Nelson v. Navigator Insurance Company, et al., 2013 WL 5314361 (D. Ariz. 2013)
Type of Case: Insurance Coverage
Practice Area(s): Insurance
Lawyer(s): Kurt M. Zitzer Robert A. Justman
Date: Sep 25 2013
In Nelson v. Navigator Insurance Company, 2013 WL 5314361 (D.Ariz. 2013), the general liability insurer was faced with a $4.2 million judgment. The policyholder operated a steel fabrication factory. A chain holding up an I-beam broke, the I-beam fell on the plaintiff’s legs. The plaintiff, a 21-year-old, suffered the amputation of his left leg. The policyholder lost the defective chain and the plaintiff sued for spoliation of evidence. The insurer denied coverage.
After the $4.2 million judgment, the plaintiff pursued the insurer by way of assignment. The policyholder’s president and office manager provided the plaintiff with affidavits testifying they had reasonable expectations of coverage for the spoliation-of-evidence suit.
Meagher & Geer represented the general liability insurer in the coverage case and obtained summary judgment. The spoliation-of-evidence suit was outside the coverage afforded by the CGL Policy and Excess Policy. This coverage case highlighted the need for insurance coverage attorneys with decades of experience devoted to the coverage specialty.
Meagher & Geer explained to the Court the essence and nature of the CGL Policy. Why coverage for spoliation-of-evidence would run contrary to the fundamental structure of the CGL Policy. Why coverage for spoliation-of-evidence is irreconcilable with the purpose of the CGL Policy. How a principled understanding of the nature and essence of the CGL Policy precludes coverage for spoliation-of-evidence. Meagher & Geer secured victory for its client.Back to Experience