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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, reversing a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, has decided that an umbrella insurance policy issued to Gordon Hammers did not cover damages arising out of a car accident with Ellery Chacksfield for which Gordon Hammers’ brother Robert Hammers had been found responsible because Robert Hammers was not a “resident of [Gordon Hammers’] household.”

In its decision, the Ninth Circuit explained that, under applicable California law, residents of the same household must live “under one roof or within a common curtilage.” Here, the circuit court observed, the brothers did not live “under one roof” because Robert Hammers lived in a separate trailer and had been prohibited from entering Gordon Hammers’ house.

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