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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I have been told by a few "backyard lawyers" that I may be

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I have been told by a few "backyard lawyers" that I may be able to bring a civil suit against a homeowner's insurance .....here is the story: My daughter, who was a minor at the time, was visiting with my niece and her husband in Arizona (we live in California). The Arizona family along with my daughter went to a "family" gathering at a neighbors apartment (neighbor was renting apartment and no longer lives there). As the hours passed and the adults drank themselves stupid - one of the neighbors drunk family members (23 yr old male) brutally sexually assaulted and battered my daughter. (It is currently still pending in criminal court .....) NOW HERE IS MY QUESTION: May I bring suit against my niece and nephew's homeowners insurance as she was in their care even though the assault did not happen at their home. They are the ones asking along with me as I currently have about $60,000 in bills as a result of this attack..i.e. Doctor, hospital, psych ward inpatient, out-patient therapy, meds...you get the picture...so does my niece's homeowners insurance cover these expenses as harm was brought to my minor ghter while under their care?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

That is a sad situation and I am sorry that your daughter was so assaulted. In this situation I am afraid that the news I have are likely unfavorable. You could, in theory, sue your niece for negligent entrustment and make her partially liable for the harm, but it would be a personal suit. It is highly unlikely their homeowner's insurance would be involved since the assault did not take place at their home, and the assault really had nothing to do with the niece's homeowner rights. So while you can sue the niece, I strongly doubt that her homeowner's will step up and attempt to defend them. You can have them review the policy as some do end up reaching beyond the policy limits (I know of one case where homeowner's insurance helped defend a homeowner over an assault that occurred at someone else's property), but it was a special policy with additional riders. It really depends on the policy language but generally such clauses have been written out or limited (that case was over 10 years ago, and policy language has changed over time).

 

Hope that helps.

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