Cochran v. MFA Mutual Insurance Co.

201 Neb. 631, 271 N.W.2d 331 (1978)

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Cochran v. MFA Mutual Insurance Co.

Nebraska Supreme Court
201 Neb. 631, 271 N.W.2d 331 (1978)

  • Written by Sheryl McGrath, JD

Facts

MFA Mutual Insurance Co. (MFA) (defendant) issued a homeowner’s insurance contract that covered certain property of the insured (plaintiff). There was an insurance exclusion in the contract that precluded coverage of property that was stolen from an unattended car, unless the car was locked and there were visible marks of forcible entry on the car’s exterior. One day, the insured’s tools were stolen from the car. The insured sought coverage under the insurance contract. MFA denied coverage based on the insurance exclusion. The coverage dispute went to trial. At trial, the evidence established that before the theft, the car was unattended and was locked. However, the evidence also established that the car’s exterior had no visible marks of forcible entry. In the car’s ignition was a jiggle key. The insured, who was a locksmith, provided expert testimony concerning the jiggle key. The insured testified that in his expert opinion, the tool thief used the jiggle key to get into the car. The trial court entered judgment in favor of MFA. The insured appealed, and an intermediate appellate court affirmed the trial court’s judgment. The insured appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Clinton, J.)

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