United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE
A. Bolden, United States District Judge
25, 2017, American Casualty Company of Reading, Pennsylvania
(“Defendant” or “American Casualty
Co.”), a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal
place of business in Illinois, removed this case from the
Superior Court for the Judicial District of New London on the
basis of diversity jurisdiction. Not. of Removal ¶¶
6-7, ECF No. 1. On September 15, 2017, American Casualty Co.
moved for judgment on the pleadings. Mot. for J. on
Pleadings, (“Def.'s Mot.”), ECF No. 24.
following reasons, American Casualty Co.'s motion for
judgment on the pleadings is GRANTED.
I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
20, 2015, a jury convicted Joseph L. Baribeau of fourth
degree sexual assault. Criminal Record, Answer Ex. E, ECF No.
The Underlying State Court Civil Action
22, 2015, Ms. Wohlforth filed a civil complaint in
Connecticut Superior Court. State Compl., Answer Ex. A, ECF
No. 13-1. On September 4, 2015, she filed an amended
complaint, asserting one count of assault and another of
negligence. State Am. Compl., Answer Ex. B., ECF No. 13-2.
Wohlforth alleged that, on January 8, 2014, during a
pre-arranged massage therapy appointment, Mr. Baribeau
“inappropriately touched [her] in her vaginal area and
digitally penetrated [her] in violation of Section 53a-73a of
the Connecticut General Statues.” Id. ¶
2. As a result of that assault, she allegedly “suffered
upset, embarrassment and anguish, which effect of the trauma
are likely to be permanent.” Id. ¶ 3. She
alleged that she “has received and will receive mental
health therapy for the trauma she suffered.”
Id. ¶ 4.
alternative, she alleged that Mr. Baribeau “negligently
touched [her] in her vaginal area and [ ] failed to use
proper techniques to prevent such intrusion into sensitive
private areas.” Id. at 3. The negligent
touching also allegedly caused her “upset,
embarrassment and anguish which effects of the trauma are
likely to be permanent.” Id.
lawsuit resulted in a judgment for Ms. Wohlforth of $195,
000.00 through a judgment by stipulation before a jury trial
had begun. Compl. ¶ 6, Not. of Removal Ex. A, ECF No.
1-1; see also Wohlforth v. Baribeau, No.
KNL-CV15-6024673-S, available at
The American Casualty Co. Insurance Policy
Wohlforth seeks payment of her $195, 000 judgment from
American Casualty Co. This insurance company allegedly
insured Mr. Baribeau, who was, at all times relevant to her
Complaint, an “enrolled member” of insurance
policy HPG 0289955556, which American Casualty Co. issued to
the American Massage Therapy Association. Compl.
¶¶ 3-4; see also ACCO Policy, Answer Ex.
C, ECF No. 13-3. The relevant policy contains the following
We will not defend any claim for, or pay any
amounts, including claim expenses, based on,
arising out of, or related to:
. . . any act of sexual intimacy, sexual molestation or
sexual assault. We shall provide an enrolled
member with a defense of such claim
unless or until such act has been determined to have
occurred, by any trial verdict, court ruling, regulatory
ruling or legal admission, whether appealed or not. Such
defense will not waive any of our rights under this Policy.
Criminal proceedings are ...