Impaired Property Exclusion Bars Coverage When Loose Bolt Interferes with MRI Unit Operation

Bolt and screw on metal background

Coverage barred due to insured's failure to tighten a loose bolt that resulted in stray magnetic fields interfering with MRI machine operation.

May 16, 2018
Christopher Kendrick & Valerie A. Moore - Haight Brown & Bonesteel, LLP

In All Green Electric v. Security National Ins. Co. (No. B279456, filed 3/19/18, ord. pub. 4/17/18), a California appeals court ruled that the impaired property exclusion barred coverage for a claim based on the insured’s failure to tighten a loose bolt that resulted in stray magnetic fields interfering with operation of an MRI machine and allegedly threatening the health of personnel.

All Green was an electrical contractor hired to perform wiring for an MRI unit installation. Stray magnetic fields interfered with the unit’s operation. Efforts to remediate the problem included installing shielding and ultimately relocating the unit to another room. An expert finally determined that a bolt left loose by All Green was causing the magnetic field, which disappeared when the bolt was properly tightened. The facility sought damages for negligence, including costs for unnecessary modifications and repairs, payments to outside sources for substitute mammography testing, operational costs and expenses, damage to reputation, lost profits, and the loss of an HMO contract.

Reprinted courtesy of Christopher Kendrick, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Valerie A. Moore, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP
Mr. Kendrick may be contacted at ckendrick@hbblaw.com
Ms. Moore may be contacted at vmoore@hbblaw.com



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