The Rogak Report: 01 July 2004 ** Coverage For Assault On Bus **
- WHEN ASSAULT OCCURS ON A BUS, THE BUS OWNER'S CGL POLICY AND NOT ITS
AUTO POLICY OWES THE COVERAGE
Serio v. Public Service Mutual Insuance Co. et al., 776 NYS2d 245
(1st Dept 2004)
The Superintendent of Insurance, as the representative of an
automobile insurer in liquidation, brought this declaratory judgment
action seeking a declaration that a bus company's CGL insurer was
obligated to defend and indemnify the insured (the bus company) in an
underlying lawsuit which arose out of an assault committed on one of
the insured's school buses. Supreme Court, New York County, granted
summary judgment to the Superintendent.
The Appellate Division held that Public Service Mutual, as the bus
company's CGL carrier, owed the coverage. The allegations made by
the plaintiff in the underlying assault case did not involve
the "ownership, maintenance or use" of the school bus so as to invoke
the exclusion in PSM's general liability policy. Since the auto
liability policy issued by New York Merchant Bakers Insurance Company
(in liquidation) only covered injuries arising from the ownership,
maintenance or use of the covered autos, "the facts alleged in the
underlying action plainly did not bring the case within the coverage"
of the auto insurer.