Duty to Defend – 2
The Utah Supreme Court decided that the so-called eight corners rule—review of the pleadings alone to the policy to determine if there is a duty to defend—does not always apply and that under certain circumstances, the court must consider extrinsic evidence
before making a decision to defend.
However, insurers who insure bars and other places where alcoholic beverages are sold are loathe to insure the bar against liability for barroom fights, acts of security personnel (bouncers), or any form of assault or battery. Plaintiffs’ lawyers recognize this fact and will therefore add to their pleadings allegations of negligence on the part of the bar or its owners to drag the insurer and its big pockets of cash into the case to compel a settlement that is less than the cost of defense. Such a case was presented to the District Court, District of Nevada in Versatility, Inc v. Capitol Indemnity Corporation, et al.,27 which refused to submit to the artful pleading of the plaintiff’s lawyer and upheld an assault and battery exclusion.
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