FARM BUREAU MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY OF ARKANSAS, INC., APPELLANT
RANDY HOPKINS, APPELLEE
FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NINTH DIVISION [NO.
60CV-15-2990] HONORABLE MARY SPENCER MCGOWAN, JUDGE
Law Firm, P.A., by: Andy L. Turner, for appellant Farm Bureau
Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas, Inc.
Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC, by: Steven W.
Quattlebaum, Sarah Keith-Bolden, R. Ryan Younger, and Justice
J. Brooks I, for appellee Randy Hopkins.
M. Strauss and Breana Ott Mackey, for appellee Chris Lane.
F. VIRDEN, Judge.
Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas, Inc. (Farm
Bureau), appeals the Pulaski County Circuit Court's order
granting partial summary judgment in favor of Randy Hopkins.
We reverse and remand.
2015, Randy Hopkins's hunting lodge, a manufactured home
insured by Farm Bureau for up to $160, 000 in damage
recovery, collapsed into the Arkansas River.
Bureau hired engineer Aubrey Harris to assist in its
investigation of the loss. In his written report Harris
the high velocity and flow volume of the Arkansas River
caused severe erosion of the river bank in front of the
manufactured home. This erosion undercut the foundation of
the manufactured home and caused the foundation and concrete
slab, concrete block walls, and the front section of the
manufactured home to fall into the river.
Bureau denied Hopkins's claim on the ground that collapse
caused by the erosion of the ground in front of the structure
and under the foundation is not one of the nine "named
perils" for which the policy provides coverage. The
section of the policy entitled "PERILS WE INSURE
AGAINST" sets forth the conditions under which
collapse of a building is covered by the policy:
8. Collapse of buildings or any part of a building. Collapse
does not include settling, cracking, shrinkage, bulging, or
expansion. This peril is limited to damage caused by:
a.a named peril insured against in the policy; or
b.the weight of contents, equipment, animals, or people; or
c.the weight of rain, ice, snow, or sleet on a roof
. . . .
PLEASE NOTE: The peril "Collapse of
Buildings" may be excluded and not apply to some of the
farm building(s) and/or farm
building contents insured on your policy. Please
check your latest policy
Declaration to determine if coverage is
(Emphasis in the original.)
July 6, 2015, Farm Bureau filed a complaint for declaratory
judgment requesting that the circuit court declare that
Hopkins's insurance policy does not cover his loss. Farm
Bureau asserted that although "collapse" is the
eighth of the nine named perils covered by the insurance
policy, it denied Hopkins's claim based on the clear
language in the policy that limits the collapse coverage to
damage caused by "a. a named peril insured against in
the policy; or b. the weight of contents, equipment, animals,
or people; or c. the weight of rain, ice, snow, or sleet on a
roof." None of these causes were the cause of the
collapse; thus, Farm Bureau argued, the loss was not covered
by the policy.  Alternatively, Farm Bureau argued that
exclusions in the policy preclude coverage of certain
water-damage related loss. The policy sets forth that
we do not cover loss resulting directly or indirectly from
the following causes, and such loss is excluded regardless of
any other cause or event contributing ...