A Louisiana appellate court found that interpreting a use license agreement was not necessary to determine whether a licensee’s insurer owed a duty to defend to the owner of a building leased by the licensee. City of Kenner v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s & Krewe of Argus, Inc., 2015 WL 9589810 (La. App. 5 Cir. Dec. 30, 2015).
A third party sued a city, a licensee’s insurer and a management company after allegedly becoming injured while exiting a building owned by a city at an event held by a licensee. The city filed a declaratory judgment action against the licensee and its insurer for defense and indemnity in the third party’s suit. The city alleged that it was entitled to defense and indemnity pursuant to a use license agreement and the licensee’s policy, and the trial court granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of the city. On appeal, the court of appeal affirmed.
Though the licensee and its insurer argued that an interpretation of the use license agreement was necessary to determine the scope of the licensee’s duty to defend the city, the court stated it is constrained to only consider the parties’ intent as specified in the policy. The court found that the policy clearly provided for the insurer to defend the city, and there was no need to seek further interpretation on the parties’ intent.