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Insurer’s exclusion stands after bar fight

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A woman’s own description of a barroom brawl that left her with a broken arm was used against her in allowing an insurance company to deny coverage.

Kari Everhart was standing at the bar of Club Coyote in west Terre Haute when a patron was shoved and fell onto her. When she tried to catch herself, she broke her arm in several places.  

Club Coyote had liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage with Founders Insurance Co. However, the policy included an exclusion for bodily injury caused by assault and /or battery.

After Everhart filed a complaint for damages, Founders pointed to this exclusion and asserted it had no duty to defend or indemnify either party. The insurance company argued Everhart’s admissions show her injury was the result of battery.

In her interrogatory, Everhart said the incident began when the bartender grabbed the patron and bounced his head off the bar about three or four times before shoving him into a small crowd. The patron was shoved again and fell violently, grabbing Everhart and causing her to fall.

Everhart disputed Founders’ reasoning, maintaining the exclusion covers intentional acts. She argued she never contended any employee or patron of the bar did anything intentionally.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Founders in Kari Everhart v. Founders Insurance Company, 84A01-1303-PL-128.

The COA found Everhart’s description fits the definition of battery as set forth in Singh v. Lyday, 8890 N.E.2d 342 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008). It also pointed out there is not dispute that the patron was intentionally pushed and that Everhart suffered injuries as a result which makes her the victim of battery.


 

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  1. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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