Dorchester Mutual Insurance Co. v. KrusellAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the order of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Dorchester Mutual with respect to its duty to indemnify the parents of Timothy Krusell, holding that the allowance of summary judgment in favor of Dorchester Mutual was error.
Timothy pushed Robert Haufler on a sidewalk, causing him to fall and sustain injuries. Haufler brought a personal injury action against the Krusells. Dorchester Mutual sought a declaratory judgment that it had no duty to indemnify the Krusells under a homeowners' insurance policy for Haufler's personal injury claims because Timothy's conduct was a form of "physical abuse" for which coverage was unavailable. A superior court judge concluded that coverage was precluded. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed, holding (1) the term "physical abuse," as used in the policy, was ambiguous, but a reasonable insured would interpret the term as not precluding coverage for Haufler's claim; and (2) there was no error in the allowance of summary judgment on so much of the Krusell's cross claim as asserted violations of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A and Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 176D.