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Ott v. Crews

decided: October 1, 1987.

GARY AND PATRICIA OTT, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WILLIAM CREWS, D/B/A CREWS TRUCKING, ET AL., DEFENDANTS; STRO-WOLD INTERNATIONAL LIVESTOCK SERVICES, LTD., DEFENDANT, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, CROSS-APPELLEE, V. SHELTER MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, CROSS-APPELLEE



Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, No. 85 C 0047, Thomas J. Curran, Judge.

Wood, Easterbrook, Circuit Judges, and Will, Senior District Judge.*fn*

Author: Will

WILL, Senior District Judge

This appeal arises from a dispute between an insurer, Shelter Mutual Insurance Company, and its insured, Stro-Wold International Livestock Services, Ltd., over the coverage of a general liability policy. The district court granted summary judgment for the insurer on the ground that exclusions contained in the policy precluded coverage for damages sustained by a third party. Additionally, the district court held that, despite its ultimate conclusion regarding coverage, the insurer had a duty to defend its insured on the claim asserted against it from the date the insured first requested a defense until the date the insurer filed its motion for summary judgment. We affirm.

I.

There is no dispute as to the facts. Gary and Patricia Ott, Wisconsin farmers, purchased 86 hogs from Stro-Wold International Livestock Services, Ltd. ("Stro-Wold") in April 1980. Approximately 3 months later, the hogs were diagnosed as having swine dysentary and the Otts' farm was quarantined. The Otts filed suit in state court on May 14, 1982, naming Stro-Wold as a defendant. The complaint alleged a variety of causes of action including breach of express and implied warranties in the inspection and sale of the hogs, negligence, breach of contract, and strict liability for damages the Otts incurred to their property as a result of the diseased pigs that Stro-Wold sold infecting other livestock.

At all times relevant to this matter, Stro-Wold was insured by Shelter Mutual Insurance Company. The policy issued to Stro-Wold under the heading " COMPREHENSIVE GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE " provided in relevant part:

1. COVERAGE A -- BODILY INJURY LIABILITY

COVERAGE B -- PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY

The company will pay on behalf of the insured all sums which the insured shall become legally obligated to pay as damages because of

A. bodily injury or

B. property damage

to which this insurance applies, caused by an occurrence, and the company shall have the right and duty to defend any suit against the insured seeking damages on account of such bodily injury or property damage, even if the allegations of the suit are groundless, false or fraudulent....

The policy also included the following provisions under the heading "Exclusions":

This insurance does not apply:

(n) to bodily injury or property damage to the named insured's products arising ...


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