Question

Property Owners Insurance Co. (POI) was the insurer and Thomas Cope was the insured under a liability policy that excluded liability except in cases of liability "with respect to the conduct of a business" owned by Cope. Cope's business was a roofing company. While the policy was in force, Cope traveled to Montana with Edward Urbanski, a person with whom Cope did significant business. While on the trip, Cope snowmobiled with a group of persons that included Gregory Johnson, who died in a snowmobiling accident. Johnson's estate brought a wrongful death lawsuit against Cope. After Cope notified POI of the case brought against him, POI filed a declaratory judgment action against Cope and Johnson's estate. In the declaratory judgment action, POI sought a judicial determination that it had no obligations to Cope and Johnson's estate under the liability policy. POI took the position that Cope's trip to Montana was a personal trip for recreation purposes and that it therefore was not a trip "with respect to the conduct of [Cope's] business." Cope maintained that even if the trip was largely recreational, it was at least incidental to his business because Urbanski, who also was on the trip, was a business associate of Cope's. POI moved for summary judgment. Was POI entitled to summary judgment?



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  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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