Decision in favor of National Casualty Company in automobile test drive case.

Czapski v. Maher, et al., 954 N.E. 2d 237 (Ill. App.1st Dist. 2011)

Type of Case: Insurance Coverage

Practice Area(s): Insurance Coverage

Lawyer(s): Kurt M. Zitzer Thomas H. Crouch

Office(s): Chicago

Date: Aug 3 2011

The case involved the death of Mark Czapski, who was employed by Motor Werks as a car salesman. Mr. Czapski was killed when Christopher Maher, an individual test driving a Motor Werks BMW auto that was for sale, was involved in an automobile accident. Ms. Czapski was a passenger in the vehicle during the test drive. Mr. Maher was sued by the Czapski estate and sought coverage under the National Casualty policy claiming to be an insured under the policy.

National Casualty’s policy included an exclusion that stated customers are not insureds under the policy. The issue before the court was whether Mr. Maher was a customer and, consequently, not an insured under the policy. Maher and the plaintiff argued that “customer” was not defined within the policy and, therefore, was ambiguous and that customer should include someone who makes a purchase. Reversing the trial court’s finding of an ambiguity, the court held that a test driver of the vehicle is a customer within the common and ordinary meaning of the word, and that National Casualty did not owe a duty to indemnify Mr. Maher because he did not qualify as an insured.

Kurt Zitzer represented National Casualty before the trial court, and Tom Crouch and Kurt represented National Casualty on appeal.

Back to Experience

Disclaimer

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

Some of the content on this website is considered Attorney Advertising under the applicable rules of certain states. Results depend on a number of factors unique to each matter. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

LEGAL NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER.

This website is provided by Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P. for information purposes only but may contain information constituting attorney advertising in certain jurisdictions, selected case-related results and/or award information. Results in prior matters do not guarantee results that may be achieved in future matters. Results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each matter. By accessing the Meagher & Geer P.L.L.P. website, you are requesting information. The information you are requesting is not legal advice, advertising or solicitation. Transmission and receipt of the materials on the website do not constitute legal advice, establish an attorney-client relationship, or create any duty of Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P. to any reader. Unsolicited information sent to Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P. by persons who are not clients of the firm is not subject to any duty of confidentiality on the part of the firm. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. To the extent that the professional responsibility rules of any jurisdiction require us to designate a principal office or an attorney responsible for this website, Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P. designates its office in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) and its managing partner, William M. Hart.

PRIVACY POLICY.

When you visit www.meagher.com, we do not collect any personally identifiable information about you unless you specifically provide it to use. Any personally identifiable information that you submit to us will be used solely for the purpose of responding to inquiries or requests made by you. Your visit to www.meagher.com is tracked through a standard web traffic statistics program, which keeps records of traffic on this site, as well as numerical counts of visitors by domain, URL, search engine, keywords used and other standard web measurements. To improve your experience on our site, we may use ‘cookies’. Cookies are an industry standard and most major websites use them. A cookie is a small text file that our site may place on your computer as a tool to remember your preferences. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however, please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using the Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P. website, you consent to our use of your information as described in this Privacy Statement. We reserve the right to change our Privacy Statement at any time without advance notice. Please review the Privacy Policy each time you use the Service.

Contacting Meagher & Geer or one of its attorneys by email does not establish an attorney-client relationship or any other kind of relationship between you and Meagher & Geer.

Do not provide any information you regard as confidential until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Any information you provide before establishing an attorney-client relationship will not be regarded as privileged or confidential. Do you wish to proceed?

Contacting Meagher & Geer or one of its attorneys by email does not establish an attorney-client relationship or any other kind of relationship between you and Meagher & Geer.

Do not provide any information you regard as confidential until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Any information you provide before establishing an attorney-client relationship will not be regarded as privileged or confidential. Do you wish to proceed?

Contacting Meagher & Geer or one of its attorneys by email does not establish an attorney-client relationship or any other kind of relationship between you and Meagher & Geer.

Do not provide any information you regard as confidential until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Any information you provide before establishing an attorney-client relationship will not be regarded as privileged or confidential. Do you wish to proceed?

Meagher & Geer

Meagher & Geer