What is the state of the law on "accident-based" liability in general liability claims?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from Quan v. Truck Ins. Exchange, 67 Cal.App.4th 583, 79 Cal.Rptr.2d 134 (Cal. App. 1998):

To avoid the consequences of the conclusion that no "accident" has been alleged, the insured argues he might be found merely "negligent," or may be found to have mistakenly believed the claimant had "consented." Attempting to draw a distinction between the intentional tort causes of action and the "negligence-based" causes of action, the insured argues that there will be covered liability if he is found to have been "negligent" in serving alcohol to, touching, kissing, embracing, fondling or having sex with the claimant. Such arguments misconstrue the "accident" requirement in standard general liability policies. "Under California law, the term refers to the nature of the insured's conduct, not his state of mind. " (Collin v. American Empire Ins. Co., supra, 21 Cal.App.4th 787, 804, 26 Cal.Rptr.2d 391, emphasis added.) "Negligent" or not, in this case the insured's conduct alleged to have given rise to claimant's injuries is necessarily non-accidental, not because any "harm" was intended, but simply because the conduct could not be engaged in by "accident."

Other Questions

Can a claim be made against a claim that there is no assumption of liability or assumption of liabilities by the claim? (California, United States of America)
Does the Attorney General have any grounds to claim that defendant forfeited this claim on appeal? (California, United States of America)
In what circumstances will a federal equal protection claim be successful against a state constitutional claim? (California, United States of America)
Does the Attorney General's claim that Defendant has "waived" a claim that the Defendant has failed to object to the victim's restitution award? (California, United States of America)
Does a general release specifically exclude any malpractice claims against the attorney from the general release? (California, United States of America)
Is the Attorney General's claim that the Court of Appeal has concluded that the Plaintiff's claim is foreclosed as law of the case? (California, United States of America)
Does our decision not to grant a state official immunity from liability in a medical malpractice case affect the immunity granted to a state employee? (California, United States of America)
Does Defendant have a valid claim to be able to claim damages from a defendant who has been found guilty of a similar claim against the Defendant? (California, United States of America)
Does a state have immunity from liability under the state immunity principle? (California, United States of America)
Can a claimant bring a claim for damages against a public entity under section 946.6 of the California Claims Act for failing to act on a timely claim? (California, United States of America)

Alexi white

"The most advanced legal research software ever built."

Trusted by top litigators from across North America.