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September 2015

Summary Judgment Obtained in United States District Court, Southern District

Ed Taylor and John McMahan obtained a summary judgment in the United States District Court, Southern Division in a declaratory judgment action involving a homeowners policy.  The insured started a fire in her living room with the alleged intent only to burn family photographs that were causing her to be distressed.  She claimed that she only intended to burn the photos not her house down.  Judge Guirola ruled that pursuant to the policy the fire was not sudden and accidental and thus not covered pursuant to the insuring agreement, the court did not reach the insurers claim that the insured’s actions were excluded pursuant to the intentional act exclusion.