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Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co. v. Harker

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

September 16, 2019

GRINNELL MUTUAL REINSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
WADE HARKER, Defendant, and LINDA STODDEN, Indispensable Defendant.

          OPINION

          Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge.

         This cause is before the Court on the supplemental briefing the Court requested from Plaintiff Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company and Indispensable Defendant Linda Stodden pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(f). Having reviewed the parties' briefing, the Court finds that Plaintiff Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company has a duty to defend Defendant Wade Harker.[1]

         I. BACKGROUND

         The facts of this case are more fully set forth in the Court's Opinion (d/e 29) entered July 17, 2019.

         In May 2019, Grinnell filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (d/e 24) seeking a determination that Wade Harker is not an insured under an insurance policy issued to William Harker and Janet Harker by Grinnell. The policy provided liability coverage to William and Janet Harker for their residence at Rural Route 1, Box 107A, Sigel, Illinois (the Property). Grinnell also seeks a determination that Grinnell has no duty to defend or indemnify Wade Harker in the underlying lawsuit filed by Stodden against Wade Harker and his father William Harker in the Shelby County, Illinois, Circuit Court, No. 2007-LM-40 (the Underlying Litigation).

         In the Underlying Litigation, Stodden alleges that, on October 6, 2006, she was attacked and severely injured by a dog owned by William Harker and/or Wade Harker while she was in her own yard in violation of the Illinois Animal Control Act, 510 ILCS 5/16. Wade Harker resided at the Property at the time of the alleged dog bite and neither William Harker nor Janet Harker resided there at that time.

         On July 17, 2019, this Court entered an Opinion (d/e 29) denying summary judgment and requesting further briefing from the parties on whether Wade Harker was an “insured” under Section B.5(c) of the insurance policy. Opinion at 15 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(f)).

         The insurance policy provides that the terms “you” and “your” in the policy refer to the “‘named insured' shown in the Declarations and the spouse if a resident of the same household.” Definitions A (d/e 25-1, p. 8 of 47). The individuals shown in the Declarations are William Harker and Janet Harker.

         The policy defines “Insured” as follows:

DEFINITIONS
B. * * *
5. “Insured” means:
a. You and any person living with you who is:
(1) Related to you by blood, marriage, or ...

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