A federal court in Virginia recently held that a hunt club liability policy did not provide coverage for a suit against its member arising out of a hunting accident on hunt club property.  Marks v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 2014 WL 3767116 (E.D. Va. July 30, 2014).

While hunting on club property, a member accidentally shot a driver on a public road passing by the club.  The driver sued the member, who sought coverage under the club policy, which generally extended coverage to members for club activities and activities performed on behalf of the club.  After the club took the position that the negligent shooting neither occurred during a club activity nor constituted an activity performed on behalf of the club, the driver sought a declaration that the club policy provided coverage for the member with respect to the injuries alleged to the passing motorist.

Granting the club’s insurer’s motion for summary judgment, the court found that the member’s actions on the day of the incident were voluntary and not during “hunt club activities,” as he was participating in a voluntary and recreational hunt.  Moreover, the court found that the member was not acting on behalf of the club, but rather was acting voluntarily and for his own benefit and not at the direction, request or benefit of the club, and therefore no coverage arose under the club policy.