San Francisco Partners Linda Wendell Hsu and Mark Inbody Obtained Impressive Summary Judgment Victory on Behalf of an Insurer Client in an Oregon Case

March 7, 2016

The insured was a tavern, and in the underlying matter, plaintiff was assaulted by another patron and sustained significant bodily injury. The insurer defended the suit, but the policy included an endorsement providing a sublimit of $50,000 for assault and battery claims. The issue was whether the endorsement applied, or whether the general liability limits of $500,000 was available to indemnify the plaintiff.

The Lane County Circuit Court granted the insurer's Motion for Summary Judgment enforcing the Assault and Battery $50,000 sublimit in the policy. The Court rejected the plaintiff's argument that the sublimit was unenforceable as against public policy since it was contrary to Oregon's statutory requirement that a liquor licensee have a minimum of $300,000 of GL coverage for liquor liability (i.e., dram shop exposure). The court ruled that the responsibility of obtaining proper coverage to comply with the statute was on the licensee, not the insurer.

Peter Mintzer in our Seattle office was also involved in this victory as local counsel with an Oregon bar license.

This was an issue of first impression in Oregon with no binding appellate authority.  Selman Breitman is proud to make new law in Oregon beneficial to the insurance industry.  If you have any questions about this decision, please contact Linda Hsu at or at (415) 979-2024.   

Selman Breitman provides this information for educational purposes. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case. This information should not be construed or relied on as legal advice or to create a lawyer-client relationship.