A roof collapse at a machine shop business resulted in water damage to machines and equipment used to manufacture camshafts. Our client was said to have the largest and most unusual camshaft inventory in the country at the time of the loss. The insurance policy provided for coverage in the event of collapse of any part of the building. However, the insurance company denied the claim, contending that there was no collapse under the policy.
The evidence showed that an engineering company, hired by the insurance company to evaluate the loss, concluded that the roof had collapsed in several sections. Evidence revealed that several sections of the roof and ceiling had completely collapsed onto the floor of the building. On the same day that the claim was denied by the insurance company, an insurance adjuster filled out an internal company document, a “Confidential Risk Report”, which stated that there had been collapsed interior ceiling panels within the building, and that the weight of rain was causing problems. This confidential insurance company document showed that the insurance company recognized, internally, that there was a collapse, even though they denied the claim.
As a result of the roof collapse and damage to the equipment, the owner of the company had to scrap much of the inventory of machinery, tooling, and camshafts because of the rust damage caused by the water leakage from the roof collapse. Once the insurance company denied the claim, he was forced to move everything out of his original building and move to a new location. He also suffered the loss of several business contracts during this time because of the problems caused by the roof collapse and resulting interior water damage. WKW obtained a settlement for our client before trial.