Trailer Bridge, Inc. v. Illinois Nat'l Ins. Co., No. 10-13913 (11th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Trailer Bridge appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Illinois National on Trailer Bridge's complaint, alleging that Illinois National failed to defend Trailer Bridge in an underlying antitrust action and thereby breached its commercial general liability insurance policy issued to Trailer Bridge for the year July 2004 to July 2005. The central issue on appeal was whether the CEO's statement triggered the duty to defend under the "personal and advertising injury" provision in the policy. After review and oral argument, the court held that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment for Illinois National for the reasons set forth in the district court's order, which the court adopted as its own. In particular, the court agreed with the district court's rejection of Trailer Bridge's argument that the CEO's statement deployed the advertising idea of "another." The court rejected Trailer Bridge's contention that the use of a co-defendant's idea could qualify as an "offense" under the policy. The underlying plaintiffs sought only antitrust damages; they did not seek to impose any legal obligations upon the insured to pay them damages "because of . . . advertising injury." No facts were alleged in the underlying complaint on the basis of which the underlying plaintiffs might have recovered damages "because of . . advertising injury"; and the underlying plaintiffs could not have recovered such damages because the allegedly misappropriated "advertising idea" was not that of the underlying plaintiffs, but rather was alleged to have been the advertising idea of other parties altogether.