United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
BRIAN M. FISHMAN, ESQUIRE, ET AL.
For BRIAN M. FISHMAN, ESQUIRE, DAVID S. NENNER & ASSOCIATES, P., Plaintiffs: DAVID SCOTT NENNER, LEAD ATTORNEY, PHILADELPHIA, PA; WILLIAM P. MURPHY, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICE OF WILLIAM P. MURPHY, ESQ., PHILADELPHIA, PA; HOWARD K. GOLDSTEIN, THE LAW OFFICES OF HOWARD K. GOLDSTEIN, Philadelphia, PA.
For THE HARTFORD, Defendant: RONALD P. SCHILLER, LEAD ATTORNEY, MICHAEL ROBERT CARLSON, HANGLEY ARONCHICK SEGAL & PUDLIN, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
R. BARCLAY SURRICK, J.
Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (ECF No. 18) and Defendant's Cross-Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (ECF No. 20). For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion will be granted and Plaintiffs' Motion will be denied.
A. Factual Background
1. The Parties
This action arises out of a dispute over a claims-made professional liability policy. Plaintiffs Brian M. Fishman and David S. Nenner & Associates, P.C. (" Nenner" ) filed this lawsuit against Defendant Sentinel Insurance Company, Ltd., d/b/a/ " The Hartford." (Compl. ¶ ¶ 1-4, Notice of Removal Ex. A, ECF No. 1.) Fishman is an attorney with Nenner, a professional corporation licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. ( Id. at ¶ ¶ 1-2.) Defendant is a Connecticut corporation engaged in selling legal malpractice insurance. ( Id. at ¶ 4.)
2. Insurance Policy
On August 24, 2010, Plaintiffs acquired a professional liability policy (the " Policy" ) from Defendant, which provided insurance coverage for all " claims" made against Plaintiffs during the policy period of August, 24, 2010 through August 24, 2011. ( Id. at ¶ 10; Policy, Pls.' Mot. Ex. A, ECF No. 18.) The Policy's coverage agreement states in relevant part:
Coverage Agreement: Subject to the Limits of Liability, the Company shall pay on behalf of the " insured" all sums in excess of the deductible which the " insured" shall become legally obligated to pay as " damages" by reason of any act, or omission, including " claims" arising out of " personal injury", committed or alleged to have been committed prior to the end of the " policy period" and subsequent to the " retroactive date", provided always that:
4. As of the effective date of this Coverage Form, no " insured" knew or could have foreseen that such act, error, omission, or " personal injury" could result in a " claim."
(Policy ¶ A.4)
The Policy defines a " claim" as
notice received by an 'insured' from a person or entity advising that it is the intention of that person or entity to hold the 'insured' liable for 'damages' for an act, error, omission, or 'personal injury' covered under this Coverage Form. 'Claim' includes but is not limited to:
a. A demand received by an 'insured' for money or services;
b. The service of suit or institution or arbitration proceedings; or
c. A request received by an 'insured' for a tolling agreement with respect to statutes of limitations or for other extensions to allow the filing or ...