Foremost Insurance Co. v. Putzier
Idaho Supreme Court
100 Idaho 883, 606 P.2d 987 (1980)
Robert C. Knievel (Evel Knievel) and Snake River Canyon Enterprises, Inc. hosted an event at which Knievel attempted a jump over the Snake River Canyon. To host the event, Knievel and Snake River had to obtain liability insurance to secure a land-use permit from the state and a license from the county where the canyon was located. An attorney representing Knievel and Snake River obtained the requisite insurance following negotiations of the policy’s terms through a brokerage firm. The policy was issued by Foremost Insurance Company (plaintiff) and expressly excluded coverage for damages resulting from a riot, civil commotion, or mob action. The event attracted 10,000 to 15,000 spectators with concessionaires and vendors to serve them. In the days leading up to the event, groups of unknown individuals damaged and destroyed goods and equipment of several concessionaires, including Harold Putzier and Bob Crandall (defendants). Putzier and Crandall sued Knievel and Snake River to recover their damages. Meanwhile, Foremost filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment that Putzier and Crandall’s damages were excluded from Knievel and Snake River’s liability coverage. To support its position, Foremost claimed that the final terms of the written policy, including the riot exclusion, had been read to Knievel and Snake River’s attorney, had been negotiated over several meetings, and raised no concerns. Knievel and Snake River debated whether the riot exclusion was disclosed during negotiations. A state trial court agreed with Foremost and granted the declaratory judgment, relieving Foremost of liability for Putzier and Crandall’s damages. Putzier and Crandall appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Donaldson, C.J.)
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