United States District Court, D. Hawaii
For State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Anthony L. Wong, LEAD ATTORNEY, Sumida & Tsuchiyama, LLLC, Honolulu, HI; Kevin P.H. Sumida, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kevin Sumida & Associates, Honolulu, HI.
For Jaime Wong Cabalis, Ricky Wong Cabalis, Jared Wong Cabalis, Defendants, Counter Claimants: Brandee J. Faria, LEAD ATTORNEY, Perkin & Faria LLLC, Honolulu, HI; Michelle Lee Premeaux, LEAD ATTORNEY, Perkin & Faria, Honolulu, HI.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART STATE FARM'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Alan C. Kay, Senior United States District Judge.
For the following reasons, the Court hereby GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART State Farm's Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court GRANTS the Motion insofar as it concludes that there is no possibility of or basis for coverage under either the Homeowner's Policy or the Umbrella Policy for the underlying claims for loss of society, companionship, comfort, consortium, protection, and filial care and attention. The Court DENIES the Motion insofar as it concludes that there are questions of fact as to the possibility of coverage under the Homeowner's Policy and Umbrella Policy for the underlying claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
This case involves an insurance coverage dispute between Plaintiff State Farm Fire and Casualty Company (" State Farm" ) and Defendants Jaime Wong Cabalis, Ricky Wong Cabalis, and Jared Wong Cabalis (collectively, " Defendants" ). State Farm issued a Homeowner's Policy, policy number 51-BL-5020-5, covering property located at 15-0427 Limu Street, Pahoa, Hawaii, with Defendant Jaime Wong Cabalis (" Jaime" ) as the named insured, and with a stated liability limit of $100,000 per occurrence. (Pl.'s CSF, Ex. B (" Homeowner's Policy" ).) State Farm also issued a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy, policy number 51-B0-2142-4, with Defendants Jaime and Ricky Wong Cabalis (" Ricky" ) as the named insureds, and a stated limit of $1,000,000. (Pl.'s CSF, Ex. C (" Umbrella Policy" ).)
Defendants are named as defendants in a personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of Bryson F.K. Wong, a resident son of Defendants Jaime and Ricky, in the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit, State of Hawaii. See Joanne S. Wong, et al. v. Crosman Corporation, et al., Civ. No. 13-1-0327 (the " underlying lawsuit" ). The underlying complaint alleges that Bryson F.K. Wong (" Bryson" ), who was a minor at the time, was rendered permanently and totally disabled when an air rifle purchased and owned by Bryson's brother, Defendant Jared Wong Cabalis (" Jared" ), accidentally went off and hit Bryson in the heart. (Pl.'s CSF, Ex. A (Underlying Complaint).) Jared and Bryson both lived with Jaime and Ricky at the insured Limu Street property at the time of the accident. (Counterclaim (Doc. No. 18) ¶ 9.) The underlying complaint asserts products liability claims against Crossman Corporation and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., as well as negligence claims against the Defendants. (Pl.'s CSF, Ex. A.)
Named as plaintiffs in the underlying complaint are Stephen and Joanne Wong, Bryson's grandparents, who at all relevant times lived next door to Defendants. (Id.) The underlying complaint alleges that Stephen and Joanne have sustained severe emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, comfort, consortium, protection, and loss of filial care and attention as a result of Bryson's injuries. (Id.)
Defendants tendered the defense of the underlying lawsuit to State Farm, and State Farm has provided a defense with full reservation of rights. In the instant suit, State Farm seeks a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify Defendants in the underlying lawsuit because the underlying claims do not give rise to coverage under the Homeowner's Policy or the Umbrella Policy.
On September 25, 2013, State Farm filed its Complaint for Declaratory Relief, seeking a declaration of its rights and obligations to defend and indemnify Defendants against the claims made in the underlying lawsuit. (Doc. No. 1.) Defendants filed their Answer, along with a Counterclaim for Declaratory Relief, against State Farm on March 27, 2014. (Doc. No. 18.) State Farm filed its Answer to the Counterclaim on September 23, 2014. (Doc. No. 22.)
On September 29, 2014, State Farm filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment, along with a concise statement of facts and several exhibits. (Doc. Nos. 23 & 24.) Defendants filed their memorandum in opposition, supported by a concise statement of facts on November 13, 2014. (Doc. Nos. 26 & 27.) State Farm filed its reply on November 20, 2014. (Doc. No. 28.) The hearing on the motion was held on December 4, 2014.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Summary judgment is appropriate when a " movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The central issue is " whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).
The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). If that burden has been met, the nonmoving party must then come forward and establish the specific material facts in dispute to survive summary judgment. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 588, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). The Court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Id. at 587.
In supporting a factual position, a party must " cit[e] to particular parts of materials in the record . . . or show that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). The nonmoving party " must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts."
Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 585. " [T]he requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact . . . . Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment."
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48 (emphasis in original). Also, " [t]he mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the non-moving party's position is not sufficient" to defeat summary judgment. Triton Energy Corp. v. Square D Co., 68 F.3d 1216, 1221 (9th Cir. 1995). Likewise, the nonmoving party " cannot defeat summary judgment with allegations in the complaint, or with unsupported conjecture or conclusory statements." Hernandez v. Spacelabs Med. Inc., 343 F.3d 1107, 1112 (9th Cir. 2003).
In its Motion, State Farm seeks summary judgment as to its duty to indemnify and defend Defendants against the claims asserted in the underlying lawsuit. State Farm asserts that the underlying claims are excluded from coverage under both the Homeowner's Policy and the Umbrella Policy and, thus, it is ...