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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Fielder Road Baptist Church was insured by GuideOne Elite Insurance Co. Its policy was effective March 31, 1993, to March 31, 1994. The policy included a clause that said it would cover legal liability for bodily injury arising out of sexual misconduct during the policy period. The policy did not define the term “bodily injury.” The policy also stated that GuideOne would have the right to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct and to represent the church to defend against allegations, regardless of their merits. In 2001, Jane Doe filed a sexual misconduct lawsuit against the church and against Charles Patrick Evans, the associate youth minister, for sexual exploitation and abuse from 1992 to 1994. GuideOne agreed to defend the church, subject to its reservation of rights to determine coverage under the policy. GuideOne then filed a declaratory judgment action seeking interpretation of the policy and a declaration that it had no duty to defend or indemnify the church. GuideOne sought discovery over Evans’ employment history, and the trial court overruled the church’s objections to these discovery requests. Eventually the parties agreed that Evans stopped working for the church before the GuideOne policy went into effect. On each party’s motion for summary judgment, the trial court granted GuideOne’s and denied the church’s. The trial court rendered a declaration that GuideOne had no duty to defend the church, noting its reliance on the stipulation on Evans’ employment time. On appeal, the church complains of the trial court’s reference to extrinsic evidence in determining whether the insurer had a duty to defend. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded in part; reversed and rendered in part. The court confirms that reliance on extrinsic evidence is permitted to show no duty to defend in only very limited situations. These situations include: 1. whether a person has been excluded from any coverage; 2. whether the property in suit has been excluded from any coverage; and 3. whether the policy exists. Courts have held that extrinsic evidence also may be considered to determine the duty to defend where the terms of the policy are ambiguous, or where the petition in the underlying suit does not allege facts sufficient for a determination of whether those facts, even if true, are covered by the policy. The court finds that the facts in this case do not fall within any of the recognized exceptions. The trial court should have applied the eight-corners rule: looking at the four corners of the pleadings and the insurance policy only. The court finds it “possible to discern” from Jane Doe’s pleadings that coverage is potentially implicated: she alleged abuse from 1992 to 1994, that “at all relevant times” Evans was an associate youth minister, and that the church had direct supervision and control over him as an employee. Furthermore, GuideOne had a policy for the church dealing with sexual misconduct in 1993 and 1994. Importantly, the court says, the stipulation concerning the dates that Evans was employed by the church pertains to the church’s liability for his alleged conduct, and is not solely limited to coverage. While the dates may not be true, the pleading clearly alleged a cause of action occurring during the policy period, and GuideOne agreed to defend the church. “Taking the allegations in the underlying pleading as true, as we must, and focusing only on the eight corners of the pleading and the insurance policy, we conclude that the stipulation was not admissible to determine whether GuideOne had a duty to defend [the church] in the underlying litigation. Thus, the trial court erred by considering the stipulation.” The court also agrees with the church that the trial court erred in finding that the underlying pleadings did not adequately allege bodily injury. Jane Doe alleged that Evans “sexually molested,” “sexually abused,” “sexually assaulted” and “sexually violated” her, causing emotional distress and bodily injury. Though she did not detail what constituted bodily injury, Doe sought damages for counseling expenses, severe psychological pain and suffering, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of earning capacity. “In this case, the policy does not define bodily injury. The offense of sexual assault may consist of penetration of the body, and Doe alleged that she suffered bodily injury and physical pain as a result. Giving the term ‘bodily injury’ its plain meaning, we conclude that Doe alleged a claim for damages as a result of bodily injury from sexual misconduct. Thus, her pleadings were specific enough to assert a claim within the policy’s coverage.” In conclusion, the court reverses the trial court’s judgment, renders judgment that GuideOne has a duty to defend the church, and remands for a hearing on costs and attorneys’ fees. OPINION:Anne Gardner, J.; Holman, Gardner and Walker, JJ.

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