The co-producer of such films as the 2000 Tom Hanks-Helen Hunt movie “Cast Away” is suing AIG Property Casualty Co. for allegedly wrongfully denying coverage after a water main break occurred at his Beverly Hills home in 2020.
Plaintiff Jack Rapke’s Santa Monica Superior Court lawsuit alleges breach of contract and seeks unspecified damages as well as a judge’s finding that the insurer is obligated to pay for the cost of replacing the broken pipe and pay for the damage caused by the leak.
“This case involves defendant AIG Property Casualty Co.’s wrongful and repeated attempts to deny coverage for property damage to its insured under an AIG Private Client Group homeowners policy despite no rationale or reasonable ground to do so,” the suit filed Thursday states.
An AIG representative could not be immediately reached for comment.
AIG issued the policy to Rapke in March 2020 and it was effective through March of this year, according to the suit. The policy is an “open-peril” or “all-risk” policy, meaning that it insures against any physical loss or damage at Rapke’s home unless AIG proves that an exclusion applies.
In August 2020, the water main pipeline at Rapke’s home broke and the flow of water caused a landslide, the suit states. The loss was covered by the policy because the pipeline qualified as a “permanent structure” and the rupture and leak amounted to physical damage, the suit stated.
Rapke submitted a claim a month later and AIG hired an engineering firm to conduct an investigation into the cause of the loss, the suit states. Last October, AIG denied coverage, finding that the pool and main residence had “no visible damage resulting from the event,” according to the suit.
AIG did not dispute that the water pipe suffered damage, resulting in a leak and extensive damage to Rapke’s property, the suit states.
Rapke challenged the denial of coverage, but in April AIG stood by its position despite admitting in writing that “there is no indication of when or how the leakage in the pipe originated,” the suit states.
“In other words, AIG conceded that AIG declined coverage for the loss without any evidence regarding the cause of the loss, much less that the cause was somehow an excluded cause,” the suit states. “This is the essence of bad faith: an unsupported and unreasonable declination of coverage.”
Rapke challenged AIG’s denial of coverage again in June, but the company once again refused to change its position, telling the producer in a letter the next month that the pipe was not “situated on the grounds of your residence,” the suit states.
Rapke also co-produced the 2012 Denzel Washington film “Flight” as well as the computer-animated movies “The Polar Express” in 2004 and “A Christmas Carol” in 2009.
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