Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. The Mitchell Company, Inc., 090811 FED11, 11-10185

Docket Nº:11-10185
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM:
Party Name:HARTFORD FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff - Counter Defendant-Appellee, v. THE MITCHELL COMPANY, INC., Defendant - Counter Claimant - Appellant, JOSEPH J. CAMPUS, III, Defendant.
Judge Panel:Before EDMONDSON, WILSON and KRAVITCH, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:September 08, 2011
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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HARTFORD FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff - Counter Defendant-Appellee,

v.

THE MITCHELL COMPANY, INC., Defendant - Counter Claimant - Appellant, JOSEPH J. CAMPUS, III, Defendant.

No. 11-10185

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

September 8, 2011

DO NOT PUBLISH

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama D.C. Docket No. 1:08-cv-00623-KD-N.

Before EDMONDSON, WILSON and KRAVITCH, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

The Mitchell Company, Inc. ("Mitchell Company") appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Hartford Fire Insurance Company ("Hartford"). The sole issue presented is whether Mitchell Company's insurance policy—covering, inter alia, employee theft—encompasses self-dealing actions by one of its employees. We conclude it does not. Accordingly, we affirm.

I.

The insurance policy at issue, a "Crime SHIELD Policy for Mercantile Entities, " stated that Hartford would insure Mitchell Company against covered losses in exchange for the payment of premiums. In pertinent part, the policy provided that "[Hartford] will pay for loss of or damage to 'money' . . . which results directly from 'theft' by an 'employee', whether or not identifiable, while acting alone or in collusion with other persons." "Theft" is defined as "the unlawful taking of 'money' . . . to the deprivation of the Insured."

The factual circumstances leading to Mitchell Company's claim involved dishonest dealings by Joseph Campus, a long-time Mitchell Company employee. As the head of the division responsible for single-family developments, Campus analyzed various properties and then provided a report and recommendation to Mitchell Company's board of directors, which would be followed by a tour of the recommended property. If the board of directors supported the purchase, Campus would ordinarily negotiate the purchase price, and the board of directors would give final approval.

Campus engaged in a series of self-dealing transactions—outlined in detail in the district court's order—whereby he would either (1) recommend that Mitchell Company purchase properties that he owned individually or with James Young; or (2) receive a portion of the sale proceeds after recommending that Mitchell Company purchase properties owned by Young.

II.

"We review de novo the district court's grant of a motion...

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