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08/14/87 Zurich Midwest, Inc., v. St. Paul Fire & Marine

August 14, 1987

ZURICH MIDWEST, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

ST. PAUL FIRE & MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

513 N.E.2d 59, 159 Ill. App. 3d 961, 111 Ill. Dec. 813 1987.IL.1180

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Odas Nicholson, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LORENZ delivered the opinion of the court. SULLIVAN, P.J., and MURRAY, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LORENZ

Plaintiff appeals from an order entered February 27, 1986, which granted defendant's motion for summary judgment. The sole issue raised by this appeal is whether the "unattended vehicle" exclusion contained in the insurance policy is ambiguous so as to preclude summary judgment.

We affirm.

Zurich Midwest, Inc., is a corporation engaged in the business of buying and selling gold jewelry. On February 11, 1985, Zurich obtained from St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. a standard "Jeweler's Block" insurance policy. The policy provided coverage for Zurich's place of business and for property in the custody of salespeople away from the premises. Leon Gutman was one of the Zurich salesmen covered by the policy.

On March 26, 1985, Gutman travelled through Northern Illinois and Wisconsin, making various stops along the way to call on customers. He had two suitcases containing jewelry locked in the trunk of his car. After his last stop in Wisconsin, Gutman made a brief stop at a doughnut store with windows which were wide open and without curtains. He stayed within approximately 40 feet of his locked car and his car was out of sight for less than one minute, while he used the restroom. Gutman walked out of the restaurant, checked the trunk of his car and discovered that his trunk lock had a hole in it and that the suitcases of jewelry had been stolen.

Zurich's theft insurance policy which was issued by St. Paul was in effect on the date of the loss; however, St. Paul rejected Zurich's proof of loss and request for payment for the loss.

Opinion

Summary judgment should be granted if no genuine issue exists as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. (Carruthers v. Christopher (1974), 57 Ill. 2d 376, 313 N.E.2d 457.) Zurich contends that there is an existing material issue of fact as to whether it is entitled to recover the value of the stolen jewelry pursuant to the terms of the insurance policy and, therefore, summary judgment was improperly granted. We disagree.

In describing the coverage provided, the ...


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