DONNA CLARK v. SPUTNIKS, LLC ET AL. AND LEONARD GAMBLE v. SPUTNIKS, LLC ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on May 30, 2012

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Russell E. Reviere and Jonathan D. Stewart, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, QBE Insurance Company.

Attorneys 2:

William B. Jakes, III, and Mary Martin Schaffner (at trial) Nashville, Tennessee; Joe Dalton, Jr., Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Donna Clark and Leonard Gamble.

Judge(s): LEE

In these consolidated cases, the primary issue is whether there is liability insurance coverage for the plaintiffs’ injuries resulting from an altercation on the premises of the insured’s bar and restaurant. The insurer denied coverage and declined to defend the insured based on its determination that there was no coverage under the terms of the policy. We hold that based on the clear terms of the policy agreement, there is no liability coverage because the incident arose from an assault and battery, which was an excluded cause, and because there is no nonexcluded concurrent cause to provide coverage. We further hold that estoppel by judgment does not apply to collaterally estop the insurer from arguing the lack of coverage. The judgment of the trial court is reversed.

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