SC denies Ayala’s claim vs insurance firm over 2007 mall blast
The Supreme Court (SC) has denied the bid of Ayala Land Inc. to hold an insurance company liable for the 2007 explosion that rocked Glorietta 2 in Makati City.
In a five-page extended minute resolution dated October 17, 2018 but made public only on Wednesday, the high court upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) that dismissed Ayala’s claim against Standard Insurance Co. Inc.
The case by Ayala for specific performance against Standard was initially filed before the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 65, but the court dismissed the case prompting Ayala to take the case to the CA, which also affirmed the lower court’s order.
Ayala consequently sought a reversal of the appeals court’s ruling but the SC said Ayala failed “to show that the CA erred in affirming the dismissal of its complaint for specific performance and damages against Standard Insurance.”
The high court also said the findings of the Makati court should be given great weight especially since the CA also affirmed its ruling.
Ayala has an “all risks” Collective Policy (COMMAR Policy) where Standard undertook to indemnify Ayala in any sudden and physical destruction or damage to its property except when it was due to “excluded risks.”
Excluded risks include pollution, war, invasion, martial law or state of siege, and acts of terrorism.
The SC noted that Ayala itself said several times that the explosion was due to an explosive device and cited an official statement of the company expressing its disappointment on the findings of the government’s Multi-Agency Task Force that the cause was the buildup of methane gas and diesel vapor.
“To suddenly claim that the explosion was not caused by an explosive device simply because Malayan Insurance denied its claim under its Terrorism policy with the latter is merely an afterthought that cannot be considered by this court,” the high court said.
It likewise pointed out that even if they will affirm that the explosion was due to the buildup of methane gas and diesel vapor, it will still fall under the “excluded risks” of pollution.
The October 19, 2007 blast at Glorietta 2 left 11 people dead and over 100 people injured. Investigation showed the cause of the explosion was the buildup of methane gas and diesel vapor in the basement of the mall. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.