Laconia Rod & Gun Club v. Hartford Acc. and Indem. Co., No. 82-395

CourtSupreme Court of New Hampshire
Writing for the CourtKING
Citation123 N.H. 179,459 A.2d 249
PartiesLACONIA ROD & GUN CLUB v. HARTFORD ACCIDENT AND INDEMNITY COMPANY et al.
Decision Date24 March 1983
Docket NumberNo. 82-395

Page 249

459 A.2d 249
123 N.H. 179
LACONIA ROD & GUN CLUB
v.
HARTFORD ACCIDENT AND INDEMNITY COMPANY et al.
No. 82-395.
Supreme Court of New Hampshire.
March 24, 1983.

[123 N.H. 180] Snierson, Chandler & McKean, Laconia (Edgar D. McKean, III, Laconia, on brief, and John P. Chandler, Laconia, orally), for plaintiff.

Page 250

Wadleigh, Starr, Peters, Dunn & Kohls, Manchester (Theodore Wadleigh, Manchester, on brief and orally), for defendant Hartford Acc. and Indem. Co.

[123 N.H. 181] Defendant Alberta Johnson filed no brief.

KING, Chief Justice.

This is a petition for declaratory judgment brought by the plaintiff, Laconia Rod & Gun Club (club), against the defendant Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company (Hartford), seeking a determination that Hartford is obligated to defend an action brought against the club by the defendant Alberta Johnson for injuries she sustained when she was a patron of the club.

In her suit against the club, Alberta Johnson alleged that on November 9, 1979, the club breached a common-law duty to her by serving alcoholic beverages to her until she became exceedingly intoxicated, and by allowing her to leave the premises without knowing whether she was properly escorted. She claims that as a result of this breach of duty, she fell and was injured upon leaving the club.

On the date of the accident, a commercial liability insurance policy issued by Hartford to the club was in effect. This policy provided insurance coverage for liability for bodily injury, but contained the following exclusion:

"Exclusions

This insurance does not apply:

(h) to bodily injury or property damage for which the insured or his indemnitee may be held liable

(1) as a person or organization engaged in the business of manufacturing, distributing, selling or serving alcoholic beverages, or

(2) if not so engaged, as an owner or lessor of premises used for such purposes,

if such liability is imposed

(i) by, or because of the violation of, any statute, ordinance or regulation pertaining to the sale, gift, distribution or use of any alcoholic beverage, or

(ii) by reason of the selling, serving or giving of any alcoholic beverage to a minor or to a person under the influence of alcohol or which causes or contributes to the intoxication of any person;

but part (ii) of this exclusion does not apply with respect to liability of the insured or his indemnitee as an owner or lessor described in (2) above ...."

The club requested that Hartford enter an appearance in the Johnson action, but Hartford stated that no coverage was afforded [123 N.H. 182] for the injuries incurred because the policy excluded coverage for this type of liability, and refused to defend the action.

The issue of coverage was submitted to the superior court on an agreed statement of facts and was referred to a master. The Master (Robert A. Carignan, Esq.) held that exclusion (h) in the policy operated to exclude coverage to...

To continue reading

Request your trial
34 practice notes
  • Amherst Ctry. Club v. Harleysville Worcester Ins., Civil No. 07-cv-136-JL.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • June 24, 2008
    ...law places the burden of proving that no coverage exists on the insurer.") (citing Laconia Rod & Gun Club v. Hartford Acc. & Indem. Co., 123 N.H. 179, 182, 459 A.2d 249 "The interpretation of the language of an insurance policy, like any contract language, is ultimately an issue for the cou......
  • Union Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Hatch, Civ. No. 92-53-SD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • October 26, 1993
    ...law places the burden of proving that no coverage exists on the insurer. Laconia Rod & Gun Club v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co., 123 N.H. 179, 182, 459 A.2d 249, 250 c. Coverage Under the Policy In moving for summary judgment, Union Mutual argues that the policy at issue does not cover th......
  • Great Am. Dining, Inc. v. Phila. Indem. Ins. Co., No. 2012–088.
    • United States
    • New Hampshire Supreme Court
    • February 25, 2013
    ...law, the burden of proving that no insurance coverage exists is on the insurer." Laconia Rod & Gun Club v. Hartford Acc. & Indem. Co., 123 N.H. 179, 182, 459 A.2d 249 (1983) ; Rivera v. 164 N.H. 629 Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 163 N.H. 603, 606, 44 A.3d 498 (2012) ("In a declaratory judgmen......
  • Colonial Life Ins. v. Electronic Data Systems, Civ. A. No. 90-420-M.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of New Hampshire
    • March 31, 1993
    ...ambiguous when the contracting parties reasonably differ as to its meaning." Laconia Rod & Gun Club v. Hartford Accident and Indem. Co., 123 N.H. 179, 182, 459 A.2d 249, 251 (1983). And, as the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has noted, "the general rule is that whether the contract ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
34 cases
  • Amherst Ctry. Club v. Harleysville Worcester Ins., Civil No. 07-cv-136-JL.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • June 24, 2008
    ...law places the burden of proving that no coverage exists on the insurer.") (citing Laconia Rod & Gun Club v. Hartford Acc. & Indem. Co., 123 N.H. 179, 182, 459 A.2d 249 "The interpretation of the language of an insurance policy, like any contract language, is ultimately an issue for the cou......
  • Union Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Hatch, Civ. No. 92-53-SD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • October 26, 1993
    ...law places the burden of proving that no coverage exists on the insurer. Laconia Rod & Gun Club v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co., 123 N.H. 179, 182, 459 A.2d 249, 250 c. Coverage Under the Policy In moving for summary judgment, Union Mutual argues that the policy at issue does not cover th......
  • Great Am. Dining, Inc. v. Phila. Indem. Ins. Co., No. 2012–088.
    • United States
    • New Hampshire Supreme Court
    • February 25, 2013
    ...law, the burden of proving that no insurance coverage exists is on the insurer." Laconia Rod & Gun Club v. Hartford Acc. & Indem. Co., 123 N.H. 179, 182, 459 A.2d 249 (1983) ; Rivera v. 164 N.H. 629 Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 163 N.H. 603, 606, 44 A.3d 498 (2012) ("In a declaratory judgmen......
  • Colonial Life Ins. v. Electronic Data Systems, Civ. A. No. 90-420-M.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of New Hampshire
    • March 31, 1993
    ...ambiguous when the contracting parties reasonably differ as to its meaning." Laconia Rod & Gun Club v. Hartford Accident and Indem. Co., 123 N.H. 179, 182, 459 A.2d 249, 251 (1983). And, as the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has noted, "the general rule is that whether the contract ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT