Insurer Off the Hook for Shooting Death, Injury

     (CN) – A homeowner’s insurance company is not liable for the death and injury caused when two boys shot rifles at passing vehicles on the highway, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled.

     Will and Josh Buckner, aged 15 and 13, respectively, shot .22-caliber rifles in the direction of traffic on Interstate 40. Aaron Hamel was killed and Kimberly Bede, who was in a separate car, was severely injured.
     The Buckner family was covered by a home insurance policy with Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co. The policy did not cover “bodily injury or property damage which is reasonably expected or intended by you or which is a result of your intentional or criminal acts.”
     Metropolitan filed a complaint for declaratory judgment that it was not liable under the homeowner’s policy. The trial court ruled that Metropolitan did not prove its case, but Judge Susano overturned the decision.
     “Will and Josh shot their rifles with the intent to do some harm; at a minimum, they intended to damage the trucks they struck,” Susano wrote.
     “The fact that they caused harm of a different nature,” the judge continued, “and of a much greater degree than they had intended, is irrelevant.”

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