Monday, October 10, 2016

Can You Find The The Mistake?

State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Gloria
(Sup. Ct., Suffolk Co., decided 3/14/2016)

When I was blogging regularly I rarely blogged about decisions from trial-level courts.  Trial-level decisions are rarely significant enough to merit your time and my effort on these pages.  But I came across this decision today and decided to throw it on here as a sort of can-you-find-the-mistake exercise.

We all know that for liability insurers the duty to defend is broader than the duty to indemnify and is determined, in the first instance, by the allegations of the complaint.  You may also know that once that the liability insurer can establish that it will have no duty to indemnify, its duty to defend terminates.  And that collateral estoppel, when applicable, precludes the re-litigation in a subsequent action of an issue raised and decided against an insured in a prior action.

I think the court made a mistake in deciding State Farm's motion for summary judgment.  Can you find it?  Comment below if you can.

1 comment:

Tom Murin said...

"State Farm has demonstrated that Gloria's acts were intentional and therefore not an occurrence under the homeowner's policy as an intentional act is not an "accident."
"the Court finds that the policy provisions are not ambiguous, and that the dispute
between the parties turns on whether the alleged assault constitutes an occurrence
or loss under the State Farm policies."
If State Farm demonstrated the acts were intentional - what is left to prove? I think after the criminal plea/conviction it is no longer an "alleged" assault.