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Horizon West condo owners lose lawsuit against Travelers Insurance

Residents of the condemned Horizon West Condominiums in Waukesha are now on the hook to pay for the building’s demolition. A federal appellate court judge ruled Nov. 17 that their insurance will not cover the cost. The city evacuated the Horizon West Condo complex at West and Dunbar in December 2021, fearing the building could collapse. Rusted support beams led inspectors to believe a collapse was imminent.After nearly two years, many of the residents are still trying to get back on their feet. Residents are not living in the building anymore, but many, like Laurel Peterson, say they are still paying mortgages. “There were a lot of good memories. And it’s hard to believe that now when you look at the building,” Peterson said. Peterson married her wife in the building’s courtyard. The pair wrote a farewell on their condo’s walls as they hurried to pack their things years later: “Two years, six months and 26 days of awesomeness.”The writing is long gone now. Demolition has already started for the building and is set to be completed by the end of the year. For now, the city of Waukesha is paying for demolition, but residents will eventually have to pay the city back through a tax lien, according to a lawsuit the city brought against the homeowners’ association. After the appellate court ruling, Peterson is still looking for a way to pay for it. “For me personally, it means there is not going to be any way to avoid bankruptcy now. It’s going to happen,” she said. Residents filed insurance claims with Travelers Insurance for the loss of their home, but the claims were denied. The 48 residents in the homeowners’ association then sued Travelers, alleging that their policy should cover the loss of property. “This was kind of our last best hope to recover any of the financial investment that we lost in this,” Peterson said. A district court, and most recently an appeals court, ruled the insurance company’s policy does not cover any damages or the building’s demolition, meaning residents will not get insurance money. “Our credit is completely destroyed. We did lose all of our equity. Like, we can’t put down a down payment on a new place,” Peterson said. According to Peterson, right now, the residents do not have any plans to fight the court’s ruling. The homeowners’ association is set to meet to discuss what their options are. WISN 12 News reached out to Travelers Insurance Wednesday, but did not immediately hear back.

Residents of the condemned Horizon West Condominiums in Waukesha are now on the hook to pay for the building’s demolition. A federal appellate court judge ruled Nov. 17 that their insurance will not cover the cost.

The city evacuated the Horizon West Condo complex at West and Dunbar in December 2021, fearing the building could collapse. Rusted support beams led inspectors to believe a collapse was imminent.

After nearly two years, many of the residents are still trying to get back on their feet. Residents are not living in the building anymore, but many, like Laurel Peterson, say they are still paying mortgages.

“There were a lot of good memories. And it’s hard to believe that now when you look at the building,” Peterson said.

Peterson married her wife in the building’s courtyard. The pair wrote a farewell on their condo’s walls as they hurried to pack their things years later: “Two years, six months and 26 days of awesomeness.”

The writing is long gone now. Demolition has already started for the building and is set to be completed by the end of the year. For now, the city of Waukesha is paying for demolition, but residents will eventually have to pay the city back through a tax lien, according to a lawsuit the city brought against the homeowners’ association.

After the appellate court ruling, Peterson is still looking for a way to pay for it.

“For me personally, it means there is not going to be any way to avoid bankruptcy now. It’s going to happen,” she said.

Residents filed insurance claims with Travelers Insurance for the loss of their home, but the claims were denied.

The 48 residents in the homeowners’ association then sued Travelers, alleging that their policy should cover the loss of property.

“This was kind of our last best hope to recover any of the financial investment that we lost in this,” Peterson said.

A district court, and most recently an appeals court, ruled the insurance company’s policy does not cover any damages or the building’s demolition, meaning residents will not get insurance money.

“Our credit is completely destroyed. We did lose all of our equity. Like, we can’t put down a down payment on a new place,” Peterson said.

According to Peterson, right now, the residents do not have any plans to fight the court’s ruling. The homeowners’ association is set to meet to discuss what their options are.

WISN 12 News reached out to Travelers Insurance Wednesday, but did not immediately hear back.

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