INSURANCE-LIQUOR LIABILITY COVERAGE-LIMITS

November 17th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Insurance

Good v. Frankie & Eddie’s Hanover Inn, LLP, 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 727 (September 21, 2017) Musmanno, J.  Florence A. Good (“Good”), individually and as executrix of the Estate of Barry D. Good, deceased (“the Estate”), appeals from the Order denying Good’s Motion for Summary Judgment in a declaratory judgment action against Frankie & Eddie’s Hanover Inn, LLP (“Hanover Inn”), and RCA Insurance Group (“RCA”), on behalf of State National Insurance Company, and denying as moot RCA’s Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment.  We affirm.

On April 4, 2012, at approximately 10:56 p.m., Barry D. Good (“the Deceased”) was fatally injured when a Ford F250, driven by Francis Lynch (“Lynch”), collided with the Deceased’s Kawasaki Vulcan Motorcycle. At the time of the accident, Lynch was driving under the influence of alcohol, which had been served to him at Hanover Inn.

On the date of the accident, Hanover Inn was covered by a commercial insurance policy (“the Policy”) issued by RCA. The Policy includes a Liquor Liability Coverage Form, which provides for liquor liability coverage with an “Aggregate Limit,” as well as an “Each Common Cause Limit.” The Declarations page of the Policy specifies that the liquor liability coverage limit for “Each Occurrence” is $500,000, and the “Aggregate” limit is $1,000,000.

During the pendency of the wrongful death and survival action, a dispute arose regarding the applicable amount of coverage under the Policy. The parties entered into a settlement agreement for the underlying action, whereby RCA agreed to pay the undisputed amount of $500,000 on behalf of Hanover Inn. The parties also agreed that a court of competent jurisdiction would resolve the dispute pertaining to the remaining $500,000. An additional $15,000 was paid by Safe Auto Insurance Company, on behalf of Lynch, for bodily injury.

On June 17, 2013, Good filed a Complaint, seeking relief in the nature of a declaratory judgment that the applicable liability limit is the $1,000,000 “Aggregate Limit,” resulting in an additional payment of $500,000.

Upon review, we conclude that the trial court’s interpretation is sound and free of legal error, and we affirm on this basis as to Good’s claims.