Insurer Sues For Declaration That Policy Doesn’t Cover Inappropriate Touching

This story takes me back to my days as a newspaper reporter. It’s pretty tough to be told to turn out a quick story when you have absolutely no idea what is going on. From what I can tell in reading the story, an insurer is seeking a declaratory judgment that it has no duty to defend or indemnify a doctor who allegedly engaged in improper touching of female patients. My guess is what’s at issue is a professional liability policy, and the insurer claims touching patients inappropriately is outside the definition of professional services, even if it occurred in a medical office.
For a further explanation of how courts analyze unprofessional behavior under a professional liability policy, read this Washington Court of Appeals case about a dentist who outfitted an anesthetized patient with fake pig tusks, pried her eyes open, took pictures and later told her she could have the tusks as “a trophy.”

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