Invasion Legal Definition

In General Accident Ins. Co. v. West American Ins. Co. (1996), 42 Cal. App. 4th 95, claims under the 'wrongful entry or eviction or other invasion' clause of the personal injury endorsement have included . . . noninvasive interferences with the use and enjoyment of property." (Id. at pp. 103-104.) "Invasion" denotes an incursion, not a misrepresentation. The Oxford English Dictionary provides these variations of meaning to the word "invasion": "1. a. the action of invading a country or territory as an enemy; an entrance or incursion with armed force; a hostile inroad"; "b. figuratively a harmful incursion of any kind, e.g. of the sea, of disease, moral evil, etc."; "c. in pathology the spreading of pathogenic microorganisms or malignant cells that are already in the body to new sites"; "2. Infringement by intrusion; encroachment upon the property, rights, privacy, etc. of any one. Esp. in phr. invasion of privacy"; "3. Assault, attack (upon a person, etc.)"; and "4. in ecology the spread of a plant or animal population into an area formerly free of the species concerned." (8 Oxford Eng. Dict. (2d ed. 1989) at p. 37, original italics.) Even the most figurative of these definitions ("harmful incursion") still entails the idea of going into something, rather than obtaining that something by fraud, or, as in American States, tricking people into believing they had a right they never had in the first place. In Fibreboard Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. (1993) 16 Cal. App. 4th 492, 512 [20 Cal. Rptr. 2d 376], the court stated the "other invasion" language implicates a "trespass paradigm." Fibreboard held that there was no invasion when the insured put asbestos products into the stream of commerce even if the products, when physically incorporated into various structures, ultimately resulted in displacing the claimants from their real property. The court reasoned that the policyholder was not guilty of a "direct or indirect entry or intrusion . . . upon the plaintiffs' lands." (Ibid.; see also Nichols v. Great American Ins. Companies (1985) 169 Cal. App. 3d 766, 776 [215 Cal. Rptr. 416] [no coverage for airwave piracy claim involving sale of devices to intercept cable television signals because the complaint alleged "no invasion of any interest attendant to the possession of real property"].) Stein-Brief Group, Inc. v. Home Indemnity Co. (1998) 65 Cal. App. 4th 364 [76 Cal. Rptr. 2d 3] shows there must be an occupation of the real property, as distinct from a mere affecting of a right related to real property, before an invasion takes place. In Stein-Brief, a developer assumed a contractual duty to prevent a certain parcel from having more than a one-story house built on it. The developer allegedly breached the agreement, and allowed a two-story building to be built on the property. There was no coverage under the "invasion" language, because, although the claimant's property was affected, there was no actual occupation of his property. The court said the "other invasion" clause " 'connotes disruptions of the ability to actually occupy [the claimant's] property.' " (Id. at p. 373.) As an additional holding the American States Ins. Co. v. Canyon Creek (N.D.Cal. 1991) court concluded the phrase "other invasion" was ambiguous. Specifically, the court noted that the insurance policy had not expressly limited the meaning of "invasion" to "physical" invasions. (American State Ins. Co. v. Canyon Creek, supra, 786 F. Supp. at p. 828.) The court then reasoned that, because it had to resolve any ambiguity against the insurer, the clause provided coverage for the claim. (See American States Ins. Co. v. Canyon Creek, supra, 786 F. Supp. at p. 829.)