An insurer was recently granted summary judgment against its insured based on a commercial general liability insurance policy’s total liquor liability exclusion (“TLLE”). Colony Ins. Co. v. Oracle Lounge, Inc., CV074029107S (Conn. Super. May 4, 2009).

The insured bar was sued by the estates of two individuals who were killed in a motor vehicle accident after consuming alcohol at the insured’s establishment. The insurer filed a declaratory judgment action and moved for summary judgment based on the language of the TLLE, which excludes from coverage any bodily injury or property damage for which any insured may be held liable by reason of (1) causing or contributing to the intoxication of any person; (2) the furnishing of alcoholic beverages to a person under the legal drinking age or under the influence of alcohol; and (3) any statute, ordinance or regulation relating to the sale, gift, distribution or use of alcoholic beverages.

The court granted summary judgment for the insurer on the basis that each of the causes of action against the insured referenced a claim that is clearly barred by the TLLE. The court rejected the insured’s arguments that “the issues of wristbands or the role of bouncers move the matters outside of the purview of the TLLE clause.” The court also agreed with the insurer that the amendment of the underlying complaint to change the term “intoxication” to “impairment” was “merely a recognition of the dilemma that the defendants face.”