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Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London v. Butler

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Aiken Division

February 13, 2017

Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, subscribing to Policy TCN051814, Plaintiffs,
v.
Sarah Butler, Willie Butler, and Shakila Green, Defendants.

          ORDER AND OPINION

         Before the court is a motion for summary judgment filed by Plaintiffs, Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, subscribing to Policy TCN051814 (“Plaintiffs”). (ECF No. 19.) For the reasons that follow, the court DENIES the motion.[1]

         I. RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On February 26, 2016, Defendant Shakila Green commenced suit against Defendants Sarah Butler and Willie Butler (together, the “Butlers”) and against Round Two, an adult night club business, by filing a complaint against them in the Court of Common Pleas for Aiken County, South Carolina. (See ECF No. 1-1.)[2] In her complaint, Green alleges that, in August 2013, she was a guest at Round Two, which was operated by the Butlers, when she was shot in both of her legs, which caused permanent damage. (Id. at 1.) Green asserts one cause of action, alleging that the Butlers and Round Two were negligent for failing to properly secure the area by performing security checks for weapons as guests entered the business, failing to properly check the identification of guests, and failing to maintain proper control of the area. (Id. at 2.) Green asserts that these failures resulted in her injuries, and she seeks actual and punitive damages. (Id.)

         Plaintiffs subscribed to a commercial property insurance policy, specifically Policy TNC051814 (the “Policy”), that was issued to the Butlers and covered the period in which the events underlying Green's complaint occurred. (See ECF No. 1-2.)[3] The Policy covered premises located in Graniteville, South Carolina, in which a sports bar was operated (id. at 16, 44-45), and included coverage as follows:

We will pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of “bodily injury” or “property damage” to which this insurance applies. We will have the right and duty to defend the insured against any “suit” seeking those damages. However, we will have no duty to defend the insured against any “suit” seeking damages for “bodily injury” or “property damage” to which this insurance does not apply.

(Id. at 57.) The Policy contained the following exclusions from coverage:

         This insurance does not apply to any claim and/or cause of action arising from:

1. An assault and/or battery regardless of culpability or intent; or
2. A physical altercation; or
3. Any act or failure to act to prevent or suppress such assault and/or battery or physical altercation.
The above applies whether caused by the insured, an employee, a patron, or any other person; and whether or not the acts occurred at the premises owned leased, rented or occupied by the insured.
This exclusion also applies to any claim and/or cause of action seeking:
. . . .
4. Damages arising out of allegations of negligent hiring, placement, training or supervision, or to any act, error, or omission relating to such assault ...

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