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State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Wicka

474 N.W.2d 324 (1991)

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State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Wicka

Minnesota Supreme Court

474 N.W.2d 324 (1991)

Facts

In the early morning, Stephen Kintop, the ex-boyfriend of Colleen Hughes, burst into her living room, brandishing a pistol. Paul Peterson (defendant), an acquaintance of Kintop who was dating Hughes, was standing in the living room. Peterson fled through the backdoor and ran into the street. Kintop ran after Peterson, shooting him several times. Peterson was wounded in the hip and head. Kintop then shot and killed himself. Peterson then sued James Wicka, special administrator for the estate of Stephen Kintop (defendant). Kintop had been covered under his parents’ State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. (State Farm) (plaintiff) homeowner’s insurance plan. State Farm brought a summary-judgment action, seeking a ruling that the intentional-act exclusion in the policy precluded coverage. The trial court found in favor of State Farm, and Peterson appealed. The appellate court reversed the grant of summary judgment, holding that if mental illness made Kintop unable to control his conduct, the intentional-act exclusion did not apply, but there was a genuine question of material fact as to Kintop’s mental capacity. The Minnesota Supreme Court granted review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gardebring, J.)

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