Seventh Circuit Says No Duty to Defend Four Loko® Maker
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that Phusion Projects’
commercial liability insurance carriers have no duty to defend the company
in actions alleging that intoxication attributable to consumption of its Four
Loko® alcoholic product caused death and personal injury. Netherlands Ins.
Co. v. Phusion Projects, Inc., No. 12-1355 (7th Cir., decided December 16,
2013). Applying Illinois law, the court ruled that the liquor liability exclusions
in the relevant insurance contracts unambiguously excluded coverage for
bodily injury or property damage when the company “may be held liable by
reason of: (1) causing or contributing to the intoxication of any person.” So
ruling, the court affirmed the lower court’s grant of the insurance carriers’
motion for summary judgment.