the merits:

A general liability insurance policy that applies to "property damage" that occurs during the policy period is "triggered" by damage during the policy period regardless of whether that damage is the continuation or resumption of damage that first appeared before the policy period as long as that damage was not known to the insured or those persons specifically listed in the policy prior to the inception of the policy.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 4} In November 2007, Jonathan and Heather Beattie purchased a new manufactured home from CMH that was produced by Skyline Corporation and installed by Bob's Home Service, L.L.C. ("Bob's"). Almost immediately, the Beatties noticed problems with the home, including cracks in the drywall and the ceiling at the marriage line where the two halves of the home were joined together. Beginning in January 2008, CMH and Skyline made attempts to repair the problems, but they persisted, and in June 2012, the Beatties filed suit against Skyline, CMH, and Vanderbilt ...


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