Reed Smith

 

New York County Clerk 12/03/2012

 

Supreme Court Of The State Of New York

County Of New York 

Illinois Union Insurance Company And                  Index No. 155113/2012

Great American Insurance co.

Of New York

                                         Plaintiff against

Grandview Palace Condominiums

Association Corp a/k/a Grandview

Palace Of New York Condominium

                           Answer And Counterclaims

Defendant Grandview Palace of New York Condominiums, incorrectly named as Grandview

Palace Condominiums Association Corp. a/k/a Grandview Palace of New York Condominium ("Grandview") as and for its Answer to the Complaint filed by Plaintiffs Illinois Union Insurance Company ("Illinois Union") and Great American Insurance Company ("Great American") (collectively, the "Insurers") alleges as follows.

             1. Paragraph 1 of the complaint contains the relief sought by the Insurers to which no resposive pleading is required .

              2. Grandview admits that the Insurance policies sold to Grandview by the Insurers provided certain first-party property insurance coverage for premises located at 1500 State Route 52, Liberty NY 12754. Grandview denies the balance of the allegations in paragraph 2 of the complaint.

               3. Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 3 of the complaint

                4. Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 4 of the complaint.

                 5.Paragragraph 5 of the Complaint contains the relief  sought by the Insurers to which no responsive pleading is required. To the extent any responsive pleading is required, Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 5.

                                                       The Parties

                6.  Grandview lacks knowledge or information sufficient to respond to the allegations containedi in paragraph 6 of the Complaint and on that basis denies theallegations of paragraph 6 of the Complaint.

               7.  Grandview lacks knowledge or information sufficient to respond to the allegations contained inparagraph 7of  the Complaint and on that basis denies theallegations of paragraph 7 of the complaint.

                8. Grandview denies the allegations in paragraph 8 of the Complaint and states that Grandview is an unincorparated association with its principal place of busines at 1500 State Route 52, Liberty New York 12754 .

                                                       Jurisdiction & Venue

                9.   Paragraph 9 of the complaint states a legal conclusion that brequires no responsive pleading, but to the extent a responsive pleading id required, Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 9 of the complaint.

               10.  Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 10 of the Complaint that the venue is proper in New York County and aversthat venue should be tranferred to Sullivan County.

                                                           Factual Background

                11. Grandview lacks sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny allegations of paragraph 11 of the Complaint, and denies the allegationsof Paragraph 11 of the Complainton that basis.

               12. Grandview admits the allegations of paragraph 12 of the Complaint.

               13,  Grandview  admits that Illiinois Union came into possession of certain accord forms, dated August 17, 2011, but lacks knowledge or information sufficient to admit or bdeny the balance of thew allegations contained in paragraph 13 of the complaint.

                14.  The allegations of paragraph 14 of the Complaint refer to a document that speaks foritself, and any characterization of the document is denied.

              15. The allegations ofparasgraph 15 with respect to "100% sprinkler coverage" are conclusions of law to which a resonse is deemed required, these allegations are denied.

               16. The allegations of paragraphn16 of vthe Complaintrefer to a document that speaks for itself, and any charaterization of the document is denied.

               17. The allegations ofparagraph 17 as to the alleged "fire and/or safety code violations are conclusionsof law to which no responsive pleading is required. To the extent any factsare alleged in paragraph 17 to which a response is deemed required, those allegations are denied.

               18. The allegations of paragraph 18 of the Complaint refer to a document that speaks for itself, and characterization of the document is denied.

               19. Grandview lacks sufficient knowledge or information to respond to the allegations contained inparagraph 19 of the Complaint and on tha basis the allegations of paragraph 19 are denied

               20. The allegations of paragraph 20 of the Complaintrefer to a documentthat speaks for itself, and any characterization  of the document is denied.

             21 Grandview lacks sufficient knowledge or binformation to respond to the allegations contained in paragraph 21 of the Complaint  and on that basis the allegations of paragraph 21 are denied.

            22. Grandview admits that Illinois Union issued to Grandview a first party property insurance policy,bearing policy number D37389717, for the period of Septermber 9, 2011 to May 21, 2012. Grandvbiew lacks sufficient knowledge or information to respond to the balance of the allegations contained in paragraph 22 of the Complaint, and the allegations of bparagraph 22 of the Complaint are denied on that basis.

          23. GHrandview lacks sufficient  knowledge or information to admit or deny the allegations paragraph 23 of the Complaint, and the allegations of paragraph 23 of the Complaint are denied on that basis.

         24. The allegations of paragraph 24 of the Complaint with respect to"100% sprinkler coverage" are conclusions of law to which no responsive pleading is required..To the extent any facts are alleged in this paragraph to which a response is deemed required,, those allegations referto a document that speaks for itself, and any characterization of the document is denied.

         25.Grandview lacks sufficient knowledge or information to respond to the allegations contained in paragraph 25 of the Complaint and on that basis the allegations of paragraph 25 of the complaint are denied.

        26 The  allegations of paragraph 26 of the complaint refer to a document that speaks for itself, and any characterizationsof the document is denied.

        27. The allegations of paragraph 27 with reepect to alleged " fire and/ or safety code violations" are conclusions of law to which no reposive pleading is required. To the extent any facts are alleged in this paragraph to which a response is deemed required, those allegations are denied.

      28. The allegations of paragraph 28 of the complaint refer to a document that speaks for itself, andany characterization of the document is denied.

     29 Grandview lacks sufficient knowledge and informationto respond to the allegations contained in paragrasph 29 of the Complaint and on that basis the allegations are denied.

     30. The allegations of paragraph 30 of the Complaint refer to the documents that speak for themselves, and any charaterizationof those documentsis denied

     31. Grandview lacks  sufficient knowledge or information to respondto the allegations contained in paragraph 31 of the Complaint and on that basis the allegations of paragraph 31 are denied

       32. Grandview admits that Great American issued to Grandview a first party property insurance policy, bearing polict number CPP 8-63-59-09 -02. with a one year policy period beginning May 21. 2011. Grandview denies the balance of the allegationsin paragraph 32 of the Complaint. 

      33 The allegations of  paragraph 33 of the complaintrfer to a documentthat speaks for itself and any characterization of the document is denied.

     34 The allegations of paragraph 34 of the complaint refer to a document that speaks for itself and any characterization of the document is deniedf.

    35. The allegations of paragraph 35 of the Complaint refer to a document that speaks for itself and any characterizationsof the document is denied.

  36.The allegations of paragraph 36nof the Complaint refer to a document that speaks for itself and any characterization of the document is denied. to the extent any of theallegations of the paragraph 36 do not refer to a document, Grandview  denies the allegations of paragraph 36. 

37. The allegation of paragraph  37 that tne Great American Policy incorporates the terms 0f the Illinois Union Policy is a conclusion of law that equires no pleading. The balance of the allegations of paragraph 37 n0f the Complaint refers to a document that speaks for itself and ay characterization of the document is denied.

38. The allegations of paragraph 38 of the Complaint costitute conclusions of law and require no responsive pleading. To the extent any facts are alleged in paragraph 38 of the Complaint to which a response is deemed required, Grandview lacks sufficient Knowledge or information to respond to the allegations contained in paragraph 38 of the Complaint and on that basis the allegations are denied.

 39. The allegation of paragraph 39 of the Complaint that the Great American Policy imcorporates the terms of the Illinois Union Policy is conclusion of law to which no responsive pleading is required. The balance of the allegations of paragraph 39 of the complaint refers to a document that speaks for itself amd any charaterization of the document is denied.

 40. Grandview admits the allegations of paragraph 40 of the Complaint that the fire occured on at the premises on April 14, 2012 (the Fire) resulting in extensive property damage

 41. Grandview admits the allegations of paragraph 41 of the Complaint.

 42.Grandview admits the representatives of Illinois Union And Great American visited the premises on April 25, 2012, but denies the balance of the allegationsof paragraph 42 of the Complaint.

 43. Grandview admits the Illinois Union and the Great American sent letters toGrandview  on May 7, 2012 and May 17, 2012, but denies the balance of the allegations of paragraph 43 of the Complaint. The May 7, 2012 and May 17, 2012 letters speak for themselves, and Grandview denies any characterization of these letters..

  44.Grandview lacks  sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny the allegations in paragraph 44 of the Complaint as to what the Insurers "discovered"  or "determined" and denies the allegations of paragraph 44 on that basis..The balance of the allegations of paragraph 44 consists of conclusions of law to which no responsive pleading is required.. To the extentany additional facts are4 alleged in paragraph 44 to which a response is deemed required, Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 44 of the Complaint.

 45. Grandview denies that it prohibited access to any areas of the premises after the fire, except as required by safety concerns. Grandview denies the balance of the allegations in paragraph 45 of the Complaint.

                                                Count 1 -- Declaratory Relief

 46  The titles throughout the Complaint are denied to the extent the titles require a response,Grandview repeats and alleges each and every response to each allegation contained in paragraphs 1-45 above as if fully set forth herein,

 47. Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 47 of the Complaint.

 48. The allegations of paragraph 48 of the Complaint constitute legal conclusions to which to which no responsive pleading is required. To the extent paragraph 48 of the complaint contains any factual allegations to which a response is required, Grandview lacks sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny the allegations of paragraph 48 of the complaint as to under what circunstances the Insurers would or would not issue policies, and deniesthe allegations in paragraph 48 as to the Insurers' actions on that basis. Grandview denies the allegations in paragraph 48 

 49,The allegations of paragraph 49 of the Complaint constitute conclusions of law and require no responsive pleading. To the extent any facts are alleged in paragraph 49 of the Complaint to which a response is required, Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 49 of the Complaint.

 50.Paragraph 50 of the Complaint contains the relief sought by the Insurers to which no responsive pleading is required. To the extent that any facts arer alleged in paragraph 50 of the Complaint to which a response is deemed required, Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 50.

                                                     Count  II--Declaratory Relief

 51, The titles throuhout the Complaint are denied, to the extent they require a response. Grandview repeats and realleges each and every response to each allegation contained in paragraphs 1-50 above as fully st forth herein. 

 52 The allegation of paragraph 52  of the Complaint that the Great American Policy incorporates the terms of The Illinois Union Policy is a conclusion of  law to which no responive pleading is required. The balance of the allegations of paragraph 52 of the Complaint refers to a document that speaks for itself and any characterization of the document is denied.

 53. The allegation of paragraph 53 of the Complaint that the Great American Poicy Incorporates the terms of the Illinois Union Policy is a conclusion of law to which no responsive pleading is required. The balance of the allegastions of paragraph 53 of the Complaint refers to a document that speaks for itself and an characterization of the document is denied.

 54. Grandview admits that prior to th fire. there might have been brief suspensions and/or impairments of certain components of the Automatic Sprinkler System, but denies that any suspension and/or impairments violated any provision of the Policies

 55. Grandview lacks sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny the allegations of paragraph 55 of the Complaint, and  on that basis denies the allegatons of paragraph 55 of the Complaint..

 56. The allegations of paragraph 56 of the complaint consist of conclusions of law to which no responsive pleading is required

 57. Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 57 0f the Complaint.

 58. The allegations of paragraph 58 of the Complaint are denied as stated. Grandview denies that any building that was required to have an Automatic Sprinkler System did not have an Automatic Sprinkler System.

 59. The allegations of paragraph 59 of the Complaint are conclusions of law to which no responsive pleading is required. To the extent any facts are alleged in this paragraph to which a response is deemed required, Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 59 of the Complaint.

 60. The allegations of paragraph 60 of the Complaint are conclusions of law to which no responsive pleading is required. To the extent of facts alleged in this paragraph to which a response is deemed required, Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 60 of the complaint.

 61, The allegations of paragraph 61 of the Complaint are conclusions of law to which no responsive pleading is required. To the exctent any facts are alleged in this paragrasph to which a response is deemed required, Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 61 of the Complaint.

                                               Count III-- Declaratory Relief

 62. The titles throughout the Complaint are denied, to the extent they require a response. Grandview repeats and alleges each and every response to each allegation in paragraphs 1-61  above as fully set forth herein.

 63, The allegation of paragraph 63  that the Great American Policy incorporates the terms of theI Illinois Union Policy is a conclusion of law towhich no responsive pleading is required. The balance of the allegations of paragraph 63 of the Complaint refers to a document that speaks for itself and any characterizations of the document is denied. 

 64. Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 64 that access to the premises granted to the Insurers'and their authorized representatives has been limited. By way of further response Grandview states that the Insurers and their authorized representatives were given full and complete access to the premises consistent with safety concerns.

 65. The allegations of parasgraph 65  of the Complaint that Grandview breached conditions of the Illinois Union and Great American Policies is a conclusion of law to which no responsive pleading is required. Grandview denies  the balance of the allegations of paragraph 65 of the Complaint..

 66. The allegastions of paragraph 66 of the Complaint constitute conclusions of law to which  no responsive pleading is required. To the extent any response is required, Grandview denies the allegations of paragraph 66.

                                           Response To Prayer For Relief

Grandview denies that the Insurers are entitled  to the relief sought, or to any relief whatsoever,Grandview 

respectfully requests  that judgement be entered in Grandviews favor.

                                             Affirmative Defenses

                                        First Affirmative Defense

                                     ( Failure to state a claim )

The Complainany fails to state a claimupon which relief can be granted as alleged against Grandview

                                      Second Affirmative Defense

                                         (Laches and?or waiver)

Upon informastion and belief the claims asserted in the Complaintmay be barred by the equitable doctrinesof lches and waiver

                                      Third Affirmative Defense

                                   (Equitable and/or Judicial Estopped)

Upon information and belief the claims assertedin the complaint may be barred by the doctrines ofof equitable ans/or judicial estopped.

                                             Fourth Affirmative Defense

                                         (Incorporation of Counterclaim)

Grandview  incorporates by reference as though set forth herin at length, each and every allegationof its counterclaim.

                                                  Fifth Affirmative Defense

                                             (Unclean Hands Bad Faith)

The insurers' claims are barred in whole or in part bnecause they have unclean hands and have acted in bad faith.

                                                Sixth Affirmative Defense

                                                    (Improper Venue)

 Venue is improperly laid in New York County and must be moved to Sullivan County for thr venue to be proper.

                                        Counter Claim and Cross Claim

Counterclaimant Grandview Palace of New York Condominium (Grandview) hereby asserts its counterclaimasfollows.

                                                        Nature of Action

  1. This  counterclaim is for declaratory relief of contract arising out of Insurers' wrongful denial of insurance coverage and institution of litigation against their policyholder, Grandview, with regard to losses suffered by Grandview asd a result of a fire at its premesis on April 14, 2012.

   2.   In their reservations of rightsand in their Complaint, the Insurers have contested coverage  for Grandview's losses from the April 14, 2012 fire based on erroneous and unreasonable interpretations of the first party property insurance policies sold to Grandview, and unfounded allegations  that Grandview made misrepresentations  in its applications for insurance.

                                                       Third Parties

 3. Grandview is an unincorporated association maintaining its principal place of  business at 1500 State Route 52, Liberty, New York 12754

 4. On information and belief , Illinpis Union is an isurance company organized and existing under the laws of Illinois, with its principal place of busines  located at 436 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

 5  On information and belief, Great American is an insurance company organizwd and existing  under the laws of the State of New York, with its principal place of business at 301 East Fourth Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

                                                         Jurisdiction and Venue

 6. Jurisdiction is prpper in this court pursuantto    CPLR    301

 7.   Venue is proper in Sullivan County pursuantto CPLR  503 because Grandview resides in Sullivan county

                                                      The Insurance Policies

 8. Illinois Union issued to Grandview a first-party property policy, bearing number D37389717  for the the period of bSeptember 9,2011 to My 21. 2012.

 9. Great American issued to Grandview a first-party property policy number CPP 8-63-59-09-02 to Grandview with a one year policy period beginning  May 21, 2011.

 10. The insurance policies set forth in paragraph 8 and 9 are hereinafter collectively referred to as the "Insurance Policies."

                                                     First Cause Of Action

 11. Grandview repeats and realleges the allegations contained in the foregoing paragraphs 1 through 10 of this Counterclaim as fully set forth at length herein.

 12  Under the yerms of Insurance Policies, the Insurers each are obligated  to provide insurance coverage for, among other things, property damage by fire.

 13. In breach of their respective obligations under the Insurance Policies, the Insurers each wrongfully have refused  to pay fully for all costs and damages incurred in connection with the April 14, 2012 fire.

 14. Grandview has performed properly all of the obligations required of it under the Insurance Policies.

15. Grandview has complied vwith all conditions, including any conditions precedent, under the Insuranc Policies.

16. An actual controversy of a justicable nature presently exists between Grandview, Illinois Union and Great American.

                                          Second Cause Of Action

 17. Grandview repeats and realleges the allegations contained in in the foregoing paragraphs 1-16 of this Counterclaim as if fully set forth at length herein

  18. Insurers have breached thetr respective obligations under the Insurance Policiesby wrongfully refusing to pay Grandview fully for all damages incurredin connection with the April 14, 2012 fire.

  19. As a result of Insurers breaches of thetr obligations under the Insurance Policies, Grandview has sufferfered direct damages in an amount to be established at trial.

 20 Further as a result of the Insurers breeches of thetr obligations under the Insurance Policies by delaying in paying losses owed under the Insurance Policies, Grandview has suffered consquential damages in an amount to be proved at trial.

                                             Third cause Of Action

                        (Breach Of Covenent Of Good Faith And Fair Dealing)

 21. Grandview Repeats and realleges the allegations contained in the foregoing paragtraphs 1 through 20 of this counterclaim as if fully set forth at length herein.

 22 Insurers owe Grandview a duty of good faith and fair dealing, implied in each of the Insurance Policies sold by th insurers pusuant to which would (1) act in good faith and deal fairly with Grandview, (2) do nothing to interfere with the right of Grandview to receive the benefits of the Insurance Policies,(3) give the interests of grandview as much considerfidelity in ation as their own interests, (4) exercise diligence, good faith and fidelity in safeguarding Grandviews interests, (5) deal ethically with Grandview and fairly and adequately inform Grandview with respect to nature and scope of insurance coverage.

 23. In btreach of this implied covenant, the Insurers each have unreasonably sought to rescind the insurance Policies based on false accusations that Grandview made misrepresentations in its applications for insurance, and breached the terms and conditions of the Insurance Policies. In addition , the Insurers have failed to conduct acomplete investigation of Grandviews loss, raising spurious charge that Grandview prevented them from conducting a complete investigation, and unreasonably refusing to sign release forms in connection with their inspection of the premises

 24. The actions of Insurers, as set orth above, are intentional, willful, wanton and/or in reckless disregard0f Grandviews rights under the respective Inurance Policies, and/orcommon law.

 25. As a proximate and foreseeable result of insurers' wrongful conduct, Grandview has sustained and will continue to sustain substantial compensatory and consequential damages and, In addition, is entitled to an award of punitive damages against Insurers.

                                          Fourth Cause Of Action.

                                  Payment Of Cost Of This Lotigation

  26. Grandview repeats and realleges the alleagations  contained  in the foregoing paragraphs 1-25 as is fully set forth herein. 

 27. In bringing this Complaint against Grandview, Insurers havecast Grandview in a defensive postureby legal steps they have taken in an effort to free themselves from their policy obligations.

 28.  as a direct proximate result of Insurers' conduct as described herein,Grandview has expended, and will continue to expend,significant sums  to establish Insurers' insurance covberage obligations  under the Insurance Policies.

                        WHEREFORE, Grandview prays for judgment as follows. 

                                With Respect To The First Cause Of Action

 29.  That this Court enter declaratory judgement adjudicating the respective rights and duties of Grandview and the Insurers under the Insurance Policies in connection with Grandview's property damsge claim in connection with the April 14, 2012 fire, and for equtable relief directing the Insurers to comply fully with their respective obligations unfder the Insurance Policies, and/or such relief at law as is fitting.

                            With Respect To The Second Cause Of Action

 30.That this Court enter a judgment awarding compensatory and consequential damages against the Insuurers as a result of their breaches of their contractual duties to Grandview in an amount to be established at trial.

                               With Respect To The Third Cause Of Action

 31. That this Court enter a judgment for damsges against Insurers, including but not limited to compensatory, consequential, extra-contractual and punitive damages as a result of its breech of the impliefd covenant of good faith and fair dealing in amounts to be edstablished at trial.

                             With Respect To  The Fourth Cause Of Action

32. That this Court enter judgment for damages against Insurers in the amount of e fees, disbursements and costs expended by Grandview in this action, including, without limitation, compensatory,consequetial and extra-contractual damages as a result of Insurers, conduct in an amount to be established at trial.

                                  

                                   With Respect To All Causes Of Action

 33.For such ordeers includinhg injunctive relief, that are neccessary to preserve this Courts jurisdiction over the parties and issues herein; for pre judgment and post judgment interest according to law, for coverage of attorneys' fees filing fees, and costs of thisd action,and for such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

 34.Grandview hereby requests a trial by jury for all issues so triable.

Dated: December 3, 2012

By: Paul E. Breene

Paul E. Breene

Jean M.Farrell

REED SMITH LLP

599 Lexington Ave

New York, NY 10022

Atorneys for defendant and Grandview

Grandview Palace of New York

Condominium improperly named as

Grandview Palace Condominiums Assocition Corp.a/k/a Grandview Palace of New York Condominiums