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Insurance dispute divides Court of Appeals

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A split Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s finding that a landlord was not covered by the tenant’s insurance policy.

After pipes in a warehouse sprinkler system burst, the tenant’s insurance company, Erie Insurance Exchange filed a subrogation lawsuit against the building’s owner Rangeline LLC.

The trial court concluded Erie did not owe Rangeline a defense or indemnity in the underlying litigation.

On appeal, Rangeline argued that the additional insured endorsement in the policy provided coverage. Moreover, Rangeline asserted the A/I Endorsement language did not restrict coverage to only claims for which the landlord would have liability due to the actions of the tenant but instead extended a broader grant of coverage for any liability arising out of the leased premises.

Erie countered no coverage existed under the A/I Endorsement because the sprinkler system was not part of the premises leased to the tenant. Erie cited the Indiana Administrative Code in claiming that Rangeline retained control of the sprinkler system.

Pointing to its decision in Liberty Mut. Ins. Co. v. Mich. Mut. Ins. Co., 891 N.E.2d 99 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008), the Court of Appeals found a significant connection between the accident and the leased premises.

The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded in Selective Insurance Company of South Carolina and 500 Rangeline Road, LLC v. Erie Insurace Exchange, Welch & Wilson Properties, LLC d/b/a Hammons Storage, Allianz Global Risks U.S. Insurance Company, 73A01-1307-PL-311.

Judge Margret Robb dissented, agreeing with the trial court that the A/I Endorsement of the policy does not provide coverage for Rangeline in the underlying litigation.

 

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  1. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

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  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

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  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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