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Loveridge v. Chartier

Supreme Court of Wisconsin

November 27, 1990, Argued ; April 10, 1991, Decided

No. 88-2107


 [*161]   [**147]  This case is before the court on a petition and cross-petition for review of an unpublished decision of the court of appeals, dated December 13, 1989, which affirmed in part and reversed in part a judgment of the circuit court for Milwaukee County, Rudolph T. Randa, Circuit Judge. The circuit court entered [***2]  judgment pursuant to a jury verdict against Dale L. Chartier (Chartier) and State Farm Fire & Casualty Company (State Farm) in the amount of $ 75,284.74. The jury awarded Cheryl Loveridge (Loveridge) $ 67,500.00 in compensatory damages and $ 20,000.00 in punitive damages. The compensatory damage award was reduced under sec. 895.045, Stats., because the jury found Chartier 75 percent causally negligent, Youthful Shoes, Inc. (a defendant that settled before trial) 5 percent causally negligent, and Loveridge 20 percent contributorily  [**148]  negligent. The court of appeals reversed the award of punitive damages, but affirmed the judgment of the circuit court in all other respects.

Four issues are presented for review. 1 The first issue is whether a court may infer that an adult intends to  [*162]  harm a 16- or 17-year-old as a matter of law when the adult has consensual sexual contact with the 16- or 17-year-old merely because the adult's conduct constitutes a misdemeanor offense. We hold that a court cannot make such an inference as a matter of law.

 [***3]  The second issue is whether the circuit court's instruction to the jury on the intentional-acts exclusion of the insurance policy was erroneous and prejudicial. We hold that the instruction was not erroneous under the facts of this case.

The third issue is whether public policy prevents insurance coverage for negligent transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. We hold that public policy does not prevent such coverage.

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161 Wis. 2d 150 *; 468 N.W.2d 146 **; 1991 Wisc. LEXIS 35 ***

Cheryl LOVERIDGE, Plaintiff-Respondent-Cross Petitioner, v. Dale L. CHARTIER, Defendant-Respondent-Co-Appellant, STATE FARM FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY, a foreign corporation, Defendant-Appellant-Petitioner

Prior History:  [***1]   Affirming 153 Wis. 2d 773, 452 N.W.2d 585 (Ct. App. 1989).

Review of a decision of the Court of Appeals.

Disposition: By the Court. -- The decision of the court of appeals is affirmed.


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Criminal Law & Procedure, Sex Crimes, Sexual Assault, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Abuse of Children, Elements, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Summary Judgment Review, Motions for Summary Judgment, Appropriateness, Genuine Disputes, Legal Entitlement, Materiality of Facts, Insurance Law, Coverage, Arson & Intentional Loss, Claim, Contract & Practice Issues, Intentional Acts Exclusions, Substantially Certain Injuries, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Exclusions, Intentional Acts, Property Insurance, Public Health & Welfare Law, Healthcare, Public Health Security, Communicable Diseases, Life Insurance, Obligations, Covered Losses, Remedies, Damages, Punitive Damages, Torts, Types of Damages, Punitive Damages, Aggravating Circumstances, Measurement of Damages, Judicial Review