Arrowood Indemnity Co. v. King
A negligent entrustment claim may arise under the policyholders' homeowners' insurance policy at the site of the injury-causing accident, as opposed to the location where the item allegedly was negligently entrusted or was housed. Allegedly, Conor McEntee fell while being towed by Pendleton King Jr. on a skateboard by a rope attached to an all-terrain vehicle owned by the defendants, Daphne and Pendleton King. The accident took place on a private road in a residential development that the Kings' homeowners' association managed. The McEntees sued the Kings, alleging they negligently entrusted the all-terrain vehicle to Pendleton King Jr. Although the Kings owned homeowners' insurance and an umbrella policy, their insurance companies denied they possessed the duty to defend or to indemnify. The District Court found that the accident site did not qualify as an "insured location" under the homeowner's policy and that the umbrella policy did not apply, because the all-terrain vehicle was not included on the declarations page. The District Court granted judgment to the insurers. The Kings appealed. The 2nd Circuit certified to the Connecticut Supreme Court questions about whether negligent entrustment could arise at the location where the all-terrain vehicle was entrusted or where the vehicle was housed. The 2nd Circuit also requested guidance on whether the "insured location" included the accident site. The Connecticut Supreme Court held that a negligent entrustment claim arises at the site of the injury-causing accident and that the private road did not qualify as an "insured location." As a result, the 2nd Circuit concluded that the District Court correctly found that the pertinent location was the site of the accident and that the accident did not occur at an "insured location." The 2nd Circuit also observed that the umbrella policy stated it did not cover liabilities arising from the use of an all-terrain vehicle, unless the all-terrain vehicle was "described as being covered in the declarations." The all-terrain vehicle was not included on the declarations page of the umbrella policy. The 2nd Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court, Underhill, J., and thanked the Connecticut Supreme Court for its assistance.