Successful Representation of Insurer before U.S. District Court for the District of Maine

Verrill successfully represented an insurer before the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine in an insurance coverage matter alleging that the insurer improperly denied a defense and indemnification to a landlord under a homeowner’s policy. The landlord was sued for invading his tenant’s privacy. The District Court entered summary judgment for the insurer. The Court determined that the landlord’s actions and the tenant’s ensuing emotional distress were not an “accident” giving rise to a covered “occurrence” under the policy. In addition, the insured’s conduct fell within the policy’s exclusion for injuries “intended or reasonably expected” by the insured. In so holding, the District Court rejected plaintiff’s argument the landlord never intended for the tenant to be harmed by his conduct because he never expected that the tenant would discover the invasion of privacy. The Court concluded, based on the facts alleged in the underlying complaint, that the landlord “either actually intended or should have reasonably expected” that his conduct would cause harm to the tenant. The Court ultimately determined that the insurer had neither a duty to defend nor a duty to indemnify the insured.

Niles v. Travelers Home and Marine Ins. Co., 2:21-cv-265 (D. Maine)