When must the insurer provide coverage for an "occurrence" that looks like an intentinonal assault?
In Sarkis and Umesh v. Cincinnati Insurance, the victim suffered injuries when Sarkis' martini glass struck Mrs. Umesh in the face on a crowded dance floor. Cincinnati claimed that the incident was not an "accident" or an "occurrence" under the Sarkis' homeowners insurance policy, and denied coverage or a duty to defend. Sarkis claimed that she did not know how or why the glass left her hand and struck Umesh. The policy at issue did not define an "accident", so under the law it is construed as an "undesigned contingency, a casualty, a happening by chance, something out of the usual course of things, unusual, fortuitous, not anticipated, and not naturally to be expected" from the standpoint of the insured. Since the slim factual record in the instant case left doubt about whether Sarkis acted intentionally, the case against Cincinnati could not be dismissed on a summary basis.