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Intentionally wrongful conduct is not covered by accident insurance

When a civil defendant is sued for intentionally wrongful conduct, that defendant’s accident insurer does not have to pay for the defendant’s civil defense.

Traveler’s v. Actavis, G053749, Court of Appeal of the State of California Fourth Appellate District Division Three, Nov. 6, 2017.

Illegal drugs can be highly addictive.
The U.S. is said to have an opioid crisis.

Santa Clara and Orange County have sued various defendants for willfully marketing opioid pain killers for the intention of addicting patients, stimulating demand and generating profit.  The defendants are accused of intentionally hiding opioids’ addictive properties, and marketing the pain killers for purposes that the drugs are not suited for, such as improving the condition of those suffering chronic pain.

One of those defendants is Watson Pharma, Inc.  Watson is insured by Travelers Insurance.  Travelers refused to provide defense counsel or to pay for defense counsel for Watson under the “accident” insurance policy between the two.

Travelers filed for declaratory relief that it had no obligation to defend Watson.  The trial court found that Travelers coverage was for “accidents,” and that accidents are mutually exclusive of the deliberate and intentional misconduct that Watson was alleged to have engaged in.

The Court of Appeal of the State of California Fourth Appellate District Division Three affirmed the trial court’s decision.

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