HELENA, Mont. (CN) – An insurance company does not have the duty to indemnify a construction company for damages stemming from the builder’s violation of fair housing laws, the Montana Supreme Court ruled.
The Lloyd A. Twite Family Partnership was sued for building homes that were not accessible to the disabled. Unitrin Multi Line Insurance and Security National Insurance refused to indemnify the Twites because the plaintiffs did not allege property damage or bodily harm.
The Twites then sued the insurers for not indemnifying them for the plaintiffs’ claim for emotional injuries.
Justice Leaphart agreed with the trial court that the policy covers “complaints that allege bodily injury arising from an accident which occurs during the policy period and within the coverage territory.”
The Twites argued that emotional damage fell within the realm of bodily injury, but Leaphart ruled that even if it did, the design of the buildings – not an accident – was to blame for the emotional damage.”