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Langill v. Vermont Mutual Insurance Company

United State Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
268 F.3d 46 (2001)


Facts

Grace Langill (plaintiff) owed a property in Norton, Massachusetts. The property was covered by a dwelling fire policy through Vermont Mutual Insurance Company (Vermont Mutual) (defendant). This policy excluded coverage if the property was vacant for more than 60 days. Tenants resided in the property for 12 years but moved out in February 1999. After the tenants vacated the property, Langill’s husband worked to refurbish the property. While Langill’s husband was refurbishing the property, the doors of the property were kept locked, and utilities and heating oil were maintained. While refurbishing the property, Langill’s husband kept items such as tools, a mattress, and a radio in the property. Langill’s husband worked on the property daily and would occasionally socialize in the property with friends or spend the night there. On May 4, 1999, the property caught fire. The Norton Fire Department determined that the fire was the result of arson. Langill made a claim under her insurance policy, and Vermont Mutual denied the claim. In the action that followed, partial summary judgment was granted in favor of Vermont Mutual. Langill appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Coffin, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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