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Adamo v. State Farm Lloyds Co.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District, Houston

April 1, 1993, Rendered ; April 1, 1993, Filed

NO. B14-92-00650-CV

Opinion

 [*674]  OPINION

This is an appeal from the granting of a summary judgment in a declaratory judgment action. Appellants claimed that appellee had a duty to defend them in a separate lawsuit filed against them by Joseph Marino. Appellee filed a declaratory judgment action and a motion for summary judgment, alleging that no duty to defend existed because the appellants' insurance policy did not cover the causes of action asserted against them by Marino. The trial court granted the summary judgment on those grounds. Appellants filed a motion for new trial which was denied. Oral hearings were requested by appellants on both the summary judgment and new trial motions. Both requests were denied. In three points of error, appellants attack the  [*675]  granting of the summary judgment on substantive grounds, as [**2]  well as on the basis that they were denied their procedural right to an oral hearing on the summary judgment motion. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Appellants are insured by a broad form homeowner's policy which they obtained from appellee. This policy provides that appellee "shall defend any suit against the insured alleging such bodily injury or property damage and seeking damages which are payable under the terms of this policy, even if any of the allegations of the suit are groundless, false or fraudulent…." The policy also contained certain liability exclusions. Specifically relevant to this lawsuit were the policy provisions excluding coverage for… "business pursuits, the rendering of professional services, bodily injury or property damage caused intentionally by the insured, liability assumed by the insured through contract, and damage to property in the care, custody or control of the insured."

Appellant Sam Adamo ("Adamo") is a partner in the law firm of Adamo & Cornelius. Joseph Marino ("Marino") sued appellants Sam and Tana Adamo, along with Adamo's partner R. P. Cornelius, the law firm itself, Gene Michael Rebescher, and World Fibers, Inc. In [**3]  his petition, Marino asserted several causes of action against appellants, including: legal malpractice; breach of contract; negligent infliction of mental anguish; breach of fiduciary duty; fraud and conspiracy to defraud; and conversion.

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853 S.W.2d 673 *; 1993 Tex. App. LEXIS 893 **

SAMUEL D. ADAMO and TANA ADAMO, Appellants V. STATE FARM LLOYDS COMPANY, Appellee

Prior History:   [**1]   On Appeal from the 55th District Court. Harris County, Texas. Trial Court Cause No. 91-52324.

Disposition: Affirmed

CORE TERMS

oral hearing, summary judgment, trial court, insured, summary judgment motion, duty to defend, appellants', coverage, lawsuit, give rise, homeowner's policy, cause of action, property damage, no duty, allegations

Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Burdens of Proof, General Overview, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Motions for Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Insurance Law, Types of Insurance, Malpractice & Professional Liability Insurance, Defense Obligations, Liability & Performance Standards, Good Faith & Fair Dealing, Duty to Defend, Property Insurance, Obligations, Torts, Malpractice & Professional Liability, Attorneys, Judicial Officers, Judges, Discretionary Powers, Judgments, Evidentiary Considerations, Hearings, Oral Arguments, Hearing Requests, Supporting Materials, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Harmless & Invited Errors, Prejudicial Errors