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Blethen Attorneys Win Insurance Coverage Appeal

August 7, 2015

On May 18, 2015, Blethen Gage & Krause attorneys Kevin A. Velasquez and Benjamin D. McAninch obtained a favorable decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals in an insurance coverage dispute.  Mr. Velasquez and Mr. McAninch represented a landowner’s insurance company, which had denied coverage for a neighbor’s lawsuit alleging that the landowner had built an illegal dike and berm system that caused flooding on the neighbor’s land and damage to his crops. 

 Mr. Velasquez and Mr. McAninch successfully argued in the district court that the insurance company properly denied coverage, on the grounds that the policy only applied to accidents, and the lawsuit alleged that the dike and berm were built to intentionally divert water onto the neighbor’s farmland.  The district court agreed, and dismissed the claim on summary judgment.  The landowner appealed  and Mr. Velasquez successfully argued to the Minnesota Court of Appeals that it should adopt the district court’s reasoning that the neighbor’s claim was based on alleged damages that were not accidental or unintentional, and therefore the claim was excluded from coverage.

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