FARM FAMILY CASUALTY COMPANY, As Subrogee of M. Virginia Richardson and As Assignee of KNICELEY'S INC., Plaintiff,
CUMBERLAND INSURANCE COMPANY, INC., a foreign corporation, DOWNES INSURANCE ASSOCIATES, INC., a Delaware corporation, HARRINGTON INSURANCE AGENCY, INC., Individually and as successor-in-interest to Downs Insurance Associates, Inc., and Marvel AGENCY, INC., a Delaware corporation, Defendants.
Submitted: June 6, 2013
Upon Consideration of Defendant Downes' Motion For Summary Judgment.
Michael R. Abbott, Esq., and David C. Malatesta, Esq., Kent & McBride, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorneys for Plaintiffs.
Krista R. Samis, Esq., Eckert, Seamans, Cherin&Mellott, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Defendant Marvel Agency, Inc.
Kashif I. Chowdhry, Esq, Parkowski, Guerke& Swayze, Dover, Delaware. Attorney for Defendant Downes Insurance Associates, Inc.,
James S. Yoder, Esq., and Sean A. Meluney, Esq., White & Williams, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorneys for Defendant Harrington Insurance Agency.
Stephen P. Casarino, Esq., Casarino, Christman, Shalk, Ransom & Doss, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Cumberland Insurance Company.
James. T. VAUGHN, President Judge
Plaintiff Farm Family Casualty Insurance Co. ("Farm Family") has asserted various claims against insurance brokers Downes Insurance Associates, Inc. ("Downes") and Harrington Insurance Agency, Inc. ("Harrington") (collectively, the "Broker Defendants"), for their failure to secure appropriate insurance coverage for Kniceley's, Inc.'s ("Kniceley") lead paint abatement business. Now before the Court is Downes' motion for summary judgment against Farm Family.
The Underlying Action
The precursor to this action was an underlying lawsuit where a child, Jose LaTorre ("LaTorre"), suffered serious personal injuries and impairment caused by lead poisoning. The child's injuries resulted from exposure to lead paint located within a rental property owned by M. Virginia Richardson ("Richardson").
In November of 2004, it was discovered that LaTorre had an elevated blood-lead level. On December 13, 2004, after an inspection of the home indicated the presence of lead-based paint, the Delaware Division of Public Health ordered Richardson to reduce the levels of lead paint present on the property in order to bring them into compliance with state standards. Richardson hired Kniceley, a licensed lead abatement company, to handle the situation. Kniceley performed the abatement work in February and March of 2005. On March 11, 2005, subcontractor Batta Associates, Inc. ("Batta") informed Richardson that the work had been completed and that the premises had been cleared for lead dust. On August 30, 2005, LaTorre again tested positive for high blood-lead levels. The State's subsequent inspection confirmed that lead dust and paint were still present in the house.
A representative of LaTorre filed a lawsuit against Richardson on May 11, 2006. Richardson filed a third-party complaint against Kniceley and Batta on May 20, 2008 that sought contribution for their negligent failure to properly remove the ...