- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Insurance Law
- Date Filed: 10-27-2022
- Case #: 20-35890
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Miller, Circuit J. for the Court; O’Scannlain, Circuit J.; & Lee, Circuit J.
- Full Text Opinion
Plaintiff appealed a summary judgment ruling in favor of Defendant, who refused to defend and indemnify Plaintiff against a professional negligence suit. Plaintiff argued that the language within their policy provides that Defendant was obligated to cover any damages because of bodily injury or property damage; as such, Plaintiff asserted that the professional negligence suit arose “because of” a bodily injury. A broad interpretation of “because of” is not a reasonable one, and "a but-for cause is not always (in fact not often) a cause relevant to legal liability.” United States v. Hatfield, 591 F.3d 945, 948 (7th Cir. 2010). The Court reasoned that the phrase “because of bodily injury” in Plaintiff’s insurance policy includes only damages that reasonably or foreseeably result from bodily injury, rather than any that may arise in a daisy chain of lawsuits connected in some way to someone’s injury.” The Court held that the professional negligence claim did not arise “because of bodily injury” therefore Defendant had no duty to indemnify Plaintiff. Affirmed.