Academic journal article Journal of Risk and Insurance

Sexual Assault Not Construed as Arising out of Use of Automobile

Academic journal article Journal of Risk and Insurance

Sexual Assault Not Construed as Arising out of Use of Automobile

Article excerpt

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Kastner. P.3d, 2003 Colo. LEXIS 870 (Supreme Court of Colorado--October 14, 2003))

The Colorado Supreme Court that imposed duties on third-party insurance administrators in Cary v. United, discussed above, aligned itself with the auto insurance industry on the issue of when a crime involving an automobile is one "arising out of the use" of an automobile for purposes of determining whether coverage exits. Christina Kastner was kidnapped and taken in her own car to a remote location where she was sexually assaulted. She sought coverage under her auto policy. The trial court found in her favor, as did the intermediate court of appeals. The state Supreme Court reversed and ruled in favor of the insurer, holding that:

1. where the motor vehicle is being used in a manner reasonably foreseeable at the time the parties contracted for the insurance; and

2. the "use" of the vehicle is inextricably linked to plaintiff's injury, the plaintiff is entitled to recover, both because we conclude that the use was not reasonably foreseeable and because we conclude that the sexual assault had an insufficient causal nexus with the sue of the vehicle, we now hold that Kastner's State Farm policy did not cover her injuries.

See id. at *3-*4.

In reaching this determination, the Court appeared to find it critical that Kastner was abducted while outside her car in a shopping center parking lot. …

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