SW Legal studies in Business

Injury Due to Assault by Employee Negates Insurance Coverage

Appeals court held that the injuries suffered by the patron of a bar, when he was ejected from the bar by security personnel, were not covered by insurance due to the provision that excluded injuries from assault and battery, as occurred in this instance.

Topic Insurance
Key Words

Coverage; Assault and Battery; Commercial General Liability

C A S E   S U M M A R Y

RMJC operated the Show and Tel Show Bar, an adult nightclub. It was found liable in state court for injuries suffered on a stairway by a patron who was thrown out of the club by security personnel (bouncers). RMJC contended that the provider of its commercial general liability insurance, Essex, should cover the $410,000 damage judgment. The federal district court held for Essex and RMJC appealed, contending that the policy should cover the cost of the court judgment incurred in the litigation involving the injured patron.


Affirmed. The commercial general liability policy excludes “Assault and/or Battery … caused by or at the instigation or direction of any Insured, Insured’s employees, patrons or any other person.” The district court found that the patron would not have been injured but for the actions of the club’s bouncers in ejecting him from the premises. The exclusion did not require that the employees intended the injury, only that they initiated the act that resulted in the injury.


Essex Insurance Co. v. RMJC, Inc., 306 Fed.Appx. 749 (2009 WL 32718, 3rd Cir., 2009)

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