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Florida Third DCA rules that commercial liability insurer’s policy language precluded coverage for damages arising from assault and battery that occurred on the insured’s premises

On April 7, 2021, in Sierra Auto Center, Inc., et al, v. Granada Insurance Company, et al, No. 3D19-2388, the Florida Third DCA affirmed a trial court ruling in a declaratory judgment action that the defendant insurance company had no duty to defend or indemnify its commercial liability insured in an underlying negligence action arising out of an assault and battery that occurred on the insured’s premises. The Third DCA concluded that the commercial liability insurance policy’s express assault and battery exclusion, which provided an exclusion from coverage for any bodily injury “arising out of or resulting from” an actual battery, failure to prevent the battery and related negligence claims, precluded any coverage. The Third DCA noted that it is well-established precedent that where the claimant’s injuries arise out of or result from a physical altercation, an assault and battery exclusion— such as the exclusion in the defendant’s policy—bars coverage for the claim against the insured, citing Wilshire Ins. Co. v. Poinciana Grocer, Inc., 151 So. 3d 55, 57 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014).

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