When an accident occurred involving one of an auto dealers’ cars, the insurer refused to provide coverage for the ensuing injuries. The insurer also refused to pay for the attorneys needed to defend the several lawsuits that were filed due to personal injuries arising from the accident. The auto dealer had purchased a “Garage Dealer’s” policy that covered the vehicles in stock at the dealership.
The insurer claimed that the auto involved in the accident did not result from “garage operations” but rather from personal use of the auto by a family member / employee of the owner of the dealership. We sued for coverage, arguing that the auto was a covered auto and that the accident indeed arose from “garage operations”, even if the vehicle was used for personal reasons. The court disagreed and an appeal was filed.
The Appeals court reversed, finding coverage and agreeing with our legal arguments as to how the insurance policy should be interpreted. As long as the accident arose out of the ownership or use of the auto and the auto was a “covered auto”, personal use was legally irrelevant. Thus, the insurance company was ordered to pay all attorneys fees to defend the lawsuits and to pay for any injuries for which there is liability.
Evan S. Schwartz
Founder of Schwartz, Conroy & Hack