Despite the need to shore up the ceiling, the building was not in a state of collapse under the language of the policy. Ravinia Vouge Cleaners v. Travelers Cas. Ins. Co. of Am., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123594 (N.D. Ill. July 24, 2019).
Ravinia Cleaners held a property policy issued by Travelers for the building from which it operated its dry-cleaning business. On February 2, 2015, there was heavy snowfall. On February 4, Ravinia reported to Travelers a leak coming from the ceiling. A temporary "shoring " was placed on the ceiling. Ravinia reported to Travelers that there was damage to the roof on February 25, 2015. Travelers hired an engineer who observed a buckling truss and roof displacing downward. The inspector recommended that the building be vacated and not occupied until adequate shoring was in place.
Travelers denied coverage because the building was in a state of imminent collapse which was caused by the weight of ice and snow, and defective construction of the truss system. The policy excluded damage relating to a "collapse of a building." Collapse was defined by the policy as "an abrupt falling down or caving in of a building or any part of a building," such that the building could not be occupied for its intended purpose. There were exceptions to the exclusion, however, if the cause of the collapse was: (1) weight of snow; or (2) use of defective materials or methods in construction if the collapse occurred after construction. The policy also excluded damage from a building being in a state of imminent collapse unless the damage was caused by: (1) weight of snow; or (2) use of defective materials or methods in construction if the collapse occurred during construction.