The Monson Law Firm Wins Writ on Animal Liability Exclusion

The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal recently granted a writ filed by The Monson Law Firm attorneys Sarah Barro and Laura Abel in relation to an insurance coverage dispute.  In “Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation v. Bertha Cooper, et al.,” Gloria McKee was bit by Bertha Cooper’s dog while delivering meals on behalf of her employer.  Capitol Preferred Insurance Company (“CPIC”) was sued in its capacity as Ms. Cooper’s homeowners’ insurer.  CPIC filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, asserting that an Animal Liability Exclusion in Cooper’s policy excluded coverage for the plaintiff’s claims.  The district court denied CPIC’s motion because the Animal Liability Exclusion in Cooper’s policy had a signature line, but was unsigned.  However, the First Circuit overturned this decision, ruling that the Animal Liability Exclusion was enforceable, despite the lack of a signature on the exclusion page.  In support of the decision, the First Circuit cited Reaux v. Moresi, 120 So.3d 959 (La. App. 3rd Cir. 8/28/13), a case in which The Monson Law Firm attorneys Donald Latuso and Laura Abel successfully argued the same issue before the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal in 2013.  Pursuant to the First Circuit’s decision, all claims against CPIC were dismissed, with prejudice.

Click here for a copy of the decision.