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Second Circuit finds Three Accidents Triggering Three Policy Limits

Via Summary Order, the Second Circuit in the case of National Liability v. Itzkowits, et. al, found three accidents and not one under a Commercial Automobile insurance policy.  A construction truck, left its dump box in a raised position, which struck an overpass, causing damage to the overpass.  The dump box came loose from the truck falling to the highway below and coming to rest, when vehicle number one, with several passengers, struck the dump box causing injuries to the passengers.  The dump box was caused to move by the impact with vehicle one, but eventually came to rest, when a second vehicle struck the dump box causing injuries to the passengers of that vehicle.

The New York State Thruway Authority made a claim for the property damage to the bridge and the passengers of vehicles one and two made claims for bodily injury.

The National Liability policy provided for limits of 1 million dollars per accident and argued that the three events constituted one accident under its policy of insurance.  The Second Circuit in affirming the District Court decision held that the “Unfortunate Events” test set out by the New York Court of Appeals applied to the case and under the facts of this case held there were three separate accidents, triggering up to $3,000,000 in exposure for National Liability.Read more…

by Rosa M. Feeney, Esq.

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