County Superior Court PC 14-5684 Richard A. Licht Associate
Plaintiff: Joseph F. Hook, Esq.
Defendant: Kristen M. Whittle, Esq. Stephens Adams, Esq.
Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and
Francis X. Flaherty Associate Justice.
plaintiff, Eric Chase, appeals from a Superior Court order
granting the motion of the defendant, Nationwide Mutual Fire
Insurance Company, for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to
Rule 12(c) of the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure.
This matter came before us for oral argument on April 27,
2017, pursuant to an order directing the parties to appear
and show cause why this appeal should not summarily be
decided. After considering the parties' oral and written
arguments and after thoroughly reviewing the record, it is
our opinion that cause has not been shown and that this case
should be decided at this time without further briefing or
argument. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we
affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.
to plaintiff,  a property that
he owned on Bosworth Court in Newport suffered a casualty
loss on June 25, 2010 that caused extensive interior and
exterior damage. The plaintiff timely reported the loss to
defendant, which insured the property pursuant to a policy
that it had issued to plaintiff. After investigating the
loss, defendant accepted the claim as covered under the
policy. The defendant then authorized plaintiff to repair the
property and further authorized a partial release of funds to
enable plaintiff to begin the repairs. However, the funds
released were not sufficient to pay for the repairs and to
cover plaintiff's alternative living expenses.
Accordingly, plaintiff demanded that defendant release
additional funds, but defendant refused. The plaintiff
alleges that defendant then "engaged in a pattern of
dilatory conduct thereby refusing to fulfill its obligations
under the [p]olicy."
upon plaintiff's complaint, we are left in the dark as to
the timing and particulars of the above events. Nevertheless,
on March 6, 2014, after nearly four years had elapsed since
the casualty loss, plaintiff attempted to invoke the
policy's appraisal provision. In a letter dated March 10,
2014, defendant rejected plaintiff's demand for an
appraisal, citing the passage of time and that plaintiff had
failed to submit certain documentation that the insurer had
requested under the terms of the policy.
November 2014, some four years after the loss, plaintiff
brought a two-count suit against defendant, alleging breach
of contract and bad faith. The defendant then moved, pursuant to Rule
12(c), for judgment on the pleadings. In its motion,
defendant highlighted two provisions from the policy:
"3. Your Duties after Loss. In case of loss, you must:
"* * *
"c) as often as we reasonably ...