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American Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. McCowan

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

February 16, 2017

AMERICAN FAMILY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
DUSTIN McCOWAN, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JAMES T. MOODY JUDGE

         I. BACKGROUND [1]

         Defendants William and Sandra Bach (the “Bachs”) were the parents of Amanda Bach. Amanda died on September 16, 2011, as a result of a gunshot wound. (DE ## 12 at 3, 46-5 at 2.) On February 26, 2013, Defendant Dustin McCowan was convicted of the murder of Amanda. (DE # 46-3.)

         At the time of Amanda's death, Dustin resided at the household of his parents: Amy McCowan and Defendant Joseph McCowan. (DE # 46-7 at 6.) American Family Mutual Insurance Company (“American Family”) issued a homeowners policy of insurance (the “Policy”) to Amy and Joseph McCowan for their residence in Valparaiso, Indiana. (DE # 46-1.) The Policy was in force on the date of Amanda's death. (DE # 46-1.)

         The Policy, written by American Family, provided liability coverage as follows:

Coverage D- Personal Liability Coverage. We will pay, up to our limit, compensatory damages for which any insured is legally liable because of bodily injury or property damage caused by an occurrence covered by this policy.
Defense Provision. If a suit is brought against any insured for damages because of bodily injury or property damage caused by an occurrence to which this policy applies, we will provide a defense at our expense by counsel of our choice. We will defend any suit or settle any claim for damages payable under this policy as we think proper.

(DE # 46-1 at 12.) The Policy defines “bodily injury” as “bodily harm, sickness or disease. It includes resulting loss of services, required care and death.” (Id. at 4.) The Policy defines “occurrence” as “an accident, including exposure to conditions, which results during the policy period in” (a) bodily injury; or (b) property damage. (Id.) Additionally, “[i]nsured means you and, if residents of your household: (1) your relatives; and (2) any other person under the age of 21 in your care or in the care of your resident relatives.” (Id.)

         Furthermore, the Policy contains certain exclusions from liability coverage:

Coverage D- Personal Liability and Coverage E- Medical Expense do not apply to:
10. Intentional Injury. We will not cover bodily injury or property damage caused intentionally by or at the direction of any insured even if the actual bodily injury or property damage is different than that which was expected or intended from the standpoint of the insured.
* * *
17. Violation of Law. We will not cover bodily injury or property damage arising out of . . . violation of any criminal law for which any ...

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