Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company v. L & L Social Club, Inc. et al
OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 9/16/2013. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Appeals Checklist)(jg, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, EASTERN DIVISION
ATLANTIC CASUALTY INSURANCE )
L & L SOCIAL CLUB, INC.,
d/b/a L & L Social Club,
CIVIL ACTION NO.
Plaintiff Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company brought
defendants L & L Social Club, Inc., Lillian Peterson, and
Vickie Doss (individually and as administrator of the
estate of James Arthur Doss).
The jurisdiction of the
court has been invoked pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332
Default judgment has already been entered
against L & L Social Club.
Atlantic now moves for
summary judgment against Doss and Peterson.
Based on the
parties’ submissions (the last of which was filed this
morning), the motion will be granted in part.
“A party may move for summary judgment, identifying
each claim or defense--or the part of each claim or
defense--on which summary judgment is sought.
shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
admissible evidence in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in
favor of that party.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. Ltd. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
lawsuit for damages arising from a shooting at L & L
Doss, in her capacity as administrator of
the estate of her son James Arthur Doss and individually,
filed suit against L & L Social Club, Inc., in state
court alleging that her son was shot and killed while on
the club’s premises.
In this federal suit, Atlantic
asserts that it has no duty to defend and indemnify L &
within the policy’s exclusions.
The insurance company
determination of whether it has a duty to defend and
indemnify the club against Doss’s claims.
Doss and Peterson do not contest, for now, that
Atlantic has no duty to defend L & L Social Club in light
of one or more of the applicable policy exclusions,
including damages stemming from a murder on the premises;
damages for bodily injury related to liquor liability;
damages resulting from the use of a firearm; and damages
resulting from the failure of the insured to prevent
injuries by a firearm.
Atlantic is therefore entitled to
Peterson on Atlantic’s duty to defend.
However, the court agrees with Doss that Atlantic’s
L & L Social Club against an adverse judgment
in Doss’s state-court lawsuit is not appropriate for
resolution on the merits (as opposed to judgment by
default, which has been entered against L & L Social
Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Toole, 947 F. Supp. 1557,
1565-66 (M.D. Ala. 1996) (Thompson, J.); Guaranty Nat.
Ins. Co. v. Beeline Stores, Inc., 945 F. Supp. 1510,
1514-15 (M.D. Ala. 1996) (Thompson, J.).
It is still
allegations against L & L Social Club and allege a theory
of liability that is covered under the policy.
the club could prevail in its defense against Doss’s
suit, making the duty-to-indemnify claim moot, in which
case “[t]he time and effort the court and the parties
Beeline Stores, 945 F. Supp. at 1515. It thus
sufficiently ripe to present a ‘case’ or ‘controversy’
and that, if there were, the court would still, in the
Summary judgment will therefore be denied to Atlantic
on the insurance company’s request for a declaration on
the merits against Doss and Peterson that it has no duty
to indemnify L & L Social Club.
Nevertheless, because it
appears that Atlantic’s indemnification claim against
Doss and Peterson on the merits is premature, the claim
will be dismissed without prejudice.
An appropriate judgment will be entered.
DONE, this the 16th day of September, 2013.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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