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INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court holds that restaurant not entitled to a defense with regard to assault on customer

INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court Holds That Restaurant Not Entitled To A Defense With Regard To Assault On Customer

The general liability insurer filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that there was no duty to defend the insured restaurant with regard to an alleged failure to train, unsafe premises, service of alcohol to intoxicated and underage individuals, and negligent hiring.  A customer at the restaurant was allegedly assaulted by another customer.

The Superior Court holds that the assault does not qualify as an accident or occurrence for the purposes of insurance and therefore concludes that the insurance carrier lacked a duty to defend or indemnify.  The court stated that the direct causative act resulting in the injuries was an assault by a third-party patron, and that the assault could not be an unintended accident.

Mesa Underwriters Specialty Ins. v. Bella Fiore, February 11, 2016

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