Edson & Walker Win Summary Judgment for Insurance Carrier In Underlying Class Action Suit
Selman Breitman attorneys Eldon Edson (Los Angeles) and Lorrie Walker (San Diego) won summary judgment on behalf of an insurance carrier client in a disputed coverage matter involving the duty to defend. The underlying class action lawsuit involved allegations that the insured, a scuba equipment retailer, violated various consumer rights and unfair competition laws by selling and distributing faulty dive computers. The class action alleged that the insured knew about the defects in the dive computers and deliberately failed to inform consumers about the defects, and the defects could potentially cause bodily injury to divers. However, the class action expressly excluded any members from the class who assert claims for personal injury.
The insurer declined to defend the insured on the basis that the class action lawsuit did not allege "bodily injury" or "property damage" constituting a covered "occurrence" under the policy's insuring agreement. The insured brought a declaratory relief and bad faith lawsuit against the carrier seeking a determination that there was a duty to defend the class action and seeking punitive damages. The client's motion for summary judgment was granted by the San Diego Superior Court ruling that the allegations in the class action did not constitute covered "bodily injury" or "property damage."
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