Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. v. Ardizone – Case Brief Summary (Alabama)

In Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. v. Ardizone, 481 So.2d 380 (Ala. 1985), the Alabama Supreme Court considered circumstances in which "vandals . . . destroyed or removed electrical and refrigeration fixtures," causing "extensive damage" to a warehouse. 481 So.2d at 381.

The court determined that the term "vandalism" should be construed quite broadly in keeping with its common usage. Id. at 384.

The court further concluded that the policy provided "coverage for acts of vandalism or damage done to the building in connection with a burglary or theft" and that "[t]he intent of the vandals at the time of the destructive act [was] irrelevant to [the] issue of liability." Id. at 384-85.

Ultimately, the court held the insurer liable for all of the damage inflicted except for certain stolen items; however, the court held the insurer liable for wiring and tubing that was removed based on the notion that such items were damaged or vandalized regardless of whether they were then removed from the premises. Id. at 385.