the actual commencement of wrecking would be to ignore the
realities of the situation.
The plaintiff's other authorities are similarly defective and
have been sufficiently covered in Judge Marovitz's opinion. The
holding in this case is clearly not a rejection of the Illinois
"actual cash value" rule, but simply a recognition that this rule
is essentially a method of valuation and is not controlling under
the facts and circumstance of this case which establish that the
property had become valueless to the owner and had been abandoned
to the wrecker.
The holding of Lieberman v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company
although phrased in terms of insurable interest is in essence
indistinguishable from Judge Marovitz's holding. The court there
held that a property owner having entered into a binding contract
with a wrecking company which had commenced operation no longer
had an insurable interest in the property because he could show
no economic disadvantage by its destruction.
The plaintiff attempts to distinguish the holdings in Aetna and
Lieberman by stating that actual wrecking operations had not
commenced on the particular building upon which this suit is
claimed to have been brought. It is conceded that the wrecker had
commenced operation on the complex of buildings and that the
building concerned would be wrecked during the course of this
operation. The court is not convinced by this argument. As Judge
Marovitz stated in Aetna: "To allow almost a quarter of a million
dollars to be paid for buildings that were valueless and whose
duration of existence was governed solely by the rapidity of the
swing of the wrecker's ball . . . would indeed produce a grossly
For the reasons above stated summary judgment is granted to the
defendant on the issue of the amount of the loss. The plaintiff's
motion for summary judgment is denied.
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