In Garcia v. Federal Ins. Co., No. SC06-2524 (Fla. Oct. 25, 2007), on two questions certified by the Eleventh Circuit, the Florida Supreme Court recently held that an employer’s insurance policy was not ambiguous and that it covered an employee, as an additional insured, only when the employee was vicariously liable for her employer’s conduct.

While driving a car to run errands for her employer, Garcia’s foot slipped off the brake pedal, causing her to hit, and seriously injure, a pedestrian. The pedestrian sued Garcia, her employer and the owner of the car she was driving, among others. After settling with the pedestrian, Garcia sought a declaration that her employer’s insurance policy covered her as an additional insured.

The Florida Supreme Court held that the phrase “any other person with respect to liability because of acts or omissions” of the named insured was unambiguous and covered only an additional insured's vicarious liability for the negligent acts or omissions of the named insured. Because the accident victim had sued Garcia only for her direct negligence, and had not also alleged that Garcia was liable owing to acts or omissions of her employer, the Court held that the policy did not cover Garcia.

Click here to read the court’s opinion.