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American Access Casualty Co. v. Novit

2018 IL App (1st) 171048 (Ill. App., 2018)

Words & Phrases

Definitions: Arising Out Of The Ownership, Maintenance Or Use

Trial Judge

Franklin U. Valderrama

Appellate Judge



Insurer had duty to defend complaint alleging negligent entrustment of vehicle as injuries arose out of ownership, maintenance or use of the insured’s vehicle.

Fact Summary

In this declaratory judgment action, defendant Eileen Conway appeals from the circuit court’s judgment finding that plaintiff American Access Casualty Company (American Access) had no duty to defend or indemnify its insured, defendant Kelly Novit, in connection with an underlying personal injury action (the underlying action). In the underlying action, Conway sued to recover damages for injuries she sustained when she was struck by Novit’s vehicle, which was driven by defendant Ciprian Tanase. Conway asserted that Tanase was negligent when he struck Conway with Novit’s vehicle and that Novit negligently entrusted her vehicle to Tanase because Novit knew or should have known that Tanase was intoxicated. Novit’s automobile insurer, American Access, filed this declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration of rights regarding its duties to defend and indemnify Tanase and Novit in the underlying action. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of American Access, finding that it had no duty to defend or indemnify either Tanase or Novit. Conway appeals from the portion of the circuit court’s judgment finding that American Access had no duty to defend or indemnify Novit. For the following reasons, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.