The wife in a couple who were both dentists posted a phony social media review about a competing dentist accusing him of being unprofessional and providing terrible care.
When they were sued for defamation they tried to claim an indemnity under their personal homeowners’ insurance policy.
The court refused to grant them the indemnity because the policy contained two relevant exceptions.
The first exception excluded coverage for damages arising out of any criminal, wilful, malicious or other act or omission intended to cause damage.
The second exclusion barred damages derived from any insured’s business activities.
The act of intentionally posting a fraudulent review in order to harm the rival practice was clearly an intentional act excluded from cover. The claims for violation of dentists’ professional conduct rules were excluded because the breach of professional conduct stemmed directly from their business activities as dentists.
[Michael J. Anton D.D.S., et al v National Surety Corp., suit number 4:16-cv-00267, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas]