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GMSR wins affirmance of judgment for insurer in insurance coverage dispute.

An insured and his wife held two policies with a particular insurer, GMSR’s client:  a homeowners’ policy covering their own home and a special-dwelling policy covering a subdivided rental home.  The insured also had an auto coverage policy with a different carrier.  Both houses were on the same lot and shared a common driveway.  The insured negligently backed his truck down the shared driveway and killed a toddler who had just exited the rental home with his mother.  The auto-policy carrier provided coverage.  But the plaintiffs claimed coverage also existed under the other policies, because the insured negligently subdivided the rental home in a manner that left the back unit with only one door that led directly onto the shared driveway without any protective barrier.  The trial court ruled that insurance only existed under the auto coverage policy.  The Second Appellate District, Division Five, affirmed.  It held that a motor vehicle exclusion in the homeowner’s and special-dwelling policies barred coverage, rejecting plaintiff’s argument that the circumstances met the “concurrent independent cause” doctrine of State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co v. Partridge (1973) 10 Cal.3d 94.  The Court relied heavily on another GMSR victory, Farmers Ins. Exchange v. Superior Court (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 1199 (Bautista), a decision by the Second Appellate District, Division Seven.

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