Michael Koury shot and killed a storeowner and himself at a jewelry store in Bridgewater, NJ. Because Koury was living with his parents at the time of the shooting, a claim was brought against his parents’ homeowners’ policy, insured by New Jersey Manufacturers (NJM). Although Koury’s actions were of the type normally considered intentional and excluded from coverage (Voorhees v. Preferred Mutual Insurance Co., 128 N.J. 165 [1992]) NJM had the burden to prove that Koury’s actions came within the intentional-conduct exclusion.

The two ways in which an action can be intentional are (1) if the alleged wrongdoer subjectively intended or expected to cause an injury and (2) if the nature of the occurrence is such that injury is the reasonably foreseeable result. In this case, the Appellate Division found that Koury’s conduct was objectively intentional because when he fired his gun, the likelihood of bodily injury or death was extremely high.   Devoe v. Koury (N.J. App. Div, March 2015)

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