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Ryding v. The Cincinnati Special Underwriters Ins. Co.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District, Second Division

June 28, 2013

KATHLEEN R. RYDING, Supervised Administrator of the Estate of Helen Z. Fairchild, Deceased, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
THE CINCINNATI SPECIAL UNDERWRITERS INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 11-MR-1347. Honorable Bonnie M. Wheaton, Judge, Presiding.

SYLLABUS

In a declaratory judgment action seeking to establish that defendant was obligated to cover the loss arising from the destruction of the deceased ward's residence and garage in a fire, the trial court properly entered summary judgment for the administrator of the deceased's estate, notwithstanding the fact that the policy covered the interest of the public guardian in the property and the public guardian was discharged upon deceased's death, which occurred prior to the fire, since the insurance was obtained to protect the deceased's interest, the premiums were chargeable to the estate, the estate was the intended insured, and the loss was covered.

Richard D. Heytow, of Tressler LLP, of Chicago, for appellant.

John J. Pcolinski, Jr., of Guerard, Kalina & Butkus, of Wheaton, for appellee.

JUSTICE SPENCE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Burke and Justice McLaren concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

SPENCE, JUDGE.

[¶1] Plaintiff, Kathleen R. Ryding, as supervised administrator of the estate of Helen Z. Fairchild, deceased, filed a lawsuit in the circuit court of Du Page County against defendant, The Cincinnati Special

Page 41

Underwriters Insurance Company, seeking a declaratory judgment that a property insurance policy issued by defendant covered fire damage to certain real property included in the estate. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted the plaintiff's motion and denied defendant's. Defendant now appeals. We affirm.

[¶2] The pertinent facts are undisputed. Prior to her death, Fairchild had been a ward of the public guardian of Du Page County (Public Guardian). On December 23, 2008, defendant issued or renewed a policy of commercial property insurance with a declarations page identifying the named insured as:

" Office of the Public Guardian for Dupage Co. Refer to Named Insured Schedule CSIA 409 01 08"

There was no " Named Insured Schedule CSIA 409 012 09" attached to the policy.

[¶3] The policy period was from December 23, 2008, to December 23, 2009. The policy provided that " the words 'you' and 'your' refer to the Named Insured shown in the Declarations. The words 'we', 'us' and 'our' refer to [defendant]." A " Commercial Property Premises Schedule" was attached to the policy. Among the scheduled properties was certain improved real estate in Darien owned by Fairchild. The property was designated as " Prem. No. 5 Bldg. No. 6" and, in another schedule, the " Estate of Helen Fairchild" was designated as the " ...


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