United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ROBERT BLAKEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
La Williams sued Defendant Hartford Insurance Company of the
Midwest for breach of contract and for bad faith under the
Illinois Insurance Code.  (Ex. A). Defendant moved for
summary judgment. . For the reasons explained below, this
Court grants Defendant's motion.
Local Rule 56.1 and Evidentiary Rules
facts in this discussion come from Defendant's Local Rule
56.1 statement of material facts . Plaintiff failed to
provide an additional statement of material fact, but instead
only responded to portions of Defendant's statement of
facts. Based upon the inadequacy of those many of those
responses, Defendant asks this Court to admit several of its
facts.  at 3-6.
Court has broad discretion to enforce the local rules
governing summary judgment. See, e.g., Petty v.
City of Chi., 754 F.3d 416, 420 (7th Cir. 2014);
Benuzzi v. Bd. of Educ. of Chi., 647 F.3d
652, 655 (7th Cir. 2011). Under the local rules, a
party's responses to the opposing party's statements
of fact must contain “specific references” to
record evidence to justify any denial. Local R. 56.1(b)(3);
see also Malec v. Sanford, 191 F.R.D. 581, 584 (N.D.
Ill. 2000). Thus, purely argumentative denials, legal
conclusions, and unsupported general denials are inadequate.
See Phillips v. Quality Terminal Servs., LLC, 855
F.Supp.2d 764, 771 (N.D. Ill. 2012); Malec, 191
F.R.D. at 584. District courts may disregard any improper
denials and deem the opponent's corresponding fact
statements admitted. See Aberman v. Bd. of Educ. of
Chi., 242 F.Supp.3d 672, 677 (N.D. Ill. 2017).
this Court disregards Plaintiff's denials to the
following paragraphs of Defendant's statement of facts:
19, 36, 41, 50, 52-53, 59-63. Those denials fail to cite
record evidence that refutes Defendant's statements, and
merely denying a fact that has evidentiary support
“does not transform it into a disputed issue of fact
sufficient to survive a motion for summary judgment.”
Roberts v. Advocate Health Care, 119 F.Supp.3d 852,
854 (N.D. Ill. 2015). Additionally, this Court disregards
Plaintiff's denials based upon her inability to admit or
deny the statement as contained in paragraphs: 24-29.
Court also disregards Plaintiff's unsubstantiated
arguments and characterizations that omit citations to the
record. See De v. City of Chi., 912 F.Supp.2d 709,
712 (N.D. Ill. 2012) (internal punctuation omitted) (quoting
Smith v. Lamz, 312 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003))
(“A mere disagreement with the movant's asserted
facts is inadequate if made without reference to specific
supporting material.”). Accordingly, this Court deems
admitted the following paragraphs of Defendant's
statement of facts: 21, 23, 31-33, 40, 44, 55, 56.
also disputes several of Defendant's facts by citing to
her deposition generally. See, e.g., 
¶¶ 10-14, 16-18. But Plaintiff's generic
deposition citations lack specificity, as they do not provide
a docket entry number, exhibit number, or line citations.
Id. As such, they remain difficult to locate and
review, and may be stricken on this ground alone. Ammons
v. Aramark Unif. Servs., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817-18 (7th
Cir. 2004). This Court nevertheless reviewed Plaintiff's
deposition. Her denials regarding Mr. Slack's January
2015 inspection,  ¶¶ 10-13, however, fail to
create a genuine factual dispute because her testimony
concerns his March 2015 inspection while Defendant's
facts regard Mr. Slack's January 2015 inspection. For
this reason, this Court disregards Plaintiff's response
to the following paragraphs of Defendant's statement of
March or April 2015, Plaintiff purchased a condo located at
2215 East 68thStreet.  ¶ 4. In January
2015, prior to purchasing the condo, Plaintiff hired Leon
Slack of GS&TJ Services to perform an inspection.
Id. ¶ 8. At this inspection, Mr. Slack noticed
“signs of past water damage.” Id.
¶¶ 9-11. Following the inspection, Mr. Slack
prepared a written home inspection report, which included his
observations about longstanding water damage. Id.
March, Mr. Slack undertook a second home inspection,
id. ¶ 15, where he again noticed issues with
the building's roof and possible water leakage,
id. ¶¶ 16-17 (noting the roof was old with
deep cracks, meaning it was not waterproof). Mr. Slack did
not, however, create a written report of this inspection
until three or four years later. Id. ¶ 18. He
testified that he eventually created a written report at
Plaintiff's request because “she was suing
someone.” Id. ¶ 19. Mr. Slack also
testified that Plaintiff called him following the inception
of this case in order to dissuade him from complying with
Defendant's discovery requests. Id. ¶¶
after Plaintiff purchased her condo, she emailed the home
owners association seeking an “immediate roof
repair” for a gaping hole “due to a deteriorated
pipe cap” and other leaks. Id. ¶ 21. A
month later in May 2015, Plaintiff again contacted the HOA to
request that it prioritize repairing the roof. Id.
¶ 23. Eventually, in November 2015, the HOA hired Rogers
Roofing to tarp the building's roof. Id. ¶
25. The HOA viewed this action as a temporary solution to
prevent further leakage until the entire roof could be
replaced. Id. Rogers Roofing tarped the roof on
December 3 or 4, 2015. Id. ¶ 26. Plaintiff
claims the sole cause of the water damage to her condo was
the result of nailing the tarp to the roof. Id.
¶ 46; see also  at 3, 9 (explaining
“the leak was caused by the nail punctures to hold down
the tarp”);  ¶¶ 27, 46.
relevant here, Defendant issued Plaintiff an insurance policy
for her condo, effective from December 29, 2015 through
December 29, 2016.  ¶ 30. The policy was not meant
to protect Plaintiff from all possible damage but to protect
her condo from unexpected losses, such as fire, lightening,
or vandalism. See id. ¶ 31. For that reason,
the policy protected Plaintiff's condo from several
identified “perils, ” but also excluded coverage
in a variety of scenarios. Id. Among other things,
the policy excluded coverage for losses caused by the acts,
errors, or omissions of the insured or third-parties as well
damage resulting from wear and tear and/or constant seepage
known by the insured. Id.
July 14, 2016, Plaintiff first reported a claim to Defendant
for water damage to her condo due to roof leakage.
Id. ¶ 32. She also told Defendant that water
began leaking into her unit in April 2015. Id. In
response to Plaintiff's claim, Defendant inspected
Plaintiff's condo in July 2016. Id. ¶ 34.
After the inspection, Defendant denied Plaintiff coverage
because it concluded that the water leakage was longstanding
and predated the policy. Id. ¶¶ 36-37.
Defendant, however, reopened Plaintiff's claim in March
2017, so that Plaintiff could proffer additional documents
and submit to an Examination Under Oath. Id. ¶
38. On January 22, 2018, Defendant again denied Plaintiff
coverage. Id. ¶ 43.
should grant summary judgment when the moving party shows
that no genuine dispute exists as to any material fact and
the evidence weighs so heavily in the moving party's
favor that the moving party “must prevail as a matter
of law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986); see also Fed. R. Civ. P.
56. A genuine dispute as to a material fact exists when,
based upon the evidence, a reasonable jury could find for the
non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. To show
a genuine dispute as to a material fact, the non-moving party
must point to “particular materials in the
record” and cannot rely upon the pleadings or
speculation. Olendzki v. Rossi, 765 F.3d 742, 746
(7th Cir. 2014) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3)).
summary judgment, courts must evaluate evidence in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party and refrain from
making credibility determinations or weighing evidence.
See Rasho v. Elyea, 856 F.3d 469, 477 (7th Cir.
2017) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255). The moving
party bears the initial burden of establishing the lack of
genuine disputes as to any material fact. Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Even so, the
non-moving party must then provide more than a mere
"scintilla of evidence" to create a genuine issue
of material fact. Zaragon Holdings, Inc. v. Indian Harbor
Ins. Co., No. 08-CV-111, 2011 WL 1374980, at *2 (N.D.
Ill. April 12, 2011) (internal quotation marks omitted)
(quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248) (noting there
must be more than some "metaphysical doubt" as to
the material facts).