United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ARTIS L. PARKER, Plaintiff,
ALLSTATE INDEMNITY COMPANY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Artis L. Parker brought this insurance dispute against
Defendant Allstate Indemnity Company after a fire burned down
his home and Defendant denied coverage. Plaintiff filed a
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, (Pl.'s Mot. for
Partial Summ. J., ECF No. 28), and Defendant filed a Cross
Motion for Summary Judgment, (Def.'s Cross Mot. for Summ.
J., ECF No. 30). For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is
GRANTED with respect to Count 1 and
DENIED with respect to Count 2,
Defendant's Cross Motion for Summary Judgment is
GRANTED with respect to Count 2 and
DENIED with respect to Count 1, and
Plaintiff's Motion to Strike is DENIED AS
& FACTUAL HISTORY
2004, Plaintiff moved into a single-family home in Shiloh,
Illinois (“the insured property”). (Def.'s
Resp. to Pl.'s Statement of Undisputed Material Facts 1,
ECF No. 29-1). Defendant insured the property,
(id.), and the policy included fire coverage,
(Policy Endorsement AU277-2 1, ECF No. 30-3). Plaintiff
initially lived in the home with his wife and three children.
(Pl.'s Dep. 18, ECF No. 30-3).
2006, Plaintiff obtained a position with the United States
Department of Veterans Affairs. (Id. at 22). As a
condition of his employment, Plaintiff was required to
relocate to various cities across the United States.
(Id.). Plaintiff and his family lived in the insured
property until 2014, when Plaintiff relocated to
Indianapolis, Indiana. (Id. at 22-23). Plaintiff was
accompanied by his wife, son, and one of his daughters; his
other daughter remained at the insured property.
(Id. at 23). Plaintiff then relocated to Carmel,
Indiana in 2015, where he currently resides. (Def.'s
Resp. to Pl.'s Statement of Undisputed Material Facts 5).
2016, Plaintiff's son returned to the insured property.
(Pl.'s Dep. 23). Plaintiff's daughter moved out of
the insured property the following year, leaving only
Plaintiff's son in the home. (Id.).
Plaintiff's son carries criminal convictions. (Def.'s
Resp. to Pl.'s Statement of Undisputed Material Facts 7).
and his wife returned to the insured property “on a
regular basis, usually monthly for a weekend but sometimes
for longer periods of time.” (Id.). Plaintiff
continued making improvements on the insured property.
(Id. at 24). He also continued paying for utilities,
(id.), and he maintained the insurance policy with
Defendant, (Def.'s Resp. to Pl.'s Statement of
Undisputed Material Facts 2).
2018, the insured property burnt down. (Id. at 1).
Plaintiff filed a claim with Defendant the next day.
(Id. at 10). Defendant retained a contractor to
investigate the cause of the fire and ultimately classified
it as “undetermined.” (Id. at 2).
Nevertheless, Defendant denied coverage for two reasons.
(Id. at 11). First, Defendant argued that the
insurance contract required Plaintiff to notify Defendant
when he moved out of the home. (Id.) His failure to
do so, it argued, excluded coverage for the loss.
(Id.) The relevant policy provision states as
In reliance on the information you have
given us, Allstate agrees
to provide the coverages indicated on the Policy
Declarations. In return, you must pay the
premium when due and comply with the terms and conditions,
and inform us of any change in title, use or
occupancy of the residence premises.
(Allstate Deluxe Plus Homeowners Policy 3, ECF No. 30-3)
(emphasis in original) [hereinafter “The
also denied coverage on the grounds that the presence of
Plaintiff's son alone in the home constituted an
increased hazard by virtue of his criminal record.
(Def.'s Resp. to Pl.'s Statement of Undisputed
Material Facts 11). The relevant policy provision states as
We do not cover loss to the property . . .
caused by . . . [a]ny substantial change or increase in
hazard, if changed or increased by any means within the