Building repairs don’t pay off for owner

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

In 2003, Kristine Hennessy noticed that the stucco on her property, a commercial building, had separated from the building's wall. In 2005, the remaining stucco on the building had virtually no adhesion remaining to the building's concrete walls, except on the 20 percent of the building where the underlying wall was concrete masonry blocks. Hennessy removed and replaced the damaged stucco and filed a claim with the insurance company, Mutual of Enumclaw, which later denied the claim. In the trial of Hennessy v. Mutual of Enumclaw, a judgment was entered for Hennessy, awarding her more than $98,000 for the costs of removing the stucco and installing a new exterior. The appeals court affirmed the trial court's judgment, but only up to the $2,469 in damages that was incurred by the 2003 stucco replacement. The terms of Hennessy's insurance policy excluded loss or damage due to collapse except in cases where the owner could prove "(1) a specified condition, such as hidden...