West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis ClaimsAnnotate this Case
The issue this case presented for the Oregon Supreme Courts review centered on a liability insurer’s duty to defend an insured against a civil action. "Ordinarily, courts decide whether an insurer had a duty to defend by comparing the provisions of the insurance policy to the allegations of the complaint against the insured, without regard to extrinsic evidence." In this case, the trial court and the Court of Appeals concluded that extrinsic evidence should have been considered, and after considering such evidence, held that the insurer had a duty to defend. On review, the Supreme Court agreed that the insurer had a duty to defend and therefore affirmed. "We do not see any need to resort to extrinsic evidence, however, or to modify our existing case law regarding when an insurer has a duty to defend."