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Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Isom

United States District Court, D. Arizona

March 20, 2014

Travelers Indemnity Company of America, a foreign corporation; and Travelers Indemnity Company, Plaintiffs,
Thomas W. Isom, a single individual; and Mary J. Isom, a single individual, Defendants.


G. MURRAY SNOW, District Judge.

Pending before the Court are Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 23) and Motion for Summary Disposition on Motion for Summary Judgment as to Defendant Mary Isom (Doc. 27). For the following reasons, Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.


This case arises from a lawsuit and a liability insurance policy. The lawsuit was brought in Pinal County Superior Court by A.H, Defendant Mary Isom's minor granddaughter, against Defendants and Ryan Isom. Defendants were formerly husband and wife and Ryan Isom is Thomas Isom's son and was Mary Isom's stepson. (Doc. 1 ¶ 21.) A.H claims that on "multiple occasions dating back many years and continuing through 2010, " Ryan Isom sexually assaulted her while she was at the Isom residence and/or being supervised by Mary and/or Thomas Isom. ( Id. ¶¶ 22-23.) In the lawsuit, A.H alleged claims of assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Ryan Isom. ( Id. ¶¶ 24-25.) She also alleged a claim of negligence against Mary and Thomas Isom. ( Id. )

Plaintiff Travelers Indemnity Company of America ("Travelers") issued a Farm/Ranch Policy (the "Farm Policy") to Mary and Thomas Isom for the policy period November 15, 2012 to November, 15, 2013. ( Id. ¶ 8.) Travelers had previously issued Farm/Ranch policies to Mary and Thomas Isom beginning November 15, 2007. ( Id. ¶ 9.) Travelers also issued Excess Liability Insurance Policies to Mary and Thomas Isom for these time periods (the "Excess Policy"). ( Id. ¶ 11.) The Named Insureds on all of these Travelers' policies were Mary and Thomas Isom, a partnership; William Isom; Clifton Isom; Isom Family Trust; and the Revocable Trust of Thomas W. Isom. ( Id. ¶ 12.)

The Farm Policy provides liability coverage for claims made against the Insureds for "bodily injury" or "property damage" caused by an occurrence during the coverage period, subject to various exclusions. ( Id. ¶ 14.) Some of these exclusions include that coverage does not extend to "Expected or Intended Injury, " defined in the policy as "[b]odily injury' or property damage' expected or intended from the standpoint of the insured'...." ( Id. ¶ 16.) The coverage also excludes "Sexual Molestation, Corporal Punishment Or Physical Or Mental Abuse, " defined as "[b]odily injury' or property damage' arising out of sexual molestation, corporal punishment or physical or mental abuse." ( Id. ¶ 18.)

On December 6, 2012, Mary and Thomas Isom gave Travelers notice of a claim arising from the lawsuit brought against them by A.H (the "Claim"). ( Id. ¶ 20.) Travelers states that it has been providing Mary and Thomas Isom a defense in the lawsuit pursuant to the Claim and subject to a full reservation of its rights under the Farm Policy and at law. ( Id. ¶ 32.)

Plaintiffs now bring the present action in this Court, seeking a declaratory judgment that there is no coverage for Defendants' Claim under either the Farm Policy or Excess Policy and that Plaintiffs are entitled to attorneys' fees and costs. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiffs now move for summary judgment against both Defendants, alleging that the Farm Policy's and Excess Policy's terms bar coverage for the Claim. (Doc. 23.) Defendant Thomas Isom timely responded to the Motion (Docs. 25, 26), but Defendant Mary Isom failed to do so. In response, Plaintiffs moved for Summary Disposition on their Motion for Summary Judgment as to Mary Isom. (Doc. 27.) Mary Isom then responded to both that Motion and the original Motion for Summary Judgment, stating that she joins in the Response filed earlier by Thomas Isom. (Docs. 28, 29.) The Court will address each of Plaintiffs' Motions in turn.


I. Motion for Summary Judgment

A. Legal Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate if the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, demonstrates "that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "[A] party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of [the record] which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).

Substantive law determines which facts are material and "[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). "A fact issue is genuine if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'" Villiarimo v. Aloha Island Air, Inc., 281 F.3d 1054, 1061 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). Thus, the nonmoving party must show that the genuine factual issues "can be resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of either party.'" Cal. Architectural Bldg. Prods., Inc. v. Franciscan Ceramics, Inc., 818 F.2d 1466, 1468 (9th Cir. 1987) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250). Because "[c]redibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge, ... [t]he evidence of the nonmovant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor" at the summary judgment stage. Id. at 255 (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 15859 (1970)). Furthermore, the party opposing summary judgment "may not rest upon the ...

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