No Written Agreement Ends Claim as an Additional Insured
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The Chicago White Sox, Ltd., et al (the White Sox plaintiffs), and State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company (State Auto), the insurer for defendant We Clean Maintenance and Supplies, Inc. (We Clean) disputed whether the White Sox were additional insureds of We Clean’s policy with State Auto. After a patron was injured at a Chicago White Sox game, he filed a lawsuit against the White Sox plaintiffs alleging that State Auto had wrongfully denied coverage. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of State Auto, finding that the White Sox plaintiffs were not “additional insureds.”
In Chicago White Sox, Ltd.; Chisox Corporation; et al v. State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company et al, No. 1-23-0101, 2023 IL App (1st) 230101-U, Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Third Division (November 8, 2023)
Beginning in 2008 and continuing at least through 2012, the White Sox plaintiffs entered into a series of written agreements with We Clean pursuant to which We Clean agreed to provide cleaning services for all home games played by the Chicago White Sox during the applicable baseball season.
In 2011, while at U.S. Cellular Field, Raymond Myles was injured as he was walking down a ramp. Myles sued. The lawsuit was ultimately settled for an undisclosed amount.
In 2014, the White Sox plaintiffs tendered the defense of the underlying lawsuit to State Auto, the insurer for We Clean, as additional insureds under We Clean’s insurance policy.
We Clean was insured by State Auto under a commercial general liability insurance policy. While We Clean was the sole named insured on the policy, the policy contained an endorsement adding as an additional insured “[a]ny person or organization for whom you are performing operations when you and such person or organization have agreed in a written contract or written agreement that such person or organization be added as an additional insured on your policy.”
No “Indemnification and Insurance Agreement” for either 2010 or 2011 is contained in the record on appeal, and an affidavit from a White Sox representative indicates that the White Sox plaintiffs were unable to locate such a document.
The circuit court granted State Auto’s motion for summary judgment.
In this case, the sole issue is whether the White Sox plaintiffs qualified as additional insureds under We Clean’s insurance policy.
The language of the service contract merely requires We Clean to “comply with all insurance requirements set forth” by the White Sox plaintiffs and does not expressly require We Clean to name the White Sox plaintiffs as additional insureds under its insurance policy. Without a written agreement that the White Sox plaintiffs were to be named as additional insureds under We Clean’s policy, there is no basis for finding that they were, in fact, additional insureds and the circuit court properly granted summary judgment in favor of State Auto.
The circuit court properly granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant insurance company where the plaintiffs were not additional insureds under the insurance policy, as there was no written agreement between the plaintiffs and the insured requiring them to be named as such. Since there was no written agreement between We Clean and the White Sox plaintiffs requiring the White Sox plaintiffs to be named as additional insureds under We Clean’s policy, the White Sox plaintiffs were not entitled to coverage by State Auto.
Reading the full policy is a requirement of everyone who is involved in acquiring or making claims against an insurance policy. The White Sox failed to create a contract with We Clean requiring it to make the White Sox an additional insured. Since it failed to include that requirement in the We Clean contract the White Sox gave up the right to be an additional insured of We Clean and the Sox and its insurer was obligated to defend it without help from We Clean’s insurer.
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