Are Mold And Rot Excluded, Or Just Damage “Resulting From” Them?

Normally I comment only on brand new cases, but someone brought my attention to a Minnesota Court of Appeals case from July 2006, and I just had to say something.  This case is Bloom v. Western National Mutual Ins. Co., 2006 WL 1806415 (July 3, 2006).  I looked for it on the court’s website but didn’t find it, so no link.

In this case, the underlying district court engaged in some of the most egregious sophistry I can recall seeing in years.  The issue was a "wear and tear" exclusion in a homeowners policy, which precluded coverage for loss "which results from . . . wet or dry rot, corrosion, [or] mold . . . ."  The home had apparently been built with a number of construction defects, leading to water infiltration and rot and mold.  The district court said the damage was covered, because — and here I read it three times to make sure I was seeing right — while loss "resulting from" rot and mold is excluded, ROT AND MOLD THEMSELVES ARE COVERED.   Fortunately, the Court of Appeals reversed and granted the insurer’s summary judgment motion.

You tell me what the difference is between rot and mold and damages resulting from rot and mold, and I will nominate you for a district judgeship in Minnesota.  This is the kind of argument that abuses the process of reason and really turned Plato against the Sophists

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