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Lauren S. Curtis, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP, St. Petersburg, FL, recently obtained summary judgment for an insurer client on a $1.1 million consent judgment and assignment of rights. The consent judgment and assignment of rights arose from an underlying personal injury case in Miami, Florida. The plaintiff, a gas station convenience store clerk, was shot multiple times during an armed robbery while working the night shift, and filed a personal injury suit against the store operator. The insurer declined to defend the insured operator under its commercial general liability (CGL) policy on the ground that the claim was excluded by the policy’s assault and battery exclusion, failure to maintain secure or safe premises exclusion, and employers’ liability exclusion. Following the insurer’s refusal to provide a defense, the plaintiff and insured entered into a $1.1 million consent judgment and assignment of rights (i.e., a Coblentz agreement), and the plaintiff sued the insurer to enforce the consent judgment.

To enforce the consent judgment against the insurer, the plaintiff had to demonstrate that (1) the insurer wrongfully refused to defend its insured in the underlying personal injury suit based on the allegations in the lawsuit, (2) the underlying claim was covered under the CGL policy based on the actual facts, and (3) the settlement was reasonable in amount and entered into in good faith. Lauren moved for summary judgment, arguing that the allegations of the underlying personal injury suit fell within the assault and battery and failure to maintain secure or safe premises exclusions, and that the actual facts conclusively established that the injured plaintiff was working as an employee in the course and scope of his employment when he was shot during an armed robbery. Agreeing that all three exclusions applied, the trial judge in Miami granted summary judgment in favor of the insurer.

Do you have a triumph to share? Send a brief summary and a recent photograph to David Fuqua at dfuqua@fc-lawyers.com


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