Insurance

This summary also appears under Negligence & Intentional Tort

 

Issues: Docket No. 315891 - Whether the general liability policy plaintiff-Auto Owner's issued to defendant-Fraternal Order of Police Associates, Grosse Pointe Lodge 102 (FOPA) provided dramshop and contractual liability coverage for an incident where an alleged intoxicated person (AIP) murdered and severely injured several people; DeFrain v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.; Citizens Ins. Co. v. Pro-Seal Serv. Group, Inc.; Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Churchman; Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Nikkel; Raska v. Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. of MI; Heniser v. Frankenmuth Mut. Ins. Co.; Hunt v. Drielick; Whether the FOPA was "in the business of" selling alcoholic beverages; Whether the liquor liability exclusion and the contractual liability exclusion applied; "Business" defined; McGriff v. United States Fire Ins. Co. (SD); Fraternal Order of Eagles v. General Accident Ins. Co. (WA App.); Schenectady Co. v. Travelers Ins. Co. (NY); Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Sugar Creek Mem'l Post 3976, Veterans of Foreign Wars (MO App.); Sprangers v. Greatway Ins. Co. (WI App.); Nichols v. Westfield Ins. Co. (GA App.); United States Fid. & Guar. Co. v. Country Club of Johnston Co., Inc. (NC App.); Mutual Serv. Cas. Ins. Co. v. Wilson Twp. (MN App.); Docket Nos. 315901 & 316511 - "Proximate cause"; MCL 436.1801(3); Nichols v. Dobler; Hashem v. Les Stanford Oldsmobile, Inc.; Weiss v. Hodge (After Remand); McMillian v. Vliet; Skinner v. Square D Co.; Haliw v. City of Sterling Heights; "Intervening cause"; Jones v. Detroit Med Ctr.; Graves v. Warner Bros.; "Duty of care"; MacDonald v. PKT, Inc.; Babula v. Robertson; Moning v. Alfono; Dawe v. Dr. Reuven Bar-Levav & Assoc., PC (On Remand); Terpening v. Gillimino, Inc. (Unpub.); Rogalski v. Tavernier; Fast Eddie's v. Hall (IN App.); Merchants Nat'l Bank v. Simrell's Sports Bar & Grill, Inc (IN App.); Boggs v. Bottomless Pit Cooking Team (TX App.); Reilly v. Tiergarten, Inc. (PA Super); Skipper v. United States (5th Cir.); Personal representative (PR);Other issues in Docket No. 316511 - Olympia's claim that the dramshop act is "a remedial statute requiring that it be strictly construed" and it was not the liquor licensee; Guitar v. Biekiek; Niles Twp. v. Berrien Cnty. Bd. of Comm'rs; Kerry v. Turnage; MCR 7.215(J)(1); McGuire v. Sanders; MCL 436.1801(2); People v. Breidenbach; Rusinek v. Schultz, Snyder & Steele Lumber Co.; Jackson v. PKM Corp.; Millross v. Plum Hollow Golf Club; MCL 436.1801(10); Statutory notice; MCL 436.1801(4)

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Published)

Case Name: Auto Owners Ins. Co. v. Olympia Entm't Inc.

e-Journal Number: 59622

Judge(s): Per Curiam – Boonstra, Markey, and K.F. Kelly

 

In Docket No. 315891, the court affirmed the trial court's declaratory ruling that the general liability policy it issued to the FOPA provided both dramshop and contractual liability coverage for an incident where an AIP murdered and severely injured several people. In Docket No. 315901 and Docket No. 316511, it reversed the trial court's denial of summary disposition to defendants as to plaintiff's dramshop complaint and remanded to the trial court for entry of orders granting summary disposition to defendants as to the dramshop action, holding that plaintiff-Chad Seils (PR) could not establish proximate cause. In Docket No. 315891, Auto-Owners argued that the trial court erred by finding the insurance policy's liquor liability exclusion did not apply on the facts here because the FOPA was "in the business of . . . selling, serving, or furnishing alcoholic beverages." The trial court properly ruled that the FOPA (a nonprofit group whose primary purpose and activities were charitable and civic) was not "in the business of" selling alcoholic beverages as stated in the exception to the liquor liability exclusion. But at the same time, the concession agreement "'pertained' or related to the FOPA's business because it related to the FOPA's fundraising activities for its 'business' of civic and charitable activities." So, in this context, the "business" could fairly be read as "occupation, profession, or trade," or "specific occupation or pursuit." Fundraising was necessary for the FOPA's "business" or "pursuit" of charitable and civic activities, and the concession agreement clearly related to or pertained to its "business" or "pursuit" of charitable and civic activities. Thus, the trial court properly ruled that the exception to the contractual liability provision applied because the concession agreement "pertain[ed] to [the FOPA's] business." Further, "as with the liquor liability exclusion, the contractual liability exclusion must be strictly construed against the insurer and in favor of coverage." Thus, the court affirmed the trial court's declaratory ruling as to insurance coverage - both the liquor liability exclusion and the contractual liability exclusion did not apply on the facts of the case.

 

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