Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Artisan and Truckers Casualty Co. v. Hanover Ins. Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

August 27, 2015

ARTISAN AND TRUCKERS CASUALTY COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
HANOVER INSURANCE COMPANY, STAR WAY CORPORATION, STAR WAY, CORP., ALEKSEY A. PISKUNOV, and KATERYNA PISKUNOV, Defendants

Page 999

          For Artisan and Truckers Casualty Company, Plaintiff: Jason Orleans, LEAD ATTORNEY, Chilton Yambert & Porter LLP, Waukegan, IL.

         For Artisan and Truckers Casualty Company, Plaintiff: Jason Orleans, LEAD ATTORNEY, Chilton Yambert & Porter LLP, Waukegan, IL.For Hanover Insurance Company, Defendant: Kenneth R. Feit, LEAD ATTORNEY, Tell, Cheser & Breitbart, Garden City, NY; Andrew Robert Schwartz, Karen Irene Jeffreys, Thomas James Kanyock, Schwartz & Kanyock, LLC, Chicago, IL.

         For Artisan and Truckers Casualty Company, Plaintiff: Jason Orleans, LEAD ATTORNEY, Chilton Yambert & Porter LLP, Waukegan, IL.For Hanover Insurance Company, Defendant: Kenneth R. Feit, LEAD ATTORNEY, Tell, Cheser & Breitbart, Garden City, NY; Andrew Robert Schwartz, Karen Irene Jeffreys, Thomas James Kanyock, Schwartz & Kanyock, LLC, Chicago, IL.For Star Way Corporation, Aleksey A. Piskunov, Kateryna Piskunov, Defendants: Tomasz Koziol, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kurt E. Vragel, Jr., PC, Glenview, IL.

Page 1000

         MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         SHARON JOHNSON COLEMAN, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Artisan and Truckers Casualty Company (" Artisan" ) filed a complaint for declaratory judgment, asking this Court to find that Artisan does not have a duty to defend and indemnify its insured Alekseya Piskunov, Kateryna Piskunov, Star Way Corporation, and Star Way, Corp. (collectively " Star Way" ) in an underlying suit brought against Star Way by Hanover Insurance Company (" Hanover" ). Artisan then moved for summary judgment. (Dkt. 11). Hanover filed a memorandum in opposition to Artisan's motion and Star Way adopted Hanover's memorandum in full. (Dkt. 20 and 22). For the reasons stated below, the Court grants Artisan's motion for summary judgment.

         Background

         The relevant facts when determining an insurer's duty to defend in the summary judgment context are those alleged in the underlying complaint. Nationwide Ins. Co. v. Cent. Laborers' Pension Fund, 704 F.3d 522, 525 (7th Cir. 2013). Here, the underlying complaint was filed in Hanover Ins. Co. v. Star Way, Corp., No. 14-cv-3458 (N.D. Ill.), and it alleges the following.

         Hanover insures Access America Transport, Inc. (" Access America" ). (Dkt. 12 at 38). Access America entered into a Broker-Carrier agreement with Star Way, and pursuant to that agreement Star Way agreed to transport two Case backhoes belonging to CNH America LLC (" CNH" ) to two consignees. ( Id. at 36-37). Star Way accepted the shipment in Iowa and the backhoes were loaded onto a motor truck. ( Id. at 37). The two backhoes were then reportedly stolen from the premises of Star Way Lines Inc.[1] in Illinois before they could be delivered to the consignees. ( Id. ). Hanover paid CNH for the loss of the backhoes and in exchange for such payment CNH assigned its claims arising out of the loss of the backhoes to Hanover. ( Id. at 38). Hanover then sued Star Way under the Carmack Amendment, 49 U.S.C. § 14706, for the value of the backhoes. Id.

         Legal Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate if the evidence shows that there is " no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). " Under Illinois law, the interpretation of an insurance policy is a question of law that is properly decided by way of summary judgment." BASF AG v. Great Am. Assur. Co., 522 F.3d 813, 818-19 (7th Cir. 2008)(citing Crum & Forster Managers Corp. v. Resolution Trust Corp., 156 Ill.2d 384, 620 N.E.2d 1073, 1077, 189 Ill.Dec. 756 (Ill.1993)).

Page 1001

         Discussion

         The insurance policy at issue in this case is policy number 84841014-0 (" the policy" ) issued by Artisan to " Star Way Corp." (Dkt. 12 at 3; Dkt. 21 ¶ 12). In the case before this Court, Artisan claims it has no duty to defend Star Way in the underlying suit because there is no coverage under the policy. Artisan argues that the policy does not provide " cargo coverage" and that at least six exclusions in the Commercial General Liability Endorsement of the policy (" CGL Endorsement" ) preclude coverage: (1) Expected or Intended Injury; (2) Contractual Liability; (3) Aircraft, Auto, or Watercraft; (4) Damage to Property; (5) Damage to Your Work; and (6) Damage to Impaired Property or Property Not Physically Injured.[2] In response, Hanover argues that the CGL Endorsement covers the lost cargo and none of the exclusions remove coverage.

         When evaluating an insurer's motion for summary judgment based on an asserted lack of duty to defend, courts compare the allegations in the underlying complaint with the relevant policy provisions. Cent. Laborers' Pension Fund, 704 F.3d at 525. If the facts alleged in the underlying complaint are " within or potentially within policy coverage," the insurer has a duty to defend and cannot prevail on summary judgment. Id. " The allegations in the underlying complaint must be liberally construed in favor of the insured." Gen. Agents Ins. Co. of Am. v. Midwest Sporting Goods Co., 215 Ill.2d 146, 828 N.E.2d 1092, 1098, 293 Ill.Dec. 594 (Ill. 2005). But, " the burden is on the insured to prove that its claim falls within the coverage of an insurance policy." Erie Ins. Exch. v. Compeve Corp., 2015 IL App. (1st) 142508, 392 Ill.Dec. 160, 32 N.E.3d 160, 166 (Ill. App. 2015) (quoting Addison Ins. Co. v. Fay, 232 Ill.2d 446, 905 N.E.2d 747, 752, 328 Ill.Dec. 858 (Ill. 2009)). " Once the insured has demonstrated coverage, the burden then shifts to the insurer to prove that a limitation or exclusion applies." Id. When an insurer seeks summary judgment on the basis that an exclusion in the policy precludes coverage, the applicability of the exclusion to the allegations in the underlying complaint " must be clear and free from doubt." Atl. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Am. Acad. of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 315 Ill.App.3d 552, 734 N.E.2d 50, 56, 248 Ill.Dec. 342 (Ill. App. 2000).

         The CGL Endorsement provides that Artisan " will pay those sums . . . that [Star Way] becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of bodily injury or property damage" to which the insurance applies. (Dkt. 12 at 80). " Property damage" for purposes of the CGL Endorsement is defined as " physical injury to property, including all resulting loss of use of that property" or " loss of use of tangible property that is not physically injured." ( Id. at 78-79.)

         Neither party devotes much argument to whether the theft of the backhoes falls within the CGL Endorsement's coverage irrespective of the exclusions. Artisan asserts that cargo insurance is a " distinct form of liability insurance" and not part of the policy. (Dkt. 13 at 3). But aside from referring to the exclusions, it makes no argument as to whether the CGL Endorsement covers cargo loss. Similarly, Hanover merely recites that the CGL Endorsement covers " those sums . . . that the insured becomes legally obligated to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.