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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Charles Blakely had a State Farm auto insurance policy. His policy defined “loss,” and the limit of liability section defined the limit as being the actual cash value of the vehicle or the cost of repair or replacement. “Cost of repair” was further defined as being based on an agreed-upon cost of repair or replacement, a competitive bid approved by State Farm, or an estimate based on prevailing competitive prices. Under the “settlement loss” section, State Farm was given the right to either pay the agreed-upon actual cash value at the time of the loss � in exchange for the property � or pay to repair or replace the property. Blakely submitted a claim to State Farm for repairs and reimbursements, which State Farm adjusted and paid. Blakely believed, however, that under the policy, he was entitled to payment for the diminished values of his vehicles: the difference in the fair market value of his vehicle just prior to the accident and the fair market value of his vehicles post-repair. State Farm refused to make such a payment, so Blakely and other policy holders who had made similar claims filed a class action suit against State Farm in Mississippi district court in July 2002. The case was removed to federal district court on diversity grounds, and the district court then granted State Farm’s motion to dismiss. HOLDING:Affirmed. Applying the substantive insurance law of Mississippi, the court first considers whether the district court was correct in finding the policy language unambiguous. The court agrees with the district court’s finding, noting that, while the Mississippi Supreme Court initially recognized the concept of diminished value in another case, the policy in that case only provided that the insurer “may pay for the loss in money or may repair or replace the automobile or such part thereof . . . or may take all or any part of the automobile at the agreed or appraised value, but there may be no abandonment to the company.” Here, however, the policy expressly limits the definition of “repair” or “cost of repair.” “This particular policy did not merely define loss, explain the limit of liability as the lower of cash value or cost of repair or replacement, and describe the three ways that a loss can be settled between the insured and State Farm, but it also explicitly outlined the three bases for such”cost of repair or replacement.’ . . . There is no mention of additional recovery for any loss in, or diminished, value; nor can any policy text be understood in its”plain, ordinary, and popular sense,’ . . . to mean such diminished value is recoverable.” Addressing public policy arguments raised by Blakely, the court says it cannot find any pronouncement by Mississippi’s legislative or judicial branch required that diminished value be part of all automobile insurance policies. OPINION:Per curiam; Davis, Smith and DeMoss, JJ.

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