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Holmes v. North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Ins. Co., Inc.

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

April 15, 2014

CURTIS RAY HOLMES, Plaintiff,
v.
NORTH CAROLINA FARM BUREAU MUTUAL INSURANCE CO., INC., Defendant

Heard in the Court of Appeals February 6, 2014.

Guilford County. No. 12 CVS 10238. John O. Craig III, Judge.

Cahoon & Swisher, North & Cooke, by A. Wayland Cooke, for plaintiff-appellant.

Nelson Levine De Luca & Hamilton, LLC, by David L. Brown and David G. Harris II, for defendant-appellee.

STROUD, Judge. Judges CALABRIA and DAVIS concur.

OPINION

Page 849

Appeal by plaintiff from Order entered 10 July 2013 by Judge John O. Craig, III, in Superior Court, Guilford County. Heard in the Court of Appeals 6 February 2014.

STROUD, Judge.

Dr. Curtis Holmes (" plaintiff" ) appeals from an order denying his motion for summary judgment and granting summary judgment in favor of North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., Inc. We affirm.

I. Background

Plaintiff is a dentist and property owner living in Greensboro. He owns several office buildings in the Greensboro area, including one at 5415 Friendly Avenue (" 5415 Friendly" ) and one across the street at 5411 Friendly Avenue (" 5411 Friendly" ). Plaintiff purchased an office-lessor's insurance policy from defendant to cover his property. The policy excludes from coverage any building that has been vacant for more than 60 consecutive days before a loss, including loss by theft. The policy defines a vacant building for property owner policies under section 9(a)(1)(b) of the policy. Under this section, a

Page 850

building is vacant " when 70% or more of its total square footage: (i) Is not rented; or (ii) Is not used to conduct customary operations." The policy clarifies that " [w]hen this policy is issued to the owner of a building, building means the entire building."

In November 2011, someone stole eight heating and air conditioning units from outside 5415 Friendly. Plaintiff informed the police, but the perpetrator was never found. Plaintiff also made a claim to defendant for the loss under the office-lessor policy. Defendant refused to cover ...


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