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Admiral Ins. Co. v. Kay Auto. Distribs., Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

January 29, 2015

KAY AUTOMOTIVE DISTRIBUTORS, INC., a California corporation; ANNETTE KARDISH, a California resident; JONA KARDISH, a California resident; JESSICA KARDISH, a California resident ; CHRISTOPHER INGRAM, a California resident, Defendants

For Admiral Insurance Company, Plaintiff: Robert D Hoffman, LEAD ATTORNEY, Charlston Revich and Wollitz LLP, Los Angeles, CA.

For Christopher Ingram, a California Resident, Defendant: Barbara J Mandell, Mandell & Associates PC, Woodland Hills, CA; Kirk A Lauby, Donner Fernandez & Lauby, Riverside, CA.


[Dkt. Nos. 30, 36]

DEAN D. PREGERSON, United States District Judge.

Presently before the Court are cross motions for summary judgment, filed by Plaintiff and by Defendant Christopher Ingram (" Ingram" ), on the issue of the extent of coverage under an insurance contract purchased by Defendant Kay Automotive Distributors (" Kay" ). Having heard oral arguments and considered the parties' submissions, the Court adopts the following order.


Kay employed Ingram as a delivery-person from 2007 to 2011. (State Court First Amended Complaint[1] (" State FAC" ), ¶ 4.) Ingram alleges that Kay required workers to make deliveries off the clock, forced employees to accept paid time off in lieu of overtime pay, and required employees to skip meals and rest breaks. (Id. at ¶ ¶ 16-18.) He also alleges that he did not receive all the pay that was due to him at the end of his employment, including reimbursement for business expenses. (Id. at ¶ 20.)

Kay purchased an " Employment Practices Liability Insurance" contract from Plaintiff with an effective policy period of September 6, 2010 to September 6, 2011. (Decl. Barbara Mandell, Ex. A at 62.) The policy covered wrongful acts by Kay against its employees, but it excluded certain claims

based upon, arising out of, directly or indirectly resulting from or in consequence of, or in any way involving any federal, state, local or foreign wage and hour laws, including, without limitation, the Fair Labor Standards Act; provided, however, the Insurer will pay Costs of Defense up to, but in no event greater than $100,000, for any such Claims, without any liability by the Insurer to pay such sums that any Insured shall become legally obligated to pay as Damages . . . .

(Id. at 66-67.)

Plaintiff brings this action seeking declaratory judgment that the above exclusion relieves it of any duty to indemnify Kay for Ingram's claims and limits its liability for costs of defense to $100,000. (Dkt. No. 1.) The parties have brought these motions for summary judgment to settle the legal questions of contract interpretation involved. (Dkt. Nos. 30, 36.)


Summary judgment is appropriate where the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show " that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of informing the court of the basis for its motion and of identifying those portions of the pleadings and discovery responses that demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). All reasonable inferences from the evidence must be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 242, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).

Once the moving party meets its burden, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party opposing the motion, who must " set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256. Summary judgment is warranted if a party " fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. A genuine issue exists if " the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party," and material facts are those " that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. There is no genuine issue of fact " [w]here the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational ...

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