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Supreme Court of Connecticut
December 4, 2012, Argued; March 26, 2013, Officially Released
[**487] [EDITOR’S NOTE: MAJORITY OPINION REPORTED AT: 2013 Conn. LEXIS 82.] [*148] ZARELLA, J. The principal issue in this case is whether an insurer has a duty to defend an additional insured when the complaint in the underlying personal injury action draws no connection between the injured person's use of the insured premises and her injuries, and undisputed extrinsic facts indicate that the underlying action falls outside of the scope of coverage under the policy. The named plaintiff, Misiti, LLC (Misiti), was an additional insured on a commercial general liability insurance policy (policy), which was issued to Misiti's tenant, Church Hill Tavern, LLC (tavern), by the named defendant, Travelers Property Casualty Company of America (Travelers).1 Misiti sought to invoke Travelers' duty to defend under the policy after Sarah Middeleer was injured in a fall on Misiti's property and brought the underlying action against [***5] Misiti. Misiti's insurer, the [*149] Netherlands Insurance Company (Netherlands),2 provided a defense to Misiti after Travelers denied any duty to defend Misiti in the underlying action. Misiti then brought the present action seeking, inter alia, a judgment declaring that Travelers had a duty to defend Misiti in the underlying action and that Travelers was obligated to reimburse Netherlands for all or part of the defense costs that it had expended. In this certified appeal, Misiti claims that the Appellate Court improperly reversed the trial court's judgment and improperly directed the trial court to render judgment in favor of Travelers because the Appellate Court misconstrued the language of the policy and incorrectly concluded that Middeleer's injuries did not arise out of the use of the leased premises under the terms of the policy. Travelers responds that the Appellate Court correctly construed the relevant policy language and that the complaint in the underlying action contained no allegations that could support a conclusion that Middeleer's injuries arose out of the use of the leased premises. We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.
The record discloses the following facts and procedural history, which are relevant to our resolution of this appeal. Misiti owned commercial property at 1, 3 and 5 Glen Road in Sandy Hook,3 which included commercial buildings and a riverside park area. Misiti leased the first floor of the building at 1 Glen Road to the tavern and certain rights common to Misiti's other tenants, including the use of a nearby parking lot.4 The tavern carried a commercial general liability insurance policy issued by Travelers, which included an endorsement [*150] that named Misiti as an additional insured, "but only with respect to liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of that part of the premises [**488] leased to [the tavern] . . . ."5
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308 Conn. 146 *; 61 A.3d 485 **; 2013 Conn. LEXIS 82 ***; 2013 WL 1007307
MISITI, LLC, ET AL. v. TRAVELERS PROPERTY CASUALTY COMPANY OF AMERICA ET AL.
Prior History: [***1] Action for a judgment declaring the named defendant's obligation to defend and to indemnify the named plaintiff in connection with a certain personal injury action, and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Danbury, where the court, Maronich, J., denied the named defendant's motion for summary judgment and granted the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment as to liability; thereafter, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion for judgment in accordance with the parties' stipulation as to damages and rendered judgment for the plaintiffs, from which the named defendant appealed to the Appellate Court, Robinson, Bear and Dupont, Js., which reversed the trial court's judgment and remanded the case with direction to render judgment for the named defendant, and the plaintiffs, on the granting of certification, appealed to this court.
Misiti, LLC v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am., 132 Conn. App. 629, 33 A.3d 783, 2011 Conn. App. LEXIS 602 (2011)
tavern, injuries, insurer, premises, duty to defend, leased premises, coverage, quotation, marks, allegations, leased, additional insured, present case, underlying action, connected, invitation, causal connection, parties, summary judgment motion, customers, business invitee, falls, river, scope of coverage, insurance policy, stipulated facts, trial court, endorsement, boutique's, construing
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Insurance Law, Claim, Contract & Practice Issues, Policy Interpretation, Judicial Review, Obligations of Parties, Insurers, Allegations in Complaints, Business Insurance, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Duty to Defend, Ambiguous Terms, Construction Against Insurers, General Overview, Reasonable Expectations, Coverage