California Court Determines No Coverage Based on Unambiguous Motor Vehicle Exclusion


The California Court of Appeal recently held that an insurer properly denied coverage and had no duty to defend its insured where the policy unambiguously excluded coverage for claims arising from the operation of a motor vehicle by an insured.

In Sprinkles v. Associated Indemnity Corporation (published September 1, 2010), Plaintiffs were the heirs of a motorcyclist who died in an accident caused by an employee, Juan Bibinz (“Bibinz”), of Sinco Co., Inc. (“Sinco”). Plaintiffs sued Sinco and Bibinz (the “Sinco action”) alleging that Sinco negligently hired Bibinz, an uninsured and undocumented alien with a lengthy criminal record, who negligently drove his vehicle causing the death of Plaintiffs’ heir. Plaintiffs also alleged that Bibinz was an employee acting within the scope of his authority.

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