Inverse Condemnation Constitutes Personal and Advertising Injury

Lexington Ins. Co. v. St. Bernard Parish Gov’t (E.D.La., January 3, 2013)

An insurance dispute arose over the defendant’s condemnation and demolition of numerous structures after the failure of property owners to repair structures damaged during Hurricane Katrina. In an underlying suit, over 70 property owners sued claiming inverse condemnation. Under the policy, a personal and advertising injury occurs when there is “a wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into, or invasion of the right of private occupancy of a room, dwelling or premises that a person occupies by or on behalf of its owner, landlord or lessor.” The district court held that the phrase “by or on behalf of its owner, landlord, or lessor” was ambiguous, and construed the provision against the insurer and in favor of coverage.