City of Burlington v. Associated Elec. & Gas Ins. Servs

In City of Burlington v. Associated Elec. & Gas Ins. Servs., 164 Vt. 218, 222-23, 669 A.2d 1181 (1995) (hereafter AEGIS), the Court reversed the superior court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the excess insurer. We relied on the particular language of the policy's insuring agreement, which defined "occurrence" as an "accident" or "event" resulting "in bodily injury, personal injury or property damage." AEGIS, 164 Vt. at 221, 669 A.2d at 1183. Noting that the commonly understood meaning of the term "event" is not limited to accidental or unintended actions, we concluded that the term covered the claims raised in Moffatt, thereby requiring AEGIS to indemnify the City. See id. at 222, 669 A.2d at 1184. The Court further stated that our conclusion was reinforced by the fact that the AEGIS definition of "occurrence" did not include the standard modifying phrase "neither expected nor intended" contained in the NUFI policy's definition of "occurrence." See id. at 222-23, 669 A.2d at 1184. Nevertheless, because AEGIS also relied on policy exclusions that "should first be construed and applied by the trial court," id. at 223, 669 A.2d at 1184, that opinion did not resolve the issue. The Court remanded the matter to the trial court to consider the policy exclusions when determining whether AEGIS was required to indemnify the City.