Man meets Woman. Woman is married to Husband. Man and Woman run off and have an affair. Husband successfully (it turns out) sues Man for the tort of alienation of affections. Man is bummed and makes a claim against his homeowners policy.
Ok, should Man's insurance company, State Farm, cover the damage award?
TortsProf Blog has the details.
I wonder if the answer would be different in Mississippi?
Here is my analysis....
Under the policy State Farm was obligated to pay for a loss. A loss was defined as an accident causing bodily injury or property damage.
While I have simplified the language somewhat (see case for actual contract language). I believe that one can make the argument that because Man and Woman fell in love accidentally and this was the cause of Husband's bodily injury ( a broken heart). Because State Farm (1) did not exclude this specific set of facts from coverage; and (2) because the contract is vague and ambiguous and written specifically so as to permit the State Farm to arbitrarily deny needed coverage to injured policyholders; and (3) because State Farm avoiding paying claims it knows it should pay; and (4) because State Farm is making money; and, finally, (5) because State Farm is suing the state AG we must interpret the contract in favor of the insured. Ta da!
Punitive damages for bad faith are likely, too, since State Farm is an out-of-state insurer. Further, there is likely a conspiracy among all insurers not to pay similar claims. Unfortunately, the McCarran-Ferguson Act (which was set up by the insurance industry to dupe the Congress into letting the states regulate insurance) allows the insurers to illegally contract, combine, and conspire in restraint of trade. Finally and perhaps most importantly, State Farm was really mean to Sen. Lott.