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Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co. v. Bolding

October 1, 2009

THE CHARTER OAK FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RICHARD BOLDING, CYNTHIA MORRIS BOLDING, AND EDDIE AND TANYA KARIM, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS EXECUTORS FOR THE ESTATE OF JASMINE KARIM, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kiyo A. Matsumoto, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

Plaintiff, The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company ("Charter Oak") filed this declaratory judgment action against Defendants, Richard Bolding and Cynthia Morris Bolding (collectively referred to as the "Boldings"), and Defendants, Eddie and Tanya Karim, individually and as executors for the Estate of Jasmine Karim (collectively referred to as the "Karims"). Charter Oak seeks a declaration that the Boldings and the Karims failed to give Charter Oak timely notice of the accident that resulted in Jasmine Karim's death ("Accident"), and, as such, there is no coverage under the Charter Oak Policy in connection with the Accident and any potential ensuing claim or action by the Karims against the Boldings. The Boldings and the Karims were properly served with summonses and a complaint, and have not answered or otherwise appeared in this case. The Clerk of the Court noted the default of the Boldings and the Karims on December 11, 2008. Charter Oak now moves for a default judgment against the Boldings and the Karims. (See Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment ("Pl. Mot."), Doc. Entry No. 18.) The Boldings and the Karims have not filed any appearance or submission in this action.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are undisputed. Charter Oak issued Homeowners Policy 979389356 633 1 to the Boldings at their residence premises for the policy period December 21, 2006 to December 21, 2007 ("Policy"). (Pl. Mot. Attach. No. 8, Kirisits Aff. at ¶ 2 ("Kirisits Aff."), Ex. 1.) The policy identifies the "Location of Residence Premises," 66 E. Hook Cross Road, Hopewell Junction, New York, as the subject premises ("subject premises"). (Id. at ¶ 3, Ex. 1.) The policy generally provides liability coverage of up to $300,000 for damages from bodily injury or property damage caused by an "occurrence." (Id. at ¶¶ 2-3, Ex. 1.) The policy defines "occurrence" as "an accident, including exposure to conditions which results, during the policy period, in . . . bodily injury . . . or . . . property damage." (Id. ¶ 4, Ex. 1.)

The Boldings' policy includes a condition precedent to coverage as follows:

SECTION II -- CONDITIONS

***

3. Duties After Loss. In case of an accident or occurrence, the insured shall perform the following duties that apply. You will help us in seeing that these duties are performed:

a. give written notice to us or our agent as soon as is practical, which sets forth:

(1) the identity of the policy and the insured;

(2) reasonably available information on the time, place and circumstances of the accident or occurrence; and (c) names and addresses of any claimants and witnesses;

***

(Id. at ¶ 5; Pl. Ex. 1.)

On June 2, 2007, the Boldings hosted a party at their home, the subject premises. (See Kirisits Aff. at ¶ 9.) The Karims and their minor daughter, Jasmine Karim, were guests at the Boldings' party. (Id.) Jasmine Karim drowned in an in-ground swimming pool at the subject premises during the Boldings' party. (Id.) After being placed on life support at the hospital, Jasmine Karim died the following week as a result of the Accident. (Id. at ¶ 10.) The Boldings and the ...


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