JULIANNA WALKER and MARY S. WHITE v. CALVIN BEASLEY, JIMMIE BEASLEY, JACK S. HALL, JR., MARY HALL, JOHN CHORLEY, TAYLOR-MADE CONSTRUCTION, INC.,TENNESSEE FARMERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, WILLIAM R. PASCHALL, and JUNE RASMUSSEN (Tenn. Ct. App. December 15, 2009)
This appeal involves insurance coverage. The plaintiffs purchased an undeveloped parcel of real property and hired a contractor to build a house on it. After the house was constructed, the plaintiffs discovered that cleared timber was buried underneath the land on which the house stood. Thereafter, the house developed structural problems, such as foundation cracks and non-alignment of doors and windows. The plaintiffs made a claim for coverage under their homeowners insurance policy; however, the insurer denied the claim, citing an exclusion of coverage for damages resulting from settling. The plaintiffs filed suit against inter alia the insurer alleging breach of contract and bad faith, and the plaintiffs and the insurer filed cross-motions for summary judgment.
After conducting a hearing on the matter and considering expert testimony that the damage was caused by settling, the trial court granted the insurer's motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs now appeal, arguing that the settlement in this case is so excessive as to remove it from the ordinary meaning of the term "settling." We affirm.
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