The Rookery Cornice

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TDR Secures Victory - Insurance Company Must Defend Sorority Members Under Sorority’s Policy

September 22, 2021

TDR partner Michael J. Grant and associate Amie M. Bauer obtained summary judgment in favor of policyholders and against an insurance company on the duty to defend.  The case concerned insurance coverage for two sorority members for an underlying lawsuit where they were alleged to have negligently caused the death of a sorority pledge. The underlying lawsuit alleged that sorority initiation activities, hazing, and negligent omissions by the sorority members caused her death. The insurance company denied coverage and filed a lawsuit against the sorority members arguing that there was no coverage for the underlying lawsuit based on the insurance policy’s hazing exclusion and other policy exclusions and defenses. TDR filed a motion for summary judgment on the insurance company’s duty to defend, arguing the allegations in the underlying complaint fell outside the policy’s hazing exclusion and other policy exclusions and defenses.  The district court agreed.  It found that the policy exclusions were not triggered by the allegations in the underlying complaint, and it held that the insurance company owed a duty to defend the sorority members.

TDR regularly represents policyholders in insurance recovery disputes with insurance companies. Click here to learn more about TDR's Insurance Recovery and Coverage Practice or contact Michael J. Grant for additional information.

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