August 15, 2016
The Kentucky Court of Appeals held that acting in self-defense does not override an insurance policy's intentional-act exclusion, deciding an issue the Kentucky Supreme Court has not yet addressed. Coleman v. State Farm Fire & Casualty, 2015-CA-350. The case arose from an altercation in which Daniel Moss shot and killed Shawn Thompson at Moss's home. A jury convicted Moss of manslaughter, although Moss maintained that he shot Thompson in self defense. Thompson's Estate brought suit to recover from Moss's homeowner's insurer, State Farm. State Farm asserted that an intentional-act exclusion in its policy precluded coverage, while Thompson's Estate argued that a self-defense exception should apply. The Court of Appeals declined to adopt a self-defense exception to the intentional-act exclusion, noting that other states are split on this issue but that the majority do not allow an exception. Thus, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's grant of declaratory and summary judgment in favor of State Farm.