First Mercury Insurance Co., Inc. v. Russell (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
The commercial general liability policy at issue in this case is internally inconsistent and therefore ambiguous, and therefore, the policy is interpreted in favor of the insured.
An employer’s commercial general liability policy was amended by an endorsement that included a “Stop Gap - Employers Liability Coverage Endorsement - West Virginia” that expressly provided coverage for bodily injury to employees, as well as an exclusion for statutory deliberate intent claims. At issue was whether coverage existed for a statutory deliberate intent action under the circumstances of this case. Insurer brought this appeal from an order of the circuit court that granted partial summary judgment for Employer/Insured and Employees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that ambiguous policy language must be construed in favor of Insured and that the Stop Gap endorsement operated to provide coverage for the deliberate intent claims of Employees against Employer/Insured, and the conflicting exclusion may not be enforced.