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Farm Family Casualty Ins Co. v. Samperi

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

March 15, 2017

FARM FAMILY CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY Plaintiff,
v.
GARY SAMPERI and APRIL CRETELLA Defendants.

          ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This declaratory judgment action arises out of an insurance policy (“the Policy” or “the insurance policy”) issued by Plaintiff Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company (“Farm Family”) to Gary Samperi.

         Under the Policy, Farm Family agreed to defend and indemnify Mr. Samperi for any liability adjudged against him in certain suits. Farm Family's obligations under the insurance policy were subject to specific policy exclusions. On March 25, 2015, Defendant April Cretella sued Defendant Samperi in the Superior Court of Connecticut. Superior Court Complaint, Ex. B, Pl.'s Stmt., ECF No. 13-5 (“Underlying Complaint”).

         Farm Family seeks a “declaration that the claims made in [Ms. Cretella's] Complaint do not give rise to a duty on the part of Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company to defend or indemnify Mr. Samperi” under his insurance policy or an endorsement to the policy that provided coverage for personal injury. See Compl., ECF 1. On May 2, 2016, Farm Family moved for summary judgment. See Pl.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 13. For the reasons that follow, this motion is GRANTED.

         I. Relevant Factual Background[1]

         On March 25. 2015, April Cretella instituted a civil action in the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut against Gary Samperi. Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 1 (citing Docket Sheet, Ex. A, Def.'s Stmt., ECF No. 13-4 (docket no. MMX-CV-15-6013323-S)). In her complaint, Ms. Cretella alleged that Mr. Samperi, who was her step-father, “physically, psychologically and emotionally abused” her for a period of around nine years. Underlying Complaint, ¶ 7. Ms. Cretella claimed that Mr. Samperi's conduct, which included “repeated” physical and sexual abuse, as well as supplying Ms. Cretella with narcotics and alcohol in exchange for sexual favors, caused significant “emotional, developmental, physiological and psychological injuries.” Id. at ¶ 10. Ms. Cretella's Underlying Complaint raised six claims: First Count (Assault and Battery), Second Count (Negligence), Third Count (False Imprisonment), Fourth Count (Recklessness), Fifth Count (Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress), and Sixth Count (Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress). Pl.'s Stmt., ¶ 4.

         Farm Family thus far has provided for Mr. Samperi's legal defense to the Underlying Action, subject to a reservation of its right to deny coverage under the Policy. Def.'s Stmt., ¶ 11. It now, however, seeks a declaratory judgment to establish that it has no duty to defend Mr. Samperi. See Compl., ECF No. 1.

         A. Mr. Samperi's Insurance Policy

         From August 16, 2006 through August 16, 2009, Plaintiff Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company insured Gary Samperi using “Special Farm Package 10.” Pl.'s Stmt., ¶ 5. Division V of that package covered “Liability.” Id. at ¶ 6; see also Policy Statement, Def.'s Stmt., Ex. C, ECF No. 13-6 (hereinafter “Policy Statement”). From 2006-2008, Section A of Division V included “Bodily Injury and Property Damage with a total limit of liability of $300, 000.” See Policy Statement, at 3 (2006); 71 (2007), and 88 (2008). In 2009, Section A of Division V changed to include “Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Personal Injury, Advertising Injury, ” with the same total limit as the years before. Id. at 99.

         Under Section A, Farm Family agreed to cover “claims made or suits brought against an insured for damages” when the claim or suit was caused by an “occurrence” falling under Section A.

         Policy Statement, 51. The Policy defined an occurrence as “an accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to conditions, that results in bodily injury or property damage. All bodily injury and property damage resulting from a common cause shall be considered the result of one occurrence.” Pl.'s Stmt., ¶ 8. The Policy also listed exclusions applicable to Sections A and B. Id.

         Specifically, Division V stated that Sections A and B did not apply to bodily injury/property damage

20. Arising out of actual, alleged or threatened sexual harassment or molestation, corporal punishment, or physical or mental abuse.

Id.

         B. The Personal Injury Endorsement

         Between 2006 through 2008, Samperi's policy also included a separate endorsement titled “SFP ‘10' Amendatory Endorsement, ” which provided optional liability coverage for personal injury. Pl.'s Stmt., ¶ 9; see also Personal Injury Endorsement 0506 0195, Policy Statement, 58 (“Personal Injury Endorsement”). The Endorsement was optional, but Mr. Samperi had paid for this optional coverage. Pl.'s Stmt., ¶ 9. “In return for the additional premium charged, ” Farm Family agreed to pay all damages that the insured became obligated to pay because of “personal injury.” The Endorsement defined “Personal Injury” as:

         1. false arrest, detention or imprisonment, or malicious prosecution;

         2. publication or utterance of libel or slander, of other defamatory or disparaging material, or in violation of an individual's right to privacy, except in the course of or related to advertising, broadcasting or telecasting activities conducted by or on behalf of the INSURED; or

         3. wrongful entry or eviction or other invasion of the right of private occupancy. However, the actual, alleged or threatened discharge, dispersal, seepage, migration, release or escape of POLLUTANTS into or upon land, water or air does not constitute an invasion of the right of private occupancy.

         See Policy Statement, 3, 58, 71, 88, 96. The Endorsement did not ...


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