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Semeryanov v. Country Mutual Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

December 9, 2014

VLADISLAV AND TATYANA SEMERYANOV, Plaintiffs,
v.
COUNTRY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

Frederick M. Millard and Douglas M. Bragg, MILLARD & BRAGG, ATTORNEYS AT LAW, P.C., Oregon City, OR, Of Attorneys for Plaintiffs.

Daniel E. Thenell and Jillian M. Hinman, THENELL LAW GROUP, P.C., Portland, OR, Of Attorneys for Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

MICHAEL H. SIMON, District Judge.

Defendant, Country Mutual Insurance Company ("Defendant" or "Country Mutual"), moves for partial summary judgment against the breach of contract claim asserted by Plaintiffs, Vladislav and Tatyana Semeryanov ("Plaintiffs" or "the Semeryanovs"). For the following reasons, Country Mutual's motion for summary judgment is denied.

STANDARDS

A party is entitled to summary judgment if the "movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party has the burden of establishing the absence of a genuine dispute of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-movant and draw all reasonable inferences in the non-movant's favor. Clicks Billiards Inc. v. Sixshooters Inc., 251 F.3d 1252, 1257 (9th Cir. 2001). Although "[c]redibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge... ruling on a motion for summary judgment, " the "mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position [is] insufficient...." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252, 255 (1986). "Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (citation and quotation marks omitted).

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs own property located in Battleground, Washington. Plaintiffs constructed a home on their property, and construction was completed in October 2011. On January 11, 2012, a fire caused significant damage to Plaintiffs' newly-constructed home and the contents within. At the time of the fire, Plaintiffs' home was insured under a policy issued by Defendant. After the fire, Plaintiffs notified Defendant of the occurrence, and their claim was assigned a claim number. Defendant then opened an investigation, which included gathering and reviewing documents and examining the property. Throughout November and December of 2012, and into January of 2013, Plaintiffs continued to discuss their claim with adjusters for Defendant. During this period, Defendant was communicating directly with Plaintiffs, who were not represented by counsel in pursuing their insurance claim.

Plaintiffs' insurance policy includes the following clauses:

B. Duties after loss

10. Notwithstanding any other provisions in SECTIONS 2 through 6, all claims under this policy must be brought within one year of the date of occurrence.

Insurance Policy at 30 (Hinman Decl. Ex. 1, Dkt. 10-1, at 31) (emphasis in original).

G. Suits Against Us

No action can be brought against us unless there has been full compliance with all of the terms under SECTIONS 2 through 6 of this policy and the action is started ...

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