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Nobel, Bronk obtain Summary Judgment in suit by purported additional insureds

Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry Attorneys Robert Nobel and Megan Bronk successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of their insurer client in a declaratory judgment action brought by  purported additional insureds seeking defense and indemnification for an underlying personal injury action pending in New York State Supreme Court, New York County.

Pursuant to a written contract with one of the purported additional insureds, the named insured installed underground utility boxes and new fiber optic cable at a condominium complex in Westchester County.  The underlying plaintiff fell on the utility box sustaining personal injuries.  The purported additional insureds then sought coverage under the named insured’s policy.

The insurer agreed to defend one of the purported additional insureds under a reservation of rights on grounds that the underlying personal injury loss did not arise out of the named insured’s work.  Coverage was denied to the remaining purported additional insureds on grounds that there was no contract executed prior to the underlying personal injury loss which required the insurer to name the other purported additional insureds as additional insureds.

In the underlying action, the named insured moved for summary judgment because evidence showed the utility box was installed properly and that the underlying plaintiff slipped on it because it was wet.  The Appellate Division, First Department held that the named insured was not liable in the underlying action and dismissed the case against the named insured.  The purported additional insureds remained defendants in the underlying action.

On behalf of the insurer, TLS&S Attorneys Robert Nobel and Megan Bronk promptly moved for summary judgment requesting that the Court declare that the insurer had no further obligation to defend the purported additional insured the carrier was defending under a reservation nor any duty to indemnify that purported additional insured as of the date of the Appellate Division’s Decision and Order.  TLS&S also sought an order declaring that the insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify any of the remaining purported additional insureds based on the Appellate Division’s Decision and based on the lack of a contract executed prior to the underlying personal injury loss which required the insurer to name any of the remaining purported additional insureds as such.

By Order dated June 12, 2013, the Supreme Court of New York, Westchester County declared that the insurer had no further duty to defend the purported additional insured it had agreed to defend under a reservation of rights, no duty to defend the remaining purported additional insureds because there was no contract executed prior to the date of the loss which required the named insured to additionally insure these entities, and also declaring that the insurer had no duty to indemnify any of the purported additional insureds in the underlying action due to the Appellate Court’s decision.