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Restroom design inflicts ’emotional’ injuries

Must insurer defend swap meet owner in wheelchair access lawsuit?
Published on Jan 7, 2004

Modern Development Co. operates a large swap meet in an open-air marketplace. Juan Moreno, a wheelchair visitor at the swap meet, alleged violations by Modern of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because he was unable to enter the restrooms, which lack wheelchair access. In his lawsuit, Moreno said he was humiliated, embarrassed and frustrated, suffering serious emotional and physical injuries by being unable to enter the restroom. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. When Modern tendered defense of Moreno's lawsuit to its liability insurer, Navigators Insurance Co., the insurer denied coverage and defense of the lawsuit. The reason for denial of defense and coverage was there was no accident or occurrence, as required by the insurance policy. Modern's attorney negotiated a settlement of the lawsuit for $9,750, plus $7,600 attorney fees. Then the swap meet owner, Modern, sued its insurer for bad faith denial of coverage and refusal to defend the lawsuit under the liability ...

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