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The Supreme Court of California agreed to answer a question of California insurance law directed to it by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The question was: where a contract of liability insurance covering multiple insureds contains a severability clause, does an exclusion barring coverage for injuries arising out of the intentional acts of an insured bar coverage for claims that one insured negligently failed to prevent the intentional acts of another insured? This case is Minkler v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, 110 Cal.Rptr.3d 612 (2010).

This case involved a claim against insureds under a homeowners policy. The claimant alleged that he was sexually molested by David Schwartz who is the son and additional insured under the homeowners policy of Betty Schwartz. The claimant sued David for sexual molestation and sued Betty for negligent supervision. Safeco Insurance Company denied coverage for both David and Betty, citing the intentional acts exclusion. This exclusion stated that there was no coverage for bodily injury or property damage which is expected or intended by an insured or which is the foreseeable result of an act or omission intended by an insured. Safeco contended that this exclusion applied to all the insureds under the policy terms.

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