Murchison & Cumming LLP

Verdicts and Settlements

June 3, 2011

Daily Journal


CASE / NUMBER: Abitsch & Abitsch, et al. v. Essex Insurance Co. / CGC-09-486735.

COURT / DATE: San Francisco Superior / June 3, 2010.

JUDGE: Hon. Peter J. Busch.

ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff - Terence O. Mayo (Mayo & Mayo, San Francisco).

Defendant - Jean M. Lawler, German A. Marcucci, Bryan M. Weiss (Murchison & Cumming, LLP, Los Angeles).

FACTS: Property owners leased their property to a nightclub operator, where a stray bullet fired by patron struck one of the other patrons. The patron filed suit against the owners, who tendered the defense of the case to their insurance provider, Essex Insurance Co. Essex denied coverage because of the assault and batter exclusion endorsement contained in the owner's policy.

PLAINTIFF'S CONTENTIONS: Essex filed a declaratory relief action regarding the coverage issues.

DEFENDANT'S CONTENTIONS: The owners filed a cross complaint, alleging breach of contract, bad faith, and violations of Business and Professions Code Section 17200.

RESULT: The court granted summary judgment for Essex, finding denial of coverage proper.


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