Katy A. Nelson
Greg Scher and Katy Nelson won summary judgment in favor of an insurer sued for bad faith denial of coverage for an assault and battery lawsuit. The underlying complaint, filed in 2011, alleged that the insured and a buddy repeatedly hit the claimant after they found him in bed with the buddy's wife. The insured sought insurance coverage under the general liability coverage of his homeowner's policy, arguing that there was a potential for coverage because the lawsuit alleged causes of action for negligence as well as intentional torts, and because the insured denied that he hit the claimant. The insured and the claimant eventually stipulated to a judgment of $250,000, and the claimant sued the insurer directly to collect the judgment. In the summary judgment motion, the insurer pointed out that the underlying complaint did not allege an "occurrence" that might be covered under the homeowner's policy, in spite of the fact that it contained a cause of action for negligence. The Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District, agreed that there was no potential for coverage for the underlying assault and battery action because the underlying lawsuit did not allege injuries caused by an “occurrence.”
Katy Nelson and Doug Galt obtained summary judgment on behalf of an insurance company client in a state court action for breach of contract and bad faith against multiple carriers called Yu v. American International Surplus Lines Insurance Company. Although the client issued a claims-made-and-reported policy and the claim was reported two years after the expiration of the policy, the plaintiff aggressively argued that the policy was ambiguous. The court agreed with the client that the policy was enforceable and coverage was properly denied.
Greg Scher and Katy Nelson obtained summary judgment in favor of a property insurer client in an action seeking contract and bad faith damages following a refusal to pay for smoke and ash "damage" from a nearby wildfire. Although the home didn't burn, the insured plaintiff argued that the insurer should have paid to clean the property.