MIAMI — A North Carolina insurance company, in defense of their client, CPM Real Estate Inspections Inc., claims they are not liable for a man who fell off a balcony and injured himself.

The Burlington Insurance Company filed suit Dec. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against CPM Real Estate Inspections Inc. and James O’Reilly, citing a professional services exclusion in reaction to an insurance claim previously filed against the plaintiff.

According to the complaint, The Burlington Insurance Company is the insurance provider for CPM Real Estate Inspections Inc. In 2011, the suit states, the defendant performed a 40-year recertification of the residential apartment building located at 7924 East Drive in North Bay Village, Miami-Dade County.

According to the complaint, on Feb. 1, 2014, defendant O’Reilly was an invitee in an apartment located in the building when he leaned against a balcony railing which snapped, causing O’Reilly to fall off the balcony and land on the concrete floor below. The complaint states O'Reilly is now paraplegic as a result.

O’Reilly demanded the $1 million liability limits of Burlington Insurance Company's policy issued to CPM, which was not accepted. O’Reilly filed a suit against CPM for negligence. The Burlington Insurance Company is currently providing CPM a defense to the lawsuit with mutually agreeable defense counsel under a rights to deny coverage. The Burlington Insurance Company claims that the insurance policy issued to CPM contains a professional services exclusion, including liability for “bodily injury.” The company alleges they have no duty to defend and indemnify CPM for the claim.

The Burlington Insurance Company seeks the court to find they are not responsible for liability coverage or a duty to indemnify the defendant and any other relief deemed fit by the court. They are represented by Jack T. Frost of Kelley Kronenberg in Fort Lauderdale.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Case number 9:15-cv-81752

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