No insurance coverage for sexual assaults commited by Sheriff's Deputy
Livingston County Sheriff's Deputy Randy Boos was sued by several women who had either alleged, or proven, that they were sexually assualted by him after being taken into custody. The County's insurer, the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority, argued that it's broad "criminal acts" exclusion allowed it to refuse to provide indemnfication for Boos' victims. It argued that Boos' actions were outside his authority and duties as a Deputy, criminal in nature, and therefore not covered by the insurance policy covering County Deputies.The trial judge had agreed with the insurer with respect to two victims whose claims against Boos had resulted in criminal convictions. As to the remaining two victims, however, the judge ruled that the exclusion language for "proven, admitted, or non-contested" criminal acts, did not come in to play. The Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the claims of the two "proven" victims and also dismissed the remaining claims. It held that Boos' conduct--2d degree Criminal Sexual Conduct--unquestionably fell within the terms of the criminal acts exclusion. it also pointed out that an insurer can exclude coverage for criminal acts, even if the effect of that exclusion is to render liability coverage virtually illusory (since endangering others, negligent manslaughter, and many other civil "wrongs" are also criminalized).