United States District Court, W.D. New York
DECISION AND ORDER
MICHAEL A. TELESCA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company
(“plaintiff” or “PIIC”) seeks a
declaratory judgment regarding its duty to defend and
indemnify defendant Central Terminal Restoration Corporation
(“CTRC”) in lawsuits commenced by defendants
William and Marcy A. Sheehan (“the Sheehans”) and
Michael A. Serrano (“Mr. Serrano”). Specifically,
PIIC asks the Court to determine that its obligation to
defend and indemnify CTRC exists only under a liquor
liability coverage in CTRC's primary insurance policy,
and not under the commercial general liability coverage part
of the primary policy or under an excess policy.
pending before the Court are four motions for summary
judgment, all of which were filed on November 16, 2016: Mr.
Serrano's motion for summary judgment (Docket No. 32);
the Sheehans' motion for summary judgment (Docket No.
33); CTRC's motion for summary judgment (Docket No. 34);
and plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Docket No.
35). For the reasons set forth below, the three motions for
summary judgment filed by defendants are granted and
plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is denied.
Judgment shall be entered in favor of defendants and the case
following facts are taken from the respective statements of
fact, affidavits, and exhibits submitted by plaintiff and
a not-for-profit corporation formed for the purpose of
stabilizing and finding a reuse for the Central Terminal
Railway Station located in Buffalo, New York. CTRC held a
Dyngus Day fund-raising event on April 1, 2013, at which
alcohol was served and for which it obtained a temporary
liquor license. The Dyngus Day fund-raising event ultimately
resulted in the filing of two lawsuits against CTRC, one by
Mr. Serrano (the “Serrano Lawsuit”) and one by
the Sheehans (the “Sheehan Lawsuit”). Both the
Serrano Lawsuit and the Sheehan Lawsuit allege that Thomas A.
Gilray, Jr. (“Mr. Gilray”) was served alcohol at
the Dyngus Day fund-raising event despite being visibly
intoxicated or impaired by alcohol and that Mr. Gilray
subsequently injured Mr. Serrano and Mr. Sheehan while
operating an automobile.
issued policy number PHPK99321 (the “Primary
Policy”) to CTRC for the policy period March 20, 2013
to March 20, 2015. The Primary Policy contains a commercial
general liability (“CGL”) coverage part with a
$2, 000, 000 limit for each occurrence and an aggregate limit
of $4, 000, 000. The Primary Policy includes both a
fund-raising events endorsement, and a liquor liability
coverage part with a $1, 000, 000 “common cause”
limit and a $1, 000, 000 aggregate limit. PIIC also issued
policy number PHUB415091 (the “Excess Policy”) to
CTRC for the policy period March 20, 2013 to March 20, 2014.
The Excess Policy has a limit of $1, 000, 000 for each
occurrence and a $1, 000, 000 aggregate limit.
filing of the Serrano and Sheehan Lawsuits, CTRC provided
timely notice of the claims to PIIC, and PIIC has been
providing CTRC with a defense to both lawsuits since 2013. On
January 20, 2016, PIIC sent a letter to Michael Appelbaum,
the attorney representing CTRC in connection with the Serrano
and Sheehan Lawsuits, seeking to “explain the position
of [PIIC}” with respect to CTRC's coverage. The
January 20, 2016 letter states that PIIC is providing
coverage only under the liquor liability coverage part of the
Primary Policy, and not under the CGL coverage part or under
the Excess Policy. PIIC subsequently commenced the instant
action, seeking a declaration that its obligation to defend
and indemnify CTRC exists only under the liquor liability
coverage part to the Primary Policy.
Standard of Review
to Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the
Court will grant summary judgment if the moving party
demonstrates that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. When considering a motion for summary
judgment, all genuinely disputed facts must be resolved in
favor of the party against whom summary judgment is sought.
See Tolan v. Cotton, 134 S.Ct. 1861, 1863 (2014).
If, after considering the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party, the court finds that no
rational jury could find in favor of that party, a grant of
summary judgment is appropriate. See Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007), citing Matsushita
Elec. Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S.
574, 586-587 (1986).
The Competing Motions for Summary Judgment
noted above, there are four motions for summary judgment
currently pending before the Court. Plaintiff has moved for
summary judgment, arguing that no coverage exists under
either the CGL coverage part of the Primary Policy or under
the Excess Policy because the Sheehan and Serrano Lawsuits
allege intentional acts on the part of CTRC. Mr. Serrano, the
Sheehans, and CTRC have each separately moved for summary
judgment, arguing that coverage exists under the plain
language of both the CGL coverage part of the Primary Policy