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Title insurer owes no duty to defend claims of reciprocal negative easement

Kevin T. Blaser and others sued to impose restrictions on property owned by Dale M. DeVries and Pernella Fowler. They argued that a seventh lot subdivided by the third-party defendants had mistakenly omitted the sought-after restrictions applicable to six contiguous lots and that the restrictions should be imposed. The defendants sought coverage and a defense from their title insurer, First American Title.  The title company sought summary disposition, relying on exclusions in the policy language for title risks that did not appear in the chain of title in public records.  The trial court had held that the exclusion language in the policy did not apply, however the Court of Appeals reversed.  It held that the language "clearly applied" to the pending claims and therefore the insurer owed no duty to defend the case.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262