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Plaintiff Contends Defendant is Obligated to Indemnify Plaintiffs in Personal Injury Action

A Kings Construction Accident Lawyer said that, in an action for a judgment declaring that the defendant is obligated to defend and indemnify the plaintiffs in an underlying personal injury action, commenced in the Supreme Court, Kings County, the plaintiffs appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Queens County, dated May 3, 2010, which denied their motion for summary judgment on the complaint.

The plaintiffs entered into an agreement with All American Talent (hereinafter All American), whereby All American was to rent the auditorium and three classrooms in the plaintiff Christ the King Regional High School (hereinafter the school) for two days for a dance competition. The contract required All American to name the school as an additional insured on a liability insurance policy issued to it by the defendant.

A Kings Spinal injury Lawyer said that, complainant allegedly was injured when she fell on a sidewalk while walking from the parking lot behind the school to the front entrance in order to attend the dance competition. Levine commenced an action against the present plaintiffs, alleging that her fall was caused by a sidewalk defect. The plaintiffs sought defense and indemnification in that action from the defendant, under an additional insured endorsement of a general liability policy issued by the defendant to All American.

When the defendant denied that request, the plaintiffs commenced this action for a judgment declaring that the defendant is obligated to defend and indemnify them in the underlying personal injury action. The plaintiffs moved for summary judgment on the complaint, and the Supreme Court denied the motion. We affirm, but on a ground different from that relied upon by the Supreme Court.

The issue in this case is whether defendant is obligated to defend and indemnify the plaintiffs in an underlying personal injury.

In support of their motion, the plaintiffs argued that coverage was available under Section II, 2.e of the Commercial General Liability Coverage Form, under which, as relevant here, an “insured” is defined to include any organization to whom All American was obligated, by virtue of a written contract, to provide liability insurance, “but only with respect to liability arising out of its operations.” The portion of this provision limiting coverage to liability “arising out of All American’s operations” requires that there be “some causal relationship between the injury and the risk for which coverage is provided”. The plaintiffs failed to demonstrate, prima facie, the existence of such a causal relationship. All American’s “operations” consisted of conducting a dance competition in the school auditorium and three classrooms. Bodily injury occurring outside the leased premises, in an area which All American had no responsibility to maintain or repair, “was not a bargained-for risk”. Rather, All American’s “operations” at the school merely furnished the occasion for the construction accident, much like in Worth Constr. Co., where the fact that the named-insured subcontractor installed a staircase on which the injured plaintiff fell, thus furnishing “the situs of the accident,” did not demonstrate that the accident, caused by the installation of fireproofing on the staircase by another subcontractor, arose from the named-insured subcontractor’s “operations” “liability may not be imposed upon a party who merely furnishes the condition or occasion for the occurrence of the event but is not one of its causes” internal quotation marks omitted.

Since the plaintiffs failed to meet their initial burden, we need not consider the sufficiency of the papers submitted by the defendant in opposition.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court properly denied the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on the complaint. The court ordered that the order is affirmed, with costs.

If you encounter a construction accident and you sustained serious injury therefrom, you will need to seek for the legal representation of a Kings Personal Injury Attorney and Kings Brain Injury Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates. Without the help of these attorneys, you will not be able to claim for damages in order to pay for your hospital expenses. So call us now.

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