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Norton v. Concord Insurance Co.

Decided: October 20, 1967.

ROBERT D. NORTON, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
THE CONCORD INSURANCE COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, AND MARILYN SCHMUCK, ET AL., DEFENDANTS



Gaulkin, Lewis and Kolovsky. The opinion of the court was delivered by Gaulkin, S.j.a.d.

Gaulkin

[97 NJSuper Page 99] Plaintiff Robert D. Norton (Robert) sued to compel defendant Concord Insurance Company (Concord) to defend him against an action for personal injuries brought by his sister Marilyn Schmuck. The trial

judge granted summary judgment in Robert's favor and Concord appeals. We affirm.

Robert was driving his father's automobile, with his father's permission and with Marilyn as a passenger, when the automobile collided with another, allegedly because of Robert's negligence, and Marilyn was injured. Concord had issued an automobile liability policy to the father as named insured with the usual omnibus clause, but when Marilyn sued Robert, Concord refused to defend him. Concord claimed that the policy did not cover because it excluded "bodily injury to * * * any * * * daughter of the insured while an occupant in the insured automobile * * *." The trial judge rejected that contention, in part upon the proposition that if the exclusion meant what Concord asserted it would be an invalid limitation upon the omnibus clause, under Selected Risks Insurance Co. v. Zullo, 48 N.J. 362 (1966).

By its policy Concord agrees "with the insured, named in the declarations * * * To pay on behalf of the insured all sums which the insured shall become legally obliged to pay to persons other than an insured as damages payable hereunder in accordance with all terms of this policy * * *." Article IV, the omnibus clause, states:

"Persons Insured: The following persons, providing they are duly licensed to operate an automobile, are insureds as to liability: (1) the named insured and if an individual, the spouse if resident in the same household; (2) any such person while using the automobile in authorized operation and authorized use of same; (3) any such person or organization legally responsible for the authorized use thereof; provided that the actual operation and the actual use of the automobile is by the named insured or such spouse or with the authorized permission of either * * *."

Under Article V, "Insured" is defined as "a person or organization described under 'persons insured,'" whereas "named insured" is defined as "the individual or husband and wife described in the declarations and, when resident in the same household, the spouse."

Pages later, under "VI Exclusions," the policy sets forth 13 paragraphs of exclusions lettered from (a) to (m). Among those exclusions are the following:

"This policy with respect to liability does not apply.

(b) to bodily injury or property damage caused intentionally by or at the direction of the insured;

(c) to liability assumed by the insured under any contract or agreement;

(d) to bodily injury or property damage with respect to which an insured under this policy is also an insured under a ...


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