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Vargas v. Insurance Company of North America

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
651 F.2d. 838 (2d Cir. 1981)


Facts

Joseph Khurey obtained an aviation insurance policy from Insurance Company of North America (INA) (defendant) for his airplane. The insurance policy applied “only to occurrences, accidents or losses which happen[ed] . . . within the United States of America, its territories or possessions, Canada or Mexico.” The policy included an endorsement that extended territorial coverage to the Bahama Islands. Khurey and his family were killed in a plane crash 25 miles west of Puerto Rico while flying from Haiti to Puerto Rico. This was the last leg of their overall trip from New York to Puerto Rico. INA declined coverage, claiming that the policy only covered losses occurring in certain defined covered locations, which included the three miles adjacent to the coasts of these locations. The plane crash occurred outside of the covered locations. Daniel Vargas (plaintiff), the personal representative of one of the Khureys, argued that the policy covered losses occurring while the plane was traveling between two covered locations. Vargas brought a declaratory-judgment action to determine whether INA was liable under the insurance policy. The district court granted summary judgment on behalf of INA. Vargas appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Sofaer, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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