Ollie Gates (plaintiff) bought title insurance from Chicago Title Insurance Company (defendant). The policy insured Gates against a “lack of a right of access to and from the land.” At the time of the purchase, Gates had access via a road that he believed was public. The road, however, was actually private, and 18 months after Gates purchased the property, the owner of the road blocked it. Gates’s only other access to his property was via a path that was accessible by foot but not safely accessible by motor vehicle. Gates brought suit seeking title-insurance coverage for his limited access to his property. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Gates. The trial judge granted Chicago’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Gates appealed.