Sutton v. Spencer – Case Brief Summary (Ohio)

In Sutton v. Spencer, 56 Ohio App.3d 147, 565 N.E.2d 854 [1989], the court was asked to consider whether an automobile insurance policy that excluded coverage for vehicles being "serviced," excluded coverage for damages to a vehicle that had undergone an exterior cleaning (Id. at 147-149).

In concluding that coverage was excluded under the terms of the insurance policy, the Sutton court stated:

The terms "servicing" vehicles or vehicles being "serviced" are not ambiguous and clearly include the exterior maintenance of the automobile as well as maintenance of the internal operations. When a vehicle is being cleaned it is being serviced, just as if it were being rustproofed, oiled or painted. It would indeed be unreasonable to interpret the word "servicing" as including only one type of maintenance and not another.

It therefore follows that washing an automobile constitutes "servicing" the vehicle.