Court Won’t Imply Jury’s Findings
A company sued a trade association comprised of three entities, all of which were its competitors, alleging they had disseminated false statements about the company and its products. An Ohio jury returned a $49.5 million verdict against the association. The trade association’s insurer sought a declaration it had no obligation to provide indemnity for the damages. In the lower court, the carrier successfully argued the policy excluded coverage for claims based on dishonest conduct and the jury found the association had acted dishonestly. However, the Sixth Circuit overturned finding the dishonest acts provision did not apply. The dishonesty exclusion is not defined in the policy and it was not clear what the jury was thinking. Thus the court concluded the jury did not find the trade association acted dishonestly nor did it publish intentionally false statements.