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Insurance Coverage: Court denies insurance company’s summary judgment motion as statute of limitations tolled due to pandemic

The defendant, Allstate Insurance Company, filed a motion for summary judgment claiming that the plaintiff’s complaint was barred by the statute of limitations as her negligence claim was filed beyond three years after the date of her alleged injuries as well as the time limitations contained in her insurance policy with Allstate.

The plaintiff has filed an objection to the defendant’s motion, arguing that the case is not barred by the statute of limitations nor the time limitations contained in her policy, given the Governor’s Executive Order 7G. As to the statute of limitations, the court finds that this issue has already been raised by Allstate in its previous motion to strike which was decided adversely to the defendant and is not subject to a new ruling. As to the time limitations contained in the insurance policy, the court must determine whether Executive Order 7G effectively suspends the limitations period contained in the policy and if the answer is yes, is that suspension a “law impairing the obligation of contracts” within the meaning of U.S. Const. art. 1, § 10?

Upon review, the court finds that the Executive Order expressly suspends “all-time requirements…” including those that are contractual as well as statutory. Therefore, the answer to the first question is yes. As for the second question, the court explains that the State has unquestioned power to protect the health of its citizens during an emergency such as a pandemic. Thus, Executive Order 7G was a reasonable response to that emergency and it does not impair the contractual language of the insurance policy. The court thus denies the defendant’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety. Brar v. Allstate Ins. Co., UWY-CV22-6065137-S, 2023 WL 3993244 (Conn. Super. Ct. June 7, 2023).