Insurer Required to Defend Spa Owner Against Legionnaires’ Disease Claim

Westport Ins. Co. v. VN Hotel Group, LLC (Ct. of App. Fla., October 25, 2012)

A third party contracted Legionnaires’ Disease after ingesting heated water vapors at the policyholder’s property. The insurer had denied the policyholder coverage because the policy contained a fungi/bacteria exclusion and a pollution exclusion. Because the policy contained a separate exclusion for bacteria, the court found that the pollution exclusion did not apply. The court also found that the fungi/ bacteria exclusion did not apply because the guest inhaled the bacteria at an outdoor spa, which did not constitute a structure as defined by the policy for the purposes of the exclusion. Therefore the insurer had a duty to defend the policyholder.