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Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

by Roy, Christopher


SC19600 - State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Tully ("The principal issue in these appeals is whether evidence of an insured person’s voluntary intoxication may be used, when an insurance policy excludes coverage for intentional acts, to negate intent and thereby establish the insurer’s duty to defend the insured person against civil claims arising from sexual misconduct with a minor. The plaintiff, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, brought this action seeking a declaratory judgment that it owed no duty to defend the named defendant, Mark Tully, under a homeowners insurance policy (policy), in a separate civil action filed on behalf of the defendant Child Doe. The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that, because the policy excluded coverage for acts ‘intended’ by the insured, Tully’s actions fell outside the scope of the policy and, thus, the plaintiff had no duty to defend him under the presumption of intent established in United Services Automobile Assn. v. Marburg, 46 Conn. App. 99, 104–105, 98 A.2d 914 (1997). On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff because evidence that Tully was intoxicated at the time of the incident created a genuine issue of material fact as to whether his actions were intentional. Specifically, the defendants assert that evidence of voluntary intoxication may negate the intent presumed under Marburg and thereby establish an insurer’s duty to defend. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")