Farmers Insurance Exchange v. Adams

170 Cal. App. 3d 712, 216 Cal. Rptr. 287 (1985)

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Farmers Insurance Exchange v. Adams

California Court of Appeal
170 Cal. App. 3d 712, 216 Cal. Rptr. 287 (1985)

Facts

Farmers Insurance Exchange and others (Farmers) (plaintiffs) filed a complaint for declaratory relief against more than 300 named insureds (defendants) and 5,000 Doe defendants after a heavy storm in early January of 1982 during which each of the named insureds had reported damage to property arising out of conditions created by the January storm and submitted a claim under one of the policies issued by Farmers. Farmers had denied the claims on the ground that the efficient proximate cause of the insureds’ losses were excluded perils. The trial court sustained the defendants’ demurrer because (1) when a loss is caused concurrently by both an included and an excluded peril, there may be insurance coverage without establishing that the included peril was the efficient proximate cause that set the other causes in motion; and (2) Farmers’ complaint was misjoinder of the multiple defendant-insureds because of the need to individually analyze the causation question for each insured. Farmers appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Merrill, J.)

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