Olivet Baptist Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Compa


Filed Nonprecedential Disposition PER CURIAM. AFFIRMED. Joel M. Flaum, Circuit Judge; Frank H. Easterbrook, Circuit Judge and Diane S. Sykes, Circuit Judge. [6811408-1] [6811408] [16-1689]

Download PDF
Case: 16-1689 Document: 58 Filed: 01/13/2017 NONPRECEDENTIAL  DISPOSITION   Pages: 2 To  be  cited  only  in  accordance  with  Fed.  R.  App.  P.  32.1 United States Court of Appeals For  the  Seventh  Circuit Chicago,  Illinois  60604   Argued  January  11,  2017   Decided  January  13,  2017       Before                   No.  16-­‐‑1689     JOEL  M.  FLAUM,  Circuit  Judge     FRANK  H.  EASTERBROOK,  Circuit  Judge     DIANE  S.  SYKES,  Circuit  Judge   Appeal   from   the   United   States   District   Court   for   the   Northern   District   of   Illinois,   Eastern  Division.     No.  13  C  1625   Gary  Scott  Feinerman,  Judge.   OLIVET  BAPTIST  CHURCH,     Plaintiff-­‐‑Appellant,       v.   CHURCH  MUTUAL  INSURANCE  COMPANY,     Defendant-­‐‑Appellee.     Order     Church  Mutual  issued  a  policy  to  Olivet  Baptist  Church,  which  contends  that  it  suf-­‐‑ fered  wind  and  rain  damage  from  a  storm  on  March  1,  2011,  the  day  after  the  policy   went  into  effect.  The  insurer  concluded  that  the  damage  predated  the  policy  and  de-­‐‑ clined  to  pay  the  claim.  This  litigation,  under  the  diversity  jurisdiction,  followed.     The  district  court  entered  summary  judgment  for  the  insurer,  ruling  that  the  Church   had  failed  to  show  that  weather  on  March  1  caused  damage  or  made  existing  damage   worse.  2016  U.S.  Dist.  LEXIS  245294  (N.D.  Ill.  Feb.  29,  2016).  The  district  court  treated   most  of  the  insurer’s  factual  submissions  as  unopposed,  because  the  Church  failed  to     Case: 16-1689 No.  16-­‐‑1689   Document: 58 Filed: 01/13/2017 Pages: 2 Page  2   contest  them  in  the  form  required  by  Local  Rule  56.1(b).  We  have  held  that  the  district   court  is  entitled  to  enforce  that  rule  in  precisely  the  way  it  enforced  the  rule  in  this  liti-­‐‑ gation.  See,  e.g.,  Flint  v.  Belvidere,  791  F.3d  764,  767  (7th  Cir.  2015);  Stevo  v.  Frasor,  662   F.3d  880,  886–87  (7th  Cir.  2011);  Ciomber  v.  Cooperative  Plus,  Inc.,  527  F.3d  635  (7th  Cir.   2008).  Yet  the  Church’s  appellate  brief  ignores  those  decisions,  even  though  the  district   judge  cited  them.  Indeed,  it  ignores  the  local  rule  and  does  not  mention  the  principal   reason  the  Church  lost  in  the  district  court.  The  Church’s  reply  brief  continues  to  ignore   the  rule,  though  the  Church  does  ask  us  to  bypass  the  subject  “in  light  of  all  principles   of  equity  and  justice.”  That  approach  is  doomed.  An  appellant  must  engage  head  on  the   reasons  it  lost  in  the  district  court.  It  cannot  hope  that  the  issues  will  go  away.  We  have   held  that  district  courts  may  enforce  their  local  rules  on  how  the  summary-­‐‑judgment   process  is  structured.  No  more  need  be  said  to  resolve  this  appeal.     Bending  over  backward,  the  district  court  looked  at  the  expert  reports  submitted  by   the  Church,  just  to  assure  itself  that  no  injustice  was  being  committed.  It  found  that  one   of  the  Church’s  expert  witnesses  had  not  presented  any  opinion  on  the  vital  causation   question,  and  that  the  other  expert,  who  first  examined  the  property  in  2015,  lacked   both  relevant  experience  and  a  reliable  basis  for  concluding  that  events  of  March  1,   2011,  had  caused  the  damage.  None  of  these  conclusions  is  clearly  erroneous  or  an   abuse  of  discretion.   AFFIRMED  

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?