STORY FROM: Superstorm Sandy Insurance Litigation

Destruction of Home by Massive Boulder Falls Within ‘Earth Movement’ Exclusion, Utah Federal Judge Rules

SALT LAKE CITY — The destruction of a house by a massive boulder that detached and fell from a nearby cliff is encompassed by the “earth movement” exclusion in a homeowners’ policy because the rockfall constitutes a “landslide,” a Utah federal judge has ruled.

On Sept. 14, Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah awarded the insurer summary judgment, holding that the term “landslide” subsumes the term “rockfall.”

Maureen Morris procured a homeowners’ policy from AAA Insurance Co. in accordance with the terms of her mortgage, which was issued by PHH Mortgage Corp. The ...

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