The Chanin Building, 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 725, New York, New York 10168

Blog Post

Plant Company’s Growing Stock Ruined, Insurance Company Forced to Pay Claim

Plant Company’s Growing Stock Ruined, Insurance Company Forced to Pay Claim by Evan Schwartz

A Michigan federal judge recently granted a large plant-growing company’s summary judgment motion in a case against its insurer over coverage for thousands of plants that died following a cooling system breakdown. Not surprisingly, the court based its ruling on the interpretation of the language of the insurance policy.

The business and plaintiff in the case, Sawyer Nursery, has 300 greenhouses in Michigan and suffered a power outage that disabled the blower fans that keeps its plants from wilting. The plants died, and the company filed its claim with its insurer, the New Hampshire Insurance Co. But the insurance company reimbursed Sawyer only $5,000 for spoilage, while Sawyer claimed that its policy’s growing stock endorsement should cover all $237,000 of the total loss sustained during the incident.

The judge agreed with Sawyer Nursery, rejecting the insurance company’s argument that the loss was excluded under the “Stock Provision” in the insurance policy. Though the policy contained a specific stock exclusion, the policy provided coverage for “growing stock’ that was not specifically excluded. The stock itself was considered to be raw material or finished products being stored in anticipation of a sale. But “growing stock” was considered to be plants that are still being cultivated. The court ruled that the damaged growing stock was covered and therefore not excluded as”Stock.”                         

Because the insurance company’s policy language was not broad enough to exclude the damaged growing stock, Sawyer Nursery’s loss was covered.                           

What is the takeaway? Don’t accept an insurance company’s determination as to what is and what is not covered without first consulting with a qualified lawyer. 

Please contact us with any questions or comments.



Evan S. Schwartz
Founder of Schwartz Law

what our clients say about us


  • We as a society are not prepared to deal with catastrophic illness, and although I was smart enough to have taken out a Long-term Disability policy in my thirties, the

    Long Term Disability Client – California
  • Desperate and devastated with everything to lose, I put my life in the hands of Evan and Michail on faith. In my heart I always believed they would deliver, and

    Lawyer – Oklahoma
  • During the most trying part of my life, Schwartz Law’s attorneys were fighting for my life. I was physically just barely up on my own two feet, with a diagnosis

    Long Term Care Client – New York
  • A company made an error in how they sold me my long-term disability insurance policy and they offered me a lump sum settlement. I did not fully understand the offer

    Physician–New York
  • My claim was denied by my insurance company. My medical condition wasn’t understood by my physicians. My first attorney gave me terrible advice. My family faced financial ruin without the

    Physician – New York

Latest News

Send us a message

Manhattan Offices

The Chanin Building, 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 725, New York, New York 10168

Toll Free: (800) 745-1755
Phone: (212) 608-5445

Garden City Office

666 Old Country Road, Ninth Floor, Garden City, New York 11530

Toll Free: (800) 745-1755
Phone: (516) 745-1122
Fax: (516) 745-0844