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ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS [Hon. Michael A. Ponsor, U.S. District Judge]

On March 20, 1996, Daniel and Deborah Meggison notified their insurer, Preferred Mutual Insurance Company, that their home had suffered two types of damage: water damage and damage from a partial collapse under the weight of snow. Preferred paid the water damage claim but denied the remaining claim. The denial was based in part on an exclusion for errors, omissions, or defects. A re-inspection of the home, at the Meggisons’ request, did not change Preferred’s position.

Preferred then sought a declaratory judgment that its denial was appropriate. The Meggisons counterclaimed for breach of contract and violation of M.G.L. ch. 93A and ch. 176D. A jury returned a verdict for the insurance company; in two special interrogatories, it found that the snow load was the proximate cause of the damage but also that the damage resulted “in some significant way, from an act, error, or omission relating to the design, specification, construction, workmanship or installation of the property, or the maintenance of the property, or a defect in the materials used in the construction of the property.” The court had instructed the jury that losses in which such excluded events played a “significant” role were not covered by the policy. *fn1 Accordingly, the district court ruled for the insurer. The Meggisons sought a new trial, or to alter or amend the judgment; the district court denied the motions.

 
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