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Movie director burned in case over fire coverage

Movie director burned in case over fire coverage

The director of “Dazed and Confused” saw his longstanding legal battle with his insurer go up in smoke in a Texas courtroom last week.

The Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, at Austin turned down an appeal by filmmaker Richard Linklater, who has been locked in a dispute with his insurer over a 2011 fire which consumed 32,000 acres near Paige, Texas, and destroyed a building owned by Mr. Linklater.

Mr. Linklater's building housed his archives which included film prints, annotated scripts, props and unseen movie footage and was valued at $500,000. Mr. Linklater and his insurer, Truck Insurance Exchange, a unit of Farmers Insurance Group, were at odds over policy language. TIE initially denied Mr. Linklater's claim for the archive, because it was not a “described location” in the policy. Mr. Linklater sued asserting breach of contract, unfair insurance practices, and prompt payment violations.

The appeals court agreed with a lower court ruling in favor of the insurer. “The Coverage Extensions provisions of the commercial property policy do not extend coverage to Linklater's archive because it was not at a location that Linklater acquired during the policy period, but instead was at a location he already owned and that was not one of the premises covered by the policy,” the total bummer of a ruling states.

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