Employers Mut. Cas. Co. v. Slack

Jerry and Karen Slack hired Jeffrey Fisher and his construction company, Fisher Builders, to build a remodeled home. During the project, the deck collapsed, and the Slacks’ construction permit was revoked. The Slacks filed a negligence action against Fisher and his company. Fisher had a commercial general liability insurance policy with Employers Mutual Casualty Company (EMC). EMC filed a declaratory action alleging that there was no coverage and that it had no duty to defend or indemnify any party in the negligence action. Fisher and Fisher Builders ultimately settled with the Slacks and assigned their rights under the EMC insurance policy to the Slacks. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of EMC, ruling that Fisher’s conduct was clearly intentional and did not fit within the meaning of “occurrence” under the policy, regardless of whether Fisher intended the consequences. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court (1) erred by concluding that, in the context of general liability insurance, the term “occurrence,” defined by the policy as “an accident,” categorically precludes coverage for any intentional conduct on the part of the insured with unintended results; and (2) erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of EMC, as issues of material fact precluded summary judgment. Remanded. View "Employers Mut. Cas. Co. v. Slack" on Justia Law