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State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Cocuzza

Decided: April 20, 1966.

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, AUTHORIZED TO DO BUSINESS IN NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LORRAINE COCUZZA, AN INFANT, BY HER GUARDIAN AD LITEM, JAMES COCUZZA, JAMES COCUZZA, INDIVIDUALLY, AND CHARLES RYAN, DEFENDANTS



Mintz, J.s.c.

Mintz

This is a declaratory judgment action in which plaintiff seeks a construction of certain provisions in an automobile liability insurance policy, and particularly an adjudication of noncoverage by virtue of an exclusionary clause in said policy. The facts have been stipulated.

Plaintiff issued an automobile liability insurance policy to James Cocuzza covering a 1963 Ford automobile for a period from April 26, 1963 to March 28, 1965. This policy was not issued pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Security-Responsibility Law. N.J.S.A. 39:6-23 et seq. On January 31, 1965 defendant

Charles Ryan operated said automobile with the permission of James Cocuzza. This automobile was involved in an accident in which Lorraine Cocuzza, a passenger in the automobile and the infant daughter of James Cocuzza, was injured. Lorraine was then 16 years of age, a member of her father's household and supported by him. Ryan at this time was a boarder in the Cocuzza home. On May 11, 1965 a negligence action was instituted in the Essex County Court, Law Division, by Lorraine Cocuzza an infant, by her guardian ad litem James Cocuzza, and James Cocuzza individually against Ryan for personal injuries sustained by Lorraine in said accident, and for consequential damages suffered by her father. Plaintiff contends that the policy of insurance specifically excludes from coverage claims made by the named insured or any member of his family residing in the same household as the named insured.

The relevant clauses of the policy are as follows:

"INSURING AGREEMENT I -- THE OWNED AUTOMOBILE

(1) To pay all damages which the insured shall become legally obligated to pay because of (A) bodily injury sustained by other persons, and (B) injury to or destruction of property of others, caused by accident arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use, including loading or unloading of the owned automobile. * * *

DEFINITIONS -- INSURING AGREEMENTS I AND II

Named Insured -- means the individual so designated in the declarations and also includes his spouse, if a resident of the same household.

Insured under coverages A, B, C and M, the unqualified word 'insured' includes (1) the named insured, and also includes (2) his relatives, (3) any other person while using the owned automobile, provided the actual use of such automobile is with the permission of the named insured, and (4) under coverages A and B any person or organization legally responsible for the use thereof by an insured as defined under the three subsections above.

EXCLUSIONS -- INSURING AGREEMENTS I AND II

This insurance does not ...


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