United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING RE: PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (DOC. NO. 42); DEFENDANTS’ MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (DOC. NOS. 45, 52); MOTION TO JOIN
CO-DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. NO.
C. Hall United States District Judge
Allstate Insurance Company (“Allstate”) filed
suit against Duke Essiam (“Essiam”), Brigetanian
O. Koranteng (“Koranteng”), Debra A. Evans, as
administrator of the Estate of La’Andrew Evans-Swain
(“Evans-Swain”), and Robert Swain, Jr., as
administrator of the Estate of Robert Swain III
(“Swain”). Allstate seeks a declaratory judgment
stating that it has no duty to defend or indemnify Essiam and
Koranteng in connection with lawsuits brought by Swain and
Evans-Swain in state court.
has moved for summary judgment. See Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 42). Evans-Swain has also moved
for summary judgment. See Defendant, Debra A. Evans,
Administrator of the Estate of La’Andrew Evans-Swain
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 45). Essiam and
Koranteng have jointly moved for summary judgment.
See Defendants Duke Essiam and Brigetanian O.
Koranteng’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 52).
Lastly, Essiam and Koranteng have jointly moved to join
Evans-Swain’s Motion for Summary Judgment. See
Defendants Duke Essiam and Brigetanian O. Koranteng’s
Motion to Join Co-Defendant’s Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. No. 51).
underlying state court actions arose from an automobile crash
in which Swain and Evans-Swain, who were passengers in a car
driven by Eric Watson (“Watson”), were fatally
injured in the early morning of July 14, 2013, after Watson
lost control of the vehicle. See Allstate’s
L.R. 56(a)(1) Stmt. ¶¶ 1-3, 18, 25-28. Swain and
Evans-Swain allege that, earlier that morning and on the
prior evening, Watson, who was a minor at the time, was a
guest at a party given at the Essiam / Koranteng home, during
which party Watson became legally intoxicated after consuming
alcohol Essiam and Koranteng either provided or permitted to
be provided to him. See id. ¶¶ 5-8, 12-13,
15-16, 20-22. They further allege that Watson drove both to
and from the party at the Essiam / Koranteng residence, and
he remained intoxicated at the time of the car crash. See
id. ¶¶ 7, 9, 14, 16, 25. Based on the
foregoing, Swain’s and Evans-Swain’s Complaints
assert claims for negligence against Essiam and Koranteng,
insofar as they, inter alia, provided or allowed
alcohol to be provided to Watson, despite the fact that
Watson was a minor and despite the fact that they knew he
would be driving upon leaving the party. See id.
¶¶ 10, 15, 17, 28-29.
has a deluxe homeowner’s insurance policy issued by
Allstate (“the Policy”). Id. ¶ 34.
The Policy contains the following exclusion:
We do not cover bodily injury or property damage arising out
of the ownership, maintenance, use, occupancy, renting,
loaning, entrusting, loading or unloading of any motor
vehicle or trailer.
Id. ¶ 36.
motion for summary judgment, the burden is on the moving
party to establish that there are no genuine issues of
material fact in dispute and that it is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986); White v. ABCO Engineering
Corp., 221 F.3d 293, 300 (2d Cir. 2000). Once the moving
party has met its burden, in order to defeat the motion the
nonmoving party must “set forth specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial, ”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256, and present such evidence
as would allow a jury to find in his favor, see Graham v.
Long Island R.R., 230 F.3d 34, 38 (2d Cir. 2000).
assessing the record to address questions of fact, the trial
court must resolve all ambiguities and draw all inferences in
favor of the party against whom summary judgment is sought.
Graham, 230 F.3d at 38. Summary judgment “is
properly granted only when no rational finder of fact could
find in favor of the non-moving party.” Carlton v.
Mystic Transp., Inc., 202 F.3d 129, 134 (2d Cir. 2000).
“When reasonable persons, applying the proper legal
standards, could differ in their responses to the
question” raised, on the basis of the evidence
presented, the question must be left to the finder of fact.
Sologub v. City of New York, 202 F.3d 175, 178 (2d
insurer’s duty to defend is triggered if at least one
allegation of the complaint falls even possibly within the
coverage.” Travelers Cas. and Sur. Co. of America
v. Netherlands Ins. Co., 312 Conn. 714, 739 (Conn. 2014)
(internal quotation marks omitted). However, an insurer has
no duty to defend if it can “establish that there is no
genuine issue of material fact either that no allegation of
the underlying complaint falls even possibly within the scope
of the insuring agreement or, even if it might, that any
claim based on such an allegation is excluded from coverage