The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Joseph E. Irenas
Plaintiffs Electric Insurance Company ("EIC") and United States Liability Insurance Company ("USLI") seek a declaration of no coverage under the insurance policies issued to Teddy Marcantonis ("Marcantonis"). Pending before the Court are EIC's and USLI's Motions for Summary Judgment.
This declaratory judgment action arises out of events that occurred in the early morning hours of December 9, 2008 when Marcantonis drove to his former girlfriend's farm, broke through the front door of the residence with a sledgehammer, and, using both a handgun and shotgun, killed her lover, Joseph Martorana. (EIC's 56.1 Stat. ¶¶ 8, 10.)*fn1 Marcantonis then committed suicide by setting himself on fire in his car, which was parked in the bushes of his former girlfriend's farm. (Id. ¶¶ 9, 14.)
EIC issued a homeowner's insurance policy (the "EIC Policy") to Marcantonis effective from July 19, 2008 through July 19, 2009. (Id. ¶ 12.) Pursuant to the EIC Policy, EIC has an obligation to defend the Marcantonis Estate for losses during the policy period caused by "occurrences" not otherwise excluded as an expected or intended injury. (EIC Br. in Support at 12.) The term "occurrence" is defined under the EIC policy as: "an accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general harmful conditions" resulting in either bodily injury or property damage. (Id. at 15.)
USLI issued to Marcantonis personal umbrella excess liability coverage in the amount of $1,000,000 over and above the primary liability insurance policy provided by EIC (the "USLI Policy"), effective from July 19, 2008 through July 19, 2009. (USLI's 56.1 Stat. ¶¶ 18-19.) Pursuant to the USLI Policy, USLI will pay damages for a "loss," defined as "[a]n accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general harmful conditions" resulting in bodily injury or property damage, not otherwise excluded as an expected or intended injury.*fn2 (USLI Br. in SupportEx. A.)
Theresa Williamson, Executrix of the Estate of Joseph Martorana, filed a wrongful death and survivorship action against the Estate of Teddy Marcantonis in New Jersey state court, Cumberland County, on July 28, 2009 (the "Martorana Litigation").*fn3 (EIC's 56.1 Stat. ¶ 1.) EIC reserved its rights under the policy and agreed to reimburse costs incurred by counsel for the Marcantonis Estate in defending the Martorana Litigation while also pursuing a declaratory judgment action regarding its rights and obligations under the EIC Policy. (Id. ¶¶ 4-5.)
On October 2, 2009, EIC filed the instant action seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify the Marcantonis Estate and reimbursement of all costs and expenses paid in connection with the defense of the Martorana Litigation.
USLI disclaimed coverage under the USLI Policy for the Martorana Litigation in a letter dated December 11, 2009. (USLI's 56.1 Stat. ¶ 26.) On March 9, 2010, USLI filed an Intervenor Complaint in this action seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify the Marcantonis Estate and that Defendant has no entitlement to the excess liability coverage in the USLI Policy.
EIC and USLI filed their Motions for Summary Judgment on October 8, 2010, and October 27, 2010, respectively.
"[S]ummary judgment is proper 'if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.'" Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must construe the facts and inferences in a light most favorable to the non-moving party. Pollock v. Am. Tel. & Tel. Long Lines, 794 F.2d 860, 864 (3d Cir. 1986). "'With respect to an issue on which the non-moving party bears the burden of proof, the burden on the moving party may be discharged by 'showing'-- that is, pointing out to the district court -- that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.'" Conoshenti v. Public Serv. Elec. & Gas, 364 F.3d 135, 145-46 (3d Cir. 2004) (quoting Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323). The role of the Court is not "to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986).
EIC and USLI seek a declaration of their rights and obligations under the insurance policies issued to Marcantonis with respect to the murder of Martorana. Although the EIC Policy covers "occurrences" and the USLI Policy covers "losses," both ...