THE INTENTIONAL DAMAGES EXCLUSION (which is NOT an Intentional Acts Exclusion) APPLIED.

December 21, 2012

Insurance LawIn the case of New Hampshire Indem. Co. v. Scott, 2012 WL 6213074 (M.D. Fla. December 13, 2012), “Exclusion a” was held applicable under Florida law.

The current “Exclusion a” in an Automobile Liability Insurance Policy was at issue:

INSURING AGREEMENT

A. We will pay damages for “bodily injury” or “property damage” for which any “insured” becomes legally responsible because of an auto accident.

EXCLUSIONS

A. We do not provide Liability Coverage for any “insured”:

1. Who intentionally causes “bodily injury” or “property damage”.

In Florida, what the Courts in many U.S.jurisdictions describe as this so-called Intentional Acts Exclusion is viewed as really an “Intentional Damages Exclusion”.  In order to apply it, the Court or Trier of Fact must find that the injuries and damages which result from the conduct in question, for example the bodily injury complained of in the case at bar, were caused intentionally.

In this case, one David Scott drove his father’s huge pickup truck while David was snatching the purse of Mrs. Sarah Edwards.  Mrs. Edwards was walking in a parking lot, David drove up next to her, grabbed Mrs. Edwards’ purse, and ended up dragging Mrs. Edwards into brain injury so extensive that she is in what the Court called “a semi-vegetative state.”  Against these facts, the Federal Judge had little trouble applying Exclusion a, the “Intentional Damages Exclusion,” that is in David Scott’s father’s automobile liability insurance policy, to exclude all Coverage for David’s purse-snatching conduct in this case.  “In the actual case, Scott’s attack on Sarah results from his predatory selection of her as the vulnerable and easy target of his desperate criminal plan….  Only a wholesale abandonment of the protocols of the English language would permit that transformation of the terms ‘accident’ and ‘intentional.’”  New Hampshire Indem. Co. v. Scott, 2012 WL 6213074 *5 (M.D.Fla. December 13, 2012).