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Bradley v. Continental Insurance Co.

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20164
Nos. No. C 11-00292 SI, (N.D. Cal., 04/22/2011)

A district court held that an insurance company must defend its insured in an underlying case involving minors' exposure to contaminated drinking water stemming from the insured's property. When the insurer refused to defend the insured, the insured filed suit against the insurance company for declaratory relief and damages, alleging a breach of the duty to defend and a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The insurer argued that there is no possible coverage because the minors could not have been injured while the policy was in effect since the minors were not yet born in 1978 and the policies were not in effect after 1978. Under the policies at issue in this case, the triggering event is “personal injury.” One definition of personal injury is “bodily injury.” But a second type of personal injury is defined as “an act or series of acts of the same or similar nature, committed during this policy period which causes such personal injury.” As such, it does not matter that the underlying plaintiffs were not yet born when the insurance policy lapsed, as long as the acts constituting “wrongful entry or . . . other invasion of private occupancy” occurred during the policy period. According to the complaint, they did. The insurance company's motion to dismiss the insured's suit was therefore denied.