Are Sexual Misconduct Claims Covered by Insurance Policies ?

In West American Insurance Co. v. Vago, 197 Ill. App. 3d 131, 136, 553 N.E.2d 1181, 143 Ill. Dec. 195 (1990), a country club waitress filed the underlying tort complaint, alleging that, while she was working, the insured grabbed her from behind, locked his arms around her waist, prevented her from escaping, and thrust his pelvis against her buttock several times while he had an erection. Vago, 197 Ill. App. 3d at 133. Two insurance policies issued to the insured excluded coverage for bodily or personal injury " 'which is expected or intended by the insured.' " Vago, 197 Ill. App. 3d at 134. The court held that, even though the underlying complaint was couched in terms of negligence, the insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify the insured because the complaint alleged a course of conduct that was clearly intentional, and not merely negligent or accidental, because the insured would have been consciously aware that he was practically certain to cause emotional injuries to the waitress. Vago, 197 Ill. App. 3d at 137. The court concluded that the insured should have reasonably anticipated the waitress's injuries and that, therefore, the injuries were "expected" and not covered because of the exclusionary clauses in the two policies. Vago, 197 Ill. App. 3d at 137; See also Hartford Insurance Co. of Illinois v. Kelly, 309 Ill. App. 3d 800, 807, 723 N.E.2d 288, 243 Ill. Dec. 256 (1999) (in cases where adults have been charged with having sex with minors or sexually assaulting adults, specific intent to harm is inferred as a matter of law and insurance coverage is excluded under the policy).