Knowing a Nexus When You See It In Texas: Bus Driver's TB Transmission to Passengers Not Covered Under Auto Policy


In a case of first impression, the Texas Supreme Court held that a bus driver's transmission of tuberculosis (TB) to his passengers was not an accident resulting from the use of the tour bus so as to trigger coverage under the tour bus company's business owner's policy. The court concluded, as Justice Potter Stewart might have said, that it knows a nexus between injury and use of a vehicle when it sees it, and there isn't one between TB transmission and a bus.

In Lancer Ins. Co. v. García Holiday Tours,___ S.W.3d ___, 2011 WL 2586878 (Tex. July 1, 2011), high school band members were collectively awarded more than $5 million in a lawsuit in which they alleged they contracted TB due to confinement on a García Holiday Tours bus with an infected driver. The existence of business auto liability coverage for García turned on whether the disease transmission "resulted from" "use" of the bus. Lancer denied coverage, contending the nexus between the injuries and the use of the bus was insufficient to invoke coverage. In the ensuing coverage litigation, the Texas Supreme Court agreed with Lancer.

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