Michigan Court Finds Earth Movement Exclusion Applicable to Man-made Earth Movement

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2018 | Firm News

Typical earth movement exclusions reference “any” earth movement and are generally understood to be all-encompassing. Nevertheless, courts have disagreed on whether earth movement exclusions are limited to naturally occurring earth movement as opposed to man-made earth movement. The Michigan Court of Appeals in Home-owners Insurance Co. v. Andriacchi, 2017 WL 2491886 (Mich. App., filed June 8, 2017) recently held that the policy’s earth movement exclusion encompassed man-made earth movement as well as naturally occurring earth movement. In reaching this conclusion the court looked to the plain wording of the exclusion. The Michigan Court of Appeals found that the word “any” used within the exclusion (“any earth movement (other than sinkhole collapse) such as an earthquake, landslide or earth shrinking, risking or shifting”) was commonly understood to be an all-encompassing word meaning “every” or “all”. Thus, the exclusion applied to every and all movement of the earth without restriction or distinction as to type (i.e., natur