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12/15/88 Allstate Insurance Company v. Roy Pruitt

December 15, 1988

ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

ROY PRUITT, JR., A MINOR BY HIS FATHER AND NEXT FRIEND, ROY PRUITT, SR., ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

532 N.E.2d 401, 177 Ill. App. 3d 407, 126 Ill. Dec. 716 1988.IL.1810

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Anthony J. Scotillo, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE McMORROW delivered the opinion of the court. JIGANTI, P.J., and JOHNSON, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCMORROW

Defendants Roy Pruitt, Jr., a minor, his father, Roy Pruitt, Sr., and Michael Anderson appeal from summary judgment for plaintiff, Allstate Insurance Co. (Allstate) in an action for a declaration of rights and obligations under a homeowner's insurance policy issued to Pruitt Sr. by Allstate. We affirm, finding that an exclusion clause in the policy eliminated liability coverage for the claims made against the Pruitts in Anderson's underlying personal injury suit.

Background

Allstate brought this action seeking a declaration that it was not obligated to defend or indemnify the Pruitts for claims made against them in a suit filed by Anderson to recover for personal injuries he sustained when he was struck by a minibike being driven by Pruitt Jr. The underlying complaint filed by Anderson alleged that the collision occurred on October 9, 1983, as he was walking in an unincorporated, wooded area in Midlothian, Illinois. Counts I and III of the Anderson complaint alleged negligence and recklessness, respectively, by Pruitt Jr. in his operation of the minibike; count II charged Pruitt Sr. with negligent failure to supervise or control his son; and count IV alleged that Pruitt Sr. was liable for his son's reckless conduct under the Parental Responsibility Law (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 70, par. 51 et seq.). Allstate moved for summary judgment on the basis that an exclusion clause in the policy issued to Pruitt Sr. operated to remove Anderson's claims from the liability coverage provided by the policy.

The homeowner's policy in effect on the date of the incident contained a "Family Liability Protection" section in which Allstate agreed to provide a defense and "to pay all sums arising from the same loss which an insured person becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of bodily injury . . . covered by this part of the policy." An "insured person" was defined as "you [policy owner] and, if a resident of your household, any relative and any dependent person in your care."

The general insuring provision of the family liability section was followed by a series of provisions enumerating losses not covered by the policy. Among them was the "motor vehicle exclusion clause" relied upon by Allstate in its complaint and motion for summary judgment. The clause stated in pertinent part:

"(5) We do not cover bodily injury or property damage arising out of the ownership, maintenance, use, loading or unloading of any motorized land vehicle or trailer. However, this exclusion does not apply to:

(a) a motorized land vehicle in dead storage or used exclusively on the residence premises;

(b) a motorized land vehicle not owned by an insured person when used off the residence premises and which is designed principally for recreational use off public roads . . . ."

In its motion for summary judgment, Allstate also asserted that insurance coverage for liability arising out of the use of the minibike on land other than the residence premises was available through the purchase of an "Allstate Recreational Vehicle Policy." Although defendants claimed insufficient knowledge to deny or admit this assertion, they admitted that the minibike was owned by either Pruitt Sr. or Pruitt Jr. and that the accident occurred in an unincorporated wooded area not owned by them. After a hearing, a transcript of which does not ...


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