Leave it to insurance coverage guru/legal humorist Randy Maniloff to track down the most interesting cases for his monthly publication, Coverage Opinions. Among this month’s excellent articles (which include a mock interview with Tom Brady), Randy revisits his insurance Coverage for Dummies contest with the case of Blank-Greer v. Tannerite Sports, LLC, No. 13-1266 (N.D. Ohio Apr. 21, 2015).
Here are the basic facts, borrowed from Randy’s excerpts from the court’s opinion:
In May 2012, [James] Yaney’s friend, Jason Vantilburg, in anticipation of the birth of his first child, asked Yaney to host a party to celebrate. Yaney and Vantilburg fashioned the party into a ‘diaper shootout,’ where guests could bring diapers for the new baby and enjoy an afternoon shooting guns in Yaney’s backyard. As a ‘grand finale’ to the party, they also decided to blow up an old refrigerator.
In preparation, Yaney used his [Yaney] Motorsports truck to haul the refrigerator from Vantilburg’s home to his property. He then used his trailer to tow a box van to his backyard so that guests had a target to shoot. On the day of the event, Yaney set up the Motorsports truck and trailer as a staging area for guns and ammunition. ***
Towards the end of the event, Yaney and Vantilburg decided it was time to blow up the refrigerator. They hauled the refrigerator from Yaney’s pole barn into the backyard. Guests stood behind tables fifty meters away from where the refrigerator was located. Vantilburg moved into position behind his rifle, fired at the explosives [H2] inside the refrigerator, and detonated them. The refrigerator immediately blew apart and sent shrapnel flying across the yard. A piece of shrapnel hit (guest) Plank–Greer’s hand, nearly severing it.
Read Randy’s full account of the case, which addressed the issue of whether the party host was acting in the scope of employment with respect to insurance coverage from his business. The court said no.
–Blank-Greer v. Tannerite Sports, LLC, No. 13-1266 (N.D. Ohio Apr. 21, 2015)