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Truck Dealership Insurer Found Not Liable in Fatal Accident

Case Study

Truck Dealership Insurer Found Not Liable in Fatal Accident

January 29, 2020

An insurance company represented by Goldberg Segalla partner Jonathan L. Schwartz in a coverage dispute stemming from a fatal tractor-trailer accident does not have to defend or indemnify the dealership that leased the truck, a court ruled.

The summary judgment victory likely saved Goldberg Segalla’s client millions of dollars.

In the October 11, 2016, accident that gave rise to the dispute, a leased tractor-trailer driven by an employee of a Minnesota-based pork producer crossed the centerline of a road in Bureau County, Illinois, colliding with a pickup truck and killing its driver.

The pickup driver’s wife filed a wrongful death suit against the dealership, alleging it was negligent in entrusting the tractor trailer involved in the accident to a third party.

The dealership tendered coverage for the lawsuit to its insurer. The insurer rejected coverage based on a leased-autos exclusion and informed the dealership. After the dealership refused to withdraw its tender, the dealership’s insurer filed suit. In that suit, Jonathan, a member of Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services practice, argued successfully that the insurance carrier wasn’t responsible for defending or indemnifying the dealership because its policy excluded injury coverage resulting from leased vehicles.


Goldberg Segalla is one of the premier law firms advising and representing the global insurance and reinsurance industry. Its 75-lawyer Global Insurance Services practice group, which Law360 ranks among the largest in the United States, exists to serve insurers, reinsurers, and all others operating in the insurance arena.