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INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court finds a breach of the duty to defend based upon “arising out of” language

INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court Finds A Breach Of The Duty To Defend Based Upon “arising Out Of” Language

The underlying lawsuit arose out of a 2012 fall while the plaintiff was on her way to a ladies room at a restaurant located at a public golf course owned by the City of Waterbury.  The plaintiff sued the restaurant and the City.  The City’s insurer failed to defend.  The court now concludes that the failure to defend was in breach of its duty under the applicable insurance policy.

The policy provided coverage “with respect to liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of that part of any premises leased” to the restaurant in issue at the golf course.  The insurer argued that the premises leased did not include the ladies room.  The court rejected that argument, stating that even if that was true, it could not be reasonably concluded that the use of the restroom by restaurant customers would not be connected with, incident to, growing out of or having its origins in the consumption of food or drink at the restaurant.

The court concludes that the allegations in the underlying Complaint appeared to bring the injury within the scope of coverage and therefore triggered a duty to defend.

City of Waterbury v. Hospitality Franchise Assoc., CV14-6025014 (Conn.Super. Roraback, J.)(Dec. 22, 2015)