New opinion–damage to ship not covered by all-risk policy

Chartis Property Casualty Co. v. Inganamort—maritime / insurance—affirmance—Jordan

The owners of a fishing vessel purchased an all-risk insurance policy on the ship that provided coverage against any non-excluded “fortuitous” loss. After the ship foundered at the dock in normal weather, the insurance company denied their claim because its investigation indicated the ship sank due to the owners’ failure to maintain it, and then if filed a declaratory-judgment action. Today, the Third Circuit held that the insureds bore the “not heavy, but … more than negligible” burden of proving fortuity, joining four other circuits, and affirmed the district court’s ruling that the owners did not meet their burden.

Joining Jordan were Greenaway, Jr., and Krause. Arguing counsel were James Beagle of Florida for the owners and Neil Mody of Connell Foley for the insurance company.