Can An Insurance Company Intervene In a Litigation Claiming It Had An Interest In the Action ?

In Krancevic v. McPherson, 8th Dist. No. 84511, 2004 Ohio 6915, the plaintiff teacher was assaulted by a student. The plaintiff sued the parent, and Allstate, which had issued a homeowner's insurance policy to the child's parent, moved the court to intervene. Allstate argued it had a right to intervene, claiming it had an interest in the subject of the suit because it may become obligated to pay a judgment rendered against its insured. It also argued it would be bound by a judgment on the question of whether its insured acted intentionally. The court held: "Although Allstate knew of its interest in this litigation from the time the action was filed on May 5, 2003, Allstate did not file its motion to intervene until ten months after the complaint was filed, and only seven weeks before the trial was scheduled to begin. The inconvenience and delay which would have been occasioned if Allstate's motion had been granted would have been extensive. Allstate did not merely seek leave to participate in a limited manner to protect its interests in the action between the plaintiff and its insured, for example, by submitting proposed jury interrogatories. Rather, it proposed to file an intervening complaint and cross-claim for a declaratory judgment concerning its duties to defend and to pay any judgment entered against its insureds. This pleading would have interjected a number of new issues as to which discovery and motion practice would have caused considerable delay in the proceedings between the existing parties. Therefore, the Court found the common pleas court did not abuse its discretion by denying Allstate's motion to intervene as untimely." Id. at P8.