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INSURANCE COVERAGE: Appellate Court affirms trial court’s finding that insurer had no duty to defend insureds in third party action brought by assault victim

INSURANCE COVERAGE: Appellate Court Affirms Trial Court’s Finding That Insurer Had No Duty To Defend Insureds In Third Party Action Brought By Assault Victim

An elderly woman who was the victim of a home invasion and assault committed by a fifteen-year old boy sued the assailant and his mother for her injuries, alleging that the mother negligently failed to supervise the boy when she knew or should have known that the boy was a danger to himself and others.

The mother presented defense of the claims to the plaintiff, her homeowner’s insurer, which initially filed appearances in both actions but then withdrew its appearance as to the boy’s case.  The boy was then defaulted for failure to appear and damages and costs were awarded against him.  While the mother’s case was pending, the plaintiff insurer sought a declaratory judgment that it owed no duty to defend or indemnify either the boy or the mother in the actions filed by the assault victim.

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, and defendants appealed.  The Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment, agreeing that the boy’s actions were intentional acts and thus did not constitute an “occurrence” under the policy and that the exclusion for bodily injury arising out of physical abuse negated its duty to defend or indemnify the mother.

General Insurance Co. of America v. Okeke, 182 Conn.App. 83 (2018)