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Vol. 4, Iss. 4
April 8, 2015

Bar’s Policy That Excludes Assault & Battery Is Not Illusory
It is not surprising that a bar owner, who did not pay a lot of attention to the ins and outs of his insurance, would be surprised to learn that his commercial general liability policy contained an Assault & Battery exclusion, as many do. That’s what happened to a tavern owner in Tennessee, who was sued for wrongful death, when a patron was beaten to death in the parking lot of his establishment. The tavern owner argued that, between the Liquor Liability exclusion [version in a standard CGL policy] and A&B exclusion, the coverage was illusory because it would not pay benefits under any reasonably expected set of circumstances. As he saw it, “common sense dictates that customers visit a tavern to drink alcohol and it is reasonably foreseeable, and expected, that intended injuries arising out of a fight on the premises would take place.” The court disagreed. Atlantic Casualty Inc. Co. v. Norton, No. 12-650 (E.D. Tenn. Mar. 23, 2015).


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