McGinniss v. Employers Reinsurance Corporation
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
648 F. Supp. 1263 (1986)
Joe McGinniss (plaintiff) was the author of Fatal Vision, which related the story of the murder of Jeff MacDonald’s family and his subsequent conviction of the crimes. Following the book’s release, MacDonald brought suit against McGinniss, claiming damages for fraud, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. McGinniss requested indemnification for fees and costs incurred in defending the action from Employers Reinsurance Corporation (defendant) pursuant to an insurance policy (the policy) issued to McGinniss’s publisher and applicable to him. The policy provided coverage for “injury sustained . . . arising out of (a) libel or slander or other defamatory or disparaging material; (b) invasion or infringement of the right to privacy . . . .” Employers denied McGinniss’s request for indemnification, claiming that the policy covered only named causes of action, none of which had been asserted against McGinniss. McGinniss then initiated a suit seeking a declaration that Employers was obligated to indemnify him for all fees and costs incurred in defense of the MacDonald action.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sweet, J.)
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