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NY court clarifies vandalism insurance

ALBANY (AP) -- The top New York court says property insurance against vandalism includes coverage for malicious damage that isn't specifically aimed at the insured property.
  
The ruling comes from a claim by Georgitsi Realty, owner of a four-story apartment building in Brooklyn, against Penn-Star Insurance Co.
  
The owner says excavation next door cracked the walls and foundations of the building, but those contractors ignored fines and a court order to stop.
  
In answering questions about New York law for the ongoing federal case, the Court of Appeals says acts not specifically directed at a property may be vandalism when they are malicious, with such deliberate disregard for others to be "willful or wanton."
 
In a partial dissent, Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam would exclude malicious acts where damaging property was not the primary intent.
  
AP-WF-10-18-13 0703GMT