Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Citizens Insurance Company of America v. Assessment Systems Corp.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 26, 2019

Citizens Insurance Company of America Plaintiff,
v.
Assessment Systems Corporation, d/b/a Assessment Systems, Defendant.

          Jeffrey A. Goldwater and Perry Shorris, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, and Mark A. Smith, Wrobel & Smith, for Plaintiff.

          Brooke C. Nelson, Jack E. Pierce, and Leah A. Indrelie, Bernick Lifson, P.A., for Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Citizens Insurance Company of America's (“Citizens”) Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 31] seeking a declaratory judgment that it has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured, Defendant Assessment Systems Corporation (“Assessment Systems”), from a counterclaim asserted against it in a separate lawsuit between Assessment Systems and a third party, Crane Institute of America Certification, LLC (“Crane”). The Court agrees with Citizens in all relevant respects, and for the reasons discussed below, it grants its summary judgment motion in full.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. The Parties and Related Entities

          Citizens, the plaintiff in this case, is a Michigan corporation with its principal place of business in Massachusetts. (Compl. [Doc. No. 1] at ¶ 2.)

         Assessment Systems, the defendant in this case, is a Minnesota corporation with its principal place of business in Minnesota. (Id. at ¶ 3; Answer [Doc. No. 12] at ¶ 4.) Assessment Systems provides consulting services and testing software to other companies. (See Minn. Dist. Ct. Order Granting Assessment Systems' Mot. for Partial Summ. J. [Doc. No. 39-1] at 43; see also Minn. Dist. Ct. Joint Statement of the Case [Doc. No. 34-9] at 2.)

         Crane, an entity involved in a lawsuit with Assessment Systems but not a party to this case, is a Florida limited liability company engaged in the business of administering certification testing of crane operators, riggers, and signal persons throughout the United States. (See Minn. Dist. Ct. Crane Answer & Countercl. [Doc. No. 1-1] at 4; see also Minn. Dist. Ct. Joint Statement of the Case [Doc. No. 34-9] at 3.)

         B. Citizens' Insurance Policy for Assessment Systems

         Citizens issued Businessowners Policy No. OBX A459080-03 (the “Policy”) to Assessment Systems for the policy period from October 15, 2017 to October 15, 2018, with a retroactive date of October 15, 2014. (Policy [Doc. No. 34-3] at 33.) The Policy is a “claims-made” policy-and contained a prominent warning of that fact, (see id.)-which required “for coverage to attach, [that] the insurer . . . be given notice of the claim during the policy period, ” N.K.K. by Knudson v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 555 N.W.2d 21, 25 (Minn.Ct.App. 1996), rev. denied (Minn. Dec. 23, 1996); see Claims-made Insurance, Black's Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019) (“Insurance that indemnifies against all claims made during a specified period, regardless of when the incidents . . . occurred.”). Included in that Policy was a declaration stating:

SECTION A - COVERAGE
1. Insuring Agreement
a. We will pay those sums “you” become legally obligated to pay as “damages” and “claim expense” because of any “claim” arising out of an “anomaly” in “your product” or “your work” to which this insurance applies.

(Policy [Doc. No. 34-3] at 165.) The Policy provided for $2, 000, 000 in coverage, both per claim and in the aggregate. (Id. at 33.)

         The Policy's language contained several limits on the applicability of its coverage.

         Relevant here, the Policy states:

1. Insuring Agreement
. . . .
b. his insurance only applies if:
. . . .
(3) The “claim” is first made against “you” during the “policy period” or any extended reporting period we provide and the “claim” is reported to us as set forth in SECTION E - CONDITIONS, Paragraph 8. Duties In The Event Of “Anomalies”, “Claims”, or “Suits”

(Id. at 165 (underline emphasis added).)

         Paragraph 7[1] of Section E of the portion of the Policy provides, in relevant part:

SECTION E - CONDITIONS
. . . .
7. Duties In The Event Of “Anomalies”, “Claims”, or “Suits”
a. If a “claim” is made against “you”, “you must see to it that we receive written notice of the “claim” as soon as practicable. To the extent possible, the notice should include:
(1) How, when and where the “anomaly” took place;
(2) The names and addresses of any persons or entities allegedly sustaining injury or “damages”, and any witnesses;
(3) The nature and location of any injury or “damages” arising out of the “anomaly”.
b. “You” must:
(1) Immediately send us copies of any demands, notices, summonses or legal papers received in connection with the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.