MOSCOW, March 20 - RAPSI. The Moscow Commercial Court has suspended proceedings in the Strabag AG construction company's $31.5 million lawsuit against a major insurer.

Strabag challenged the indemnity amount paid by the Ingosstrakh, Chartis and ACE insurance companies for an accident that occurred when a multiple-story underground parking lot collapsed in the Vivaldi Plaza office and hotel complex in Moscow in September 2009.

The court postponed the case to hold a technical examination.

The building was built by Strabag AG.

The petition for a loss assessment was filed by the defendants and supported by the claimant. Strabag agreed that the assessment would be carried out by the Justice Ministry's Federal Center of Forensic Inquiry, as proposed by the defendants

Strabag said in court that the parking area collapsed due to mistakes in the design documents. Later, the building superstructure also sagged and cracked. Strabag believes that both cases are a continuing insurance event caused by mistakes during the design stage.

The claim amount includes 352 million rubles ($12 million) in damages related to the accident in the parking area and 569 million rubles ($19.2 million) in damages related to superstructure cracks.

Meanwhile, the insurance companies said the cracks and flexures do not justify insurance cases and are not linked with the parking lot's collapse. They also stated that they refused to pay the insurance indemnity because the cracks and flexures are construction defects.

The parties also disagree on the indemnity payable for parking area damage. The insurers estimate the losses at 61 million rubles ($2 million), while Strabag wants its actual costs back, i.e. 352 million rubles ($12 million).

The Austrian Strabag construction group was founded in 1835. Strabag has been operating in Russia since 1991 under the "Ilbau" brand. Strabag's Russian division was founded in 1999.

Founded in 1947, Ingosstrakh is Russia's leading insurance company. It operates offices in 231 towns and cities across Russia.

The Chartis Group is the world's property and life insurance leader. It serves over 70 million clients in more than 160 countries.