Property Owners Insurance Co. (POI) was the insurer and Thomas Cope was the insured under a…

Property Owners Insurance Co. (POI) was the insurer and Thomas Cope was the insured under a liability policy that excluded liability except in cases of liability “with respect to the conduct of a business” owned by Cope. Cope’s business was a roofing company. While the policy was in force, Cope traveled to Montana with Edward Urbanski, a person with whom Cope did significant business. While on the trip, Cope snowmobiled with a group of persons that included Gregory Johnson, who died in a snowmobiling accident. Johnson’s estate brought a wrongful death lawsuit against Cope. After Cope notified POI of the case brought against him, POI filed a declaratory judgment action against Cope and Johnson’s estate. In the declaratory judgment action, POI sought a judicial determination that it had no obligations to Cope and Johnson’s estate under the liability policy. POI took the position that Cope’s trip to Montana was a personal trip for recreation purposes and that it therefore was not a trip “with respect to the conduct of [Cope’s] business.” Cope maintained that even if the trip was largely recreational, it was at least incidental to his business because Urbanski, who also was on the trip, was a business associate of Cope’s. POI moved for summary judgment. Was POI entitled to summary judgment?

 

 

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