Is Negligent Supervision of an Intentional Tortfeasor an "Occurrence"?

May 23, 2013

The standard business liability policy says that the insurer will pay sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of "bodily injury" or "property damage" caused by an "occurrence" and defines "occurrence" as limited to an "accident." When employees and other supervised people engage in intentional misconduct not covered by the policy, some lawyers will argue that coverage is still afforded under the policy based on claims of negligent hiring, training, retention or supervision of the person engaging in the intentional misconduct. Would such a claim raise a potential for coverage pursuant to current California insurance law?

Lynette Klawon and Neil Selman have written an article, which has been published in the May 16, 2013 issue of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, in which they discuss this question and provide thoughts as to the answer. Lynette Klawon is of counsel at Selman Breitman and focuses on insurance coverage analysis. Neil Selman is the founding and managing partner at Selman Breitman LLP and is highly-experienced at representing insurers in coverage and bad faith litigation. He can be reached at

To read the Daily Journal article, please click on DOWNLOAD FILE link.