In an insurance dispute over coverage for the collapse of a West Philadelphia Episcopal church’s 117-year-old steeple, a federal judge has ruled that neither side is entitled to summary judgment because a jury must decide whether the collapse was the result of decades of deterioration and neglect, or an act of God.

In his 18-page opinion in GuideOne Elite Insurance Co. v. Diocese of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic of the Reformed Episcopal Church, Senior U.S. District Judge Robert F. Kelly found that “the legal issue in this case comes down to one factual disagreement — whether lightning caused the steeple to fall or whether the steeple collapsed on its own.”

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