Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange, et al. – February 5, 2015 - 6th District Finds in Favor of Policyholder; Reverses Summary Judgment Entered in Favor of Truck Insurance Exchange Following its Failure to Defend.

The Court's reversal of summary judgment as to Truck Insurance Exchange contains important rules for policyholders and insurers alike. The Sixth District reaffirmed that insurers owe their insureds a defense against an entire action containing any potentially covered claim, even if certain of the claims relate to uncovered matters (such as sexual abuse or molestation, as alleged in this case). The Court rejected the notion, often advanced by insurers, that there is a blanket rule vitiating a defense obligation if any cause of action is related to sexual molestation. In reversing summary judgment entered in favor of Truck Insurance Exchange, the court rejected the insurer's contention that all claims alleged in the underlying action were "inseparably intertwined" with the sexual abuse claims. The requirement that an insurer defend suits containing any potentially covered claim is often ignored or overlooked by insurers presented with complaints containing allegations of sexual molestation. Therefore, the court's opinion provides a clear analysis for both policyholders and insurers seeking to understand their rights and obligations under California law.

Read the published opinion >