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INSURANCE LITIGATION: Superior Court holds no duty to defend assault and battery exclusion where plaintiff’s claim arises solely from an assault

The plaintiff was injured when she was assaulted when multiple altercations broke out at Zen Bar.  Plaintiff obtained a $131,500 judgment against Zen Bar and brought the current action against Zen Bar’s insurance carrier Starr Indemnity to collect her judgment.  The Superior Court held there was no duty to defend Zen Bar where the insurance policy had an assault and battery exclusion that the court found was “broad and unambiguous, and applies to preclude any obligation to defend where the plaintiff’s injury is the result of an assault or arises from an assault.”  The court reasoned that the plaintiff’s original complaint and final complaint in the action “describe no other manner in which the plaintiff was injured except for the assault.”  The court cited Connecticut Supreme Court case Kelly v. Figueiredo, 223 Conn. 31, 610 A.2d 1296 (1992), which held that an assault and battery exclusion “unambiguously relieved the insurer of any obligation to defend or indemnify the insured, and that the Dram Shop Act ‘evinces no intent by the legislature to ensure a minimum amount of coverage ….’”   Lindsey Marco v. Starr Indemnity and Liability Company, CV17-6038789; April 16, 2019.