United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
A. MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
28, 2018, Zurich American Insurance Company of Illinois
(“Plaintiff” or “Zurich”) filed suit
against Accuire, LLC. (“Defendant” or
“Accuire”), alleging breach of contract. Compl.,
ECF 1. Two months later, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment. Mot. Summ. J. (“Mot.”), ECF No. 14.
Defendant failed to timely file an opposition to this motion
in accordance with Local Rule 230(c). Because Plaintiff
established that no genuine issues of material fact exist,
the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion for Summary
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
issued a workers' compensation insurance policy to
Defendant. Comp. ¶ 7. The initial premium charged for
the policy was an estimate subject to adjustment based on a
payroll and renumeration audit to be performed after the
conclusion of the policy period. Compl. ¶ 7. Once the
policy period ended, Plaintiff completed the audit and sent
the results to Defendant along with demand for payment of an
additional premium totaling $491, 614. Compl. ¶ 9.
Defendant has not paid any portion of the amount owed. Compl.
filed suit against Defendant alleging that Defendant breached
their written insurance contract by failing to pay the
additional premium of $491, 614 owed after the payroll audit,
as required by the terms of the contract. Mot. at 6.
Defendant asserts the following three defenses:
1. Plaintiff's managing general agent orally promised
Defendant's broker that the rates used in the audit would
be the rates that were in effect at an earlier time;
2. Neither Defendant's insurance broker nor
Defendant's principals read the written insurance
contract that included the rates to be charged for the policy
prior to accepting the written insurance contract; and
3. Defendant was improperly charged a higher than originally
quoted experience modification rating when the additional
premium was calculated after the payroll audit.
must grant a party's motion for summary judgment
“if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 56(a).
The movant bears the initial burden of “informing the
district court of the basis for its motion and identifying
[the documents] which is believes demonstrate the absence of
a genuine issue of a material fact.” Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). A fact is material
if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Once the movant makes
this initial showing, the burden rests upon the nonmoving
party to “set forth specific facts showing that there
is a genuine issue for trial.” Id. An issue of
fact is genuine if “the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
Plaintiff establishes in its Motion for Summary Judgment,
Accuire's defenses are without merit and thus, Plaintiff
in entitled to judgment as a matter of law. With regard to
the first defense, the written contract, by its own terms,
makes clear that it was a fully integrated agreement. Exh. B
to Aff. of Sheryl Totzke, ECF No. 14-4, at 60 (“. . .
[T]his policy, including all endorsements forming a part
thereof, constitutes the entire contract of
insurance”). And under California law, the unambiguous
terms of a fully integrated agreement make alleged prior
statements or representations regarding different or
contradictory terms inadmissible parol evidence.
Masterson v. Sine,68 Cal.2d 222, ...