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Court Decisions

Adventures in ambiguity

Adventures in ambiguity Christina Basham owned 15 rental properties that were insured by Berkshire Hathaway Homestead Insurance Company for the period of November 17, 2016, to November 17, 2017. Berkshire Hathaway issued one policy to cover all 15 properties and issued declarations for each individual property. One of the covered properties was located in Elwood, Indiana. The declarations for that property described the premises and the coverage provided. Under the

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A line in the sand: Is insurer entitled to relief?

A line in the sand: Is insurer entitled to relief? In October 2016, Guillermo Acosta and Laura Pirela filed a claim with their homeowners insurer, People’s Trust Insurance Company, for water damage to their residence. The insurer sent an inspector to view the damage and notified the insureds that it would exercise its contractual right under the policy to repair the damage. The relevant policy provision stated: If a peril

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Blood is thicker

Blood is thicker Derrick Martins Oliveira filed suit against Commerce Insurance Company to obtain coverage as a “household member” under an automobile policy held by the mother and stepfather of his long-term partner, with whom he had a child. Since 2012 Oliveira had lived with his partner in a single-family unit with her mother and stepfather. On July 18, 2014, Oliveira was seriously injured in a single-automobile accident while a

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Two wrongs don’t make a right

Two wrongs don’t make a right In February 2009, an employee of The Art of Design mailed a box that contained 10 bottles of a chemical product known as Medium Reducer AMR-2712 (“the Reducer”) to an individual in Florida. The Reducer contained toxic chemicals such as toluene. During the shipping process the box was passed through a conveyor system known as a secondary induction-singulator at a U.S. Postal Service processing

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If limits are exhausted, must insurer still defend?

If limits are exhausted, must insurer still defend? A 16-vehicle traffic accident occurred on July 20, 2011. A chain reaction was precipitated when an employee of Joginder Singh, driving Singh’s semitruck, approached congested traffic ahead of him in the right lane without slowing down. He swerved into the adjacent lane and collided with a logging truck owned by Gilliardi Logging and Construction Inc. The momentum of the collision caused the

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