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News

Dec 20, 2016: Hillary Bouchard successfully defended an appeal before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court regarding the application of the comparison test in duty to defend cases

Hillary Bouchard successfully defended an appeal before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of an insurance company client. The insurance company, who had obtained summary judgment in the trial court, was definitively found by the Law Court to have no duty to defend its insured in a lawsuit where an assault and battery exclusion clearly excluded coverage for the loss. Denying the insured's argument that the comparison test allowed the Court to review only certain provisions of the complaint at the exclusion of others in order to find the "potential" for coverage , the Law Court opined: "Just as we cannot read extrinsic facts or allegations into an underlying complaint in the comparison test, we cannot selectively read facts or allegations out of that complaint in order to conclude that the insurer has a duty to defend, and we will not do so in this instance." This case establishes important precedent moving forward with regard to the application of the comparison test in duty to defend cases. The full opinion can be found at 2016 ME 181.

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