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Court of Appeals of Michigan
June 9, 1969, Submitted Division Three ; October 29, 1969, Decided
Docket No. 4,909
[*609] [**222] Richard J. Latz is suing defendant Harry Rombough under the Michigan "owner-liability" statute, MCLA § 257.401 (Stat Ann 1968 Rev § 9.2101) alleging that an automobile owned by defendant and driven with his knowledge and consent was involved in an accident. Plaintiff Zurich Insurance Company, defendant's insurance carrier, obtained a declaratory judgment that it was not required to defend the defendant in the pending suit by Latz and defendant Rombough appeals.
At the time of the accident, December 20, 1963, defendant was insured by plaintiff under a policy which covered any vehicle owned by defendant, including the vehicle involved in the accident. Defendant raised the defense in the Latz case that he was not the owner of the vehicle nor was the vehicle driven with his consent or knowledge. On December 3, 1963, 17 days before the accident, defendant had transferred title of the vehicle and had removed his license plates. The plates were subsequently stolen from the defendant and replaced on [***6] the vehicle. The title transfer had not been completed by the secretary of state's office at the time of the accident.
The insurance contract between plaintiff and defendant obligated plaintiff to pay on behalf of defendant all sums which defendant shall be legally [*610] obligated to pay for bodily injuries and for property damages. Other pertinent provisions are:
"II, Defense, Settlement, Supplementary Payments. With respect to such insurance as is afforded by this policy for bodily injury liability and for property damage liability, the company shall:
"(a) Defend any suit against the insured alleging such injury, sickness, disease or destruction and seeking damages on account thereof, even if such suit is groundless, false, or fraudulent; but the company may make such investigation, negotiation, and settlement of any claim or suit as it deems expedient;"
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
19 Mich. App. 606 *; 173 N.W.2d 221 **; 1969 Mich. App. LEXIS 1011 ***
ZURICH INSURANCE COMPANY v. ROMBOUGH
Subsequent History: [***1] Leave to Appeal Granted January 21, 1970. See 383 Mich 758.
Appeal granted by Zurich Ins. Co. v. Rombrough, 383 Mich. 758, 1970 Mich. LEXIS 443 (1970)
Affirmed by Zurich Ins. Co. v. Rombough, 384 Mich. 228, 180 N.W.2d 775, 1970 Mich. LEXIS 115 (1970)
Prior History: Appeal from Clinton, Leo W. Corkin, J.
insured, coverage, damages, duty to defend, allegations, trailer, driven
Insurance Law, Motor Vehicle Insurance, Obligations, Duty to Defend, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Exclusions, Criminal Acts, Liability & Performance Standards, Good Faith & Fair Dealing, General Overview