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INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court grants summary judgment pursuant to business pursuit exclusion

The underlying lawsuit alleged that the plaintiff was injured when he grasped the metal handle of the front door, and received an electric shock, throwing him backwards.  The underlying complaint alleged that the named insured “dba Hair Pizzazz” through its agents, servants and employees “owned, managed, controlled and possessed property known as Hair Pizzazz” and further alleged that the plaintiff was a “business invitee” on the premises when he was injured.

The insured provided a defense under a reservation of rights and then brought a declaratory judgment action, asserting that it had no duty to defend or indemnify under a homeowners policy pursuant to an exclusion for “bodily injury … arising out of the past or present business activities of an insured person”.

The court reviews the complaint in the underlying action and concludes that the business exclusion bars a duty to defend and indemnify.  In reviewing an affidavit provided by the insured, the court concluded that it did not raise a genuine issue of material fact “because its assertions that [the insured] is friendly with Pellegrino and did not charge him for the haircut he received that day demonstrate only that Pellegrino’s injuries arose out of, that is was ‘connected to’ or was ‘incident to’ the cutting of hair which is the business activity conducted by Reyes on the insured property.  The haircutting provided to Pellegrino by Reyes the day of his injuries certainly arose out of the use of any part of the premises for business purposes.”

Allstate Ins. Co. v. Reyes, 2016 WL 7975861 (Conn. Super. Noble, J.)