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Louis H. Kozloff Quoted in "Pa. Shooting Case Will Test Bounds of 'Accident' Coverage," Law360 July 17, 2018

"Anytime the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decides to take a coverage case, it is going to attract attention," Goldberg Segalla’s Louis H. Kozloff, a partner in the Philadelphia office, told Law360.

He was speaking to the publication about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to rule on whether a gunman’s allegedly unintentional shooting of a man who walked in on his homicide-suicide qualifies as an “accident” that activates an insurer’s duty to defend under a liability policy.

"[This] case will be no exception because the case deals with an important threshold issue existing in every [commercial general liability] policy: what constitutes an occurrence,” he added.

Lou — a member of the firm’s Global Insurance Services practice — also noted the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Donegal Mutual Insurance Co. v. Baumhammers (2006).In that case the court ruled that an insurer was required to defend the parents of a man who went on a deadly shooting spree in a suit brought by representatives of the victims. The justices in Bauhammers held that the shootings "cannot be said to be the natural and expected result" of the parents' alleged negligence in failing to take the son's gun away or apprise authorities of his mental health problems.

"While the facts of Baumhammers are different from those in this case, the Supreme Court will likely look at an issue that arose in Baumhammers: whether the injury was intentional from the standpoint of the insured," Lou told Law360. "The Supreme Court will need to evaluate the underlying complaint and see if there are allegations that, from McCutcheon's standpoint, the shooting of Carly was unintentional or accidental."

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