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Crank v. Palermo Supply Co.

November 19, 1999

DORIS CRANK, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT *FN1 ,
v.
PALERMO SUPPLY CO. AND BERGEN COUNTY COLLEGE AND ITS CONTRACTORS, DEFENDANTS, AND CITY OF NEWARK HOUSING AUTHORITY, DEFENDANT/THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
CRUM & FORSTER INSURANCE COMPANY, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Before Judges Keefe, A.A. Rodr¡guez and Lintner

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Keefe, J.A.D.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued: October 18, 1999

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County.

Leave to appeal having been granted, third-party defendant Crum & Forster Insurance Company (Crum & Forster), appeals from a summary judgment directing it to defend and indemnify defendant/third-party plaintiff, City of Newark Housing Authority (Housing Authority), under a commercial automobile liability policy (the policy) issued by Crum & Forster to the Housing Authority. We reverse the judgment under review and remand for further proceedings.

On November 2, 1995, plaintiff, an appointed Commissioner of the Housing Authority, filed a complaint against the Housing Authority seeking damages for injuries stemming from an auto accident that occurred on November 21, 1994. *fn2 The complaint alleged that Crank was a passenger in a vehicle owned by the Housing Authority and operated by an employee or agent of the Housing Authority. Plaintiff asserted in the complaint that the Housing Authority "was grossly negligent, in its ownership, operation, maintenance and control of [the] vehicle," which caused "it to slam into the rear of another vehicle."

Crum & Forster issued the Housing Authority a commercial automobile liability insurance policy, effective April 1, 1994 through April 1, 1995. The Housing Authority requested Crum & Forster to provide a defense and indemnify it against damages under the policy. In a letter dated March 10, 1997, Crum & Forster notified the Housing Authority that plaintiff's accident was excluded from coverage. The relevant language of the policy follows:

B. EXCLUSIONS

This insurance does not apply to any of the following:

3. WORKERS' COMPENSATION

Any obligation for which the "insured" or the "insured's" insurer may be held liable under any workers' compensation, disability benefits or unemployment compensation law or any similar law.

4. EMPLOYEE INDEMNIFICATION AND EMPLOYER'S LIABILITY

"Bodily injury" to:

a. An employee of the "insured" arising out of and in the course of employment by ...


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