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The dissenting opinion found that the district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of the insurer on the breach of contract claim because the defendant did not have permission to operate the vehicle while intoxicated. (Credit: BigStock) The dissenting opinion found that the district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of the insurer on the breach of contract claim because the defendant did not have permission to operate the vehicle while intoxicated. (Credit: BigStock)

Reversing a lower court’s ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined an insurer was obligated to compensate a motorist injured in an accident by its policyholder’s intoxicated employee, as she had permission to use the vehicle.

Underwood Bros Inc., doing business as AAA Landscape, was insured with a general insurance policy from Zurich American Insurance Company. The policy provided coverage for auto accidents and defined an insured as anyone “using with your permission a covered ‘auto’ you own.”

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Hannah Smith

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