Comic Book Coverage Case: I Promised I Would Pass This On To You When I Saw One

After this post last week about comic book coverage, I began to notice the ubiquity of comic books, and have seen people reading comic books everywhere I look in Portland, it seems.  For example, last night on the bus the woman sitting in the seat in front of me was reading a comic magazine the size of a Sears catalog.  The fact that I remember what a Sears catalog is may indicate the times have passed me by, and I might be well-advised to hide my copy of The New Yorker inside a comic book just to blend in.

In any event, I said I would let you know when I saw a coverage case involving comic books, and thanks to a good Friend of the Blog who passed one along, I have now seen one — Yvette Chaffin v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 2000 WL 192446, 2000 Conn.Super. LEXIS 316.  I’d provide a direct link to a pdf of the case but I couldn’t find one on the Web.  The case involves a claim for $10,000 under a homeowners policy for 69 comic books, a handful of sports cards, some model cars and other such like.  These were damaged by smoke and water when a fire broke out at the insured’s business, a place that sold sports memorabilia and offered batting cages and other recreation.  The policy limited coverage to $250 for personal property that was damaged away from the residence and which was used at any time for business purposes.  The dispute was, of course, whether the comic books and other items were at the business for security and for personal use, or whether, as indicated by the fact that at least some of the items may have been displayed for sale, they were part of the commerce carried on at the store.

Now, I feel bad that I don’t have the answer for you, because the court dropped back 15 yards and punted, finding that issues of material fact existed and denying the insurer’s summary judgment motion.  Whether the matter was settled, or whether it went to trial, I don’t know.  If it did go to trial, however, my guess is the plaintiffs won, at least in part.  Just a guess.

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