Defense prevails in insurance coverage and bad faith case.
The defense prevailed on a motion for judgment on the pleadings in a declaratory judgment action seeking liability coverage in a catastrophic injury case. The plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his wife when she veered off the road and struck a pedestrian, nearly killing him. The pedestrian sued the plaintiff in a separate action, alleging he got out of the vehicle, rolled the pedestrian over, saw he was “mortally wounded,” got back in the vehicle, and fled the scene without rendering aid or calling for help. The pedestrian sued the plaintiff for negligently failing to render aid and assistance. The plaintiff brought his declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that he was entitled to defense and indemnity under the liability coverage afforded by his homeowner’s policy. Mike and Julie argued there was no coverage in the first instance because the the insured’s conduct was not “accidental.” Subject to exclusions, the policy provides liability coverage for any occurrence that causes bodily injury. “Occurrence” is defined in the policy to mean an “accident” that results in bodily injury. In addition, they argued that certain exclusions would bar coverage, including an exclusion for bodily injury arising from the “use” of a motor vehicle and exclusions for expected or intended injury and willful or malicious acts. The court agreed and granted final judgment in favor of our client.