KLRW Prevails on Behalf of Insurance Company in Coverage Case Based on Assault and Battery Exclusion

Kevin Wolff selected as Band 1 insurance coverage attorney by Chambers USA for 2020
August 1, 2020
September 14, 2020

Kevin Wolff and Kathleen Devlin recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of an insurer. The plaintiff initiated an action against a tavern and a bouncer. The plaintiff alleged, among other things, that a bouncer at the tavern negligently assaulted him and that the tavern negligently hired, trained and supervised the bouncer. KLRW’s client, the tavern’s insurer, was also a defendant. The plaintiff asserted that he was a third-party beneficiary of the insurance policy. Although there were multiple reasons that supported the insurer’s position of no coverage, KLRW moved for summary judgment based solely on the Assault and Battery Exclusion.

After oral argument, the Court agreed that the Assault and Battery Exclusion was unambiguous and applied to all of the claims in the complaint. The Court rejected plaintiff’s argument that a fact question existed because the bouncer said he did not intend to hurt the plaintiff. The Court agreed with KLRW’s argument that even if the bouncer did not intend to hurt plaintiff, the Assault and Battery Exclusion would apply because it applies to acts or omissions in connection with an assault. The Court found that the Assault and Battery Exclusion contained in the policy plainly excluded from coverage the plaintiff’s claims based on an assault, including negligent hiring, training and supervision, and bodily injuries arising out of the assault.

Please contact Kevin Wolff or Kathleen Devlin for additional information regarding these types of matters or coverage advice.