Case Involving Each Gunshot Constituted a Separate Occurrence

In American Indemnity Co. v. McQuaig, 435 So. 2d 414 (Fla. 5th DCA 1983), the insured, who claimed insanity, fired several shots within a two-minute period and argued that each shot constituted a separate occurrence. See: 435 So. 2d at 415. In agreeing with the insured that each shot constituted a separate occurrence, the Fifth District explained that this construction was consistent with the cause theory: American Indemnity does not question the application of the "cause theory" here but rather argues there was only one occurrence because the injuries were caused by one instrumentality of danger, the shotgun; they were caused in one very specific location and they occurred in one brief time period of less than two minutes duration. To support its contention that only one occurrence took place, American Indemnity cites, among others, the following: Southern Intern. Corp. v. Poly-Urethane Ind., Inc., 353 So. 2d 646 (Fla. 3d DCA 1977) (application of polyurethane to several roofs one occurrence) . . . . In each of these cases, however, there was a single force, that once set in motion caused multiple injuries. Analogous to this would be if a single shot had injured both McQuaig and Pope. This was not the case. A shot was fired and Pope was injured. There was a time interval of approximately two minutes before another shot was fired which inflicted most of McQuaig's injuries.Id. Further, in rejecting the argument that the insured's insanity was the single cause of all the injuries, the Fifth District explained: American Indemnity did not incur any liability because of Croskey's insanity but rather liability attached when Croskey fired the shots which resulted in injury to the two deputies. While Croskey's insanity may have been a factor, it is clear that the proximate cause of Pope's injuries was the shotgun blasts which struck him and the proximate cause of McQuaig's injuries was the shotgun blasts which struck him. Id. at 416.