Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (CA317-00) (Hon. John H. Bayly, Jr., Trial Judge)
Before Terry, Schwelb, and Washington, Associate Judges.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam
This is an appeal from an order of the trial court entered on May 11, 2001, holding that appellee Penn-America Insurance Company was not required to defend or indemnify its insured, appellant I.J.G., Inc., trading as The Bank, a nightclub, in connection with an action in tort that had been brought against I.J.G., Inc., by appellant Lieu Lai. Ms. Lai suffered injuries when she was struck in the eye by a thrown bottle on October 11, 1997, while she was visiting The Bank as a patron. The relevant facts are set forth in the trial judge's order, a slightly edited version of which is attached hereto and made a part hereof. We adopt the trial judge's decision and, with minor editorial changes, his opinion. For the reasons stated by the trial judge, the judgment is hereby
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIVIL DIVISION
PENN-AMERICA INSURANCE CO., Plaintiff v. I.J.G., INC. t/a THE BANK, et al., Defendants
Filed Civil Actions Branch May 11, 2001
Superior Court Judge Bayly of the District of Columbia Washington, D.C. Calendar I
Before the Court are plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, along with plaintiff's statement of undisputed material facts, defendants' opposition, and plaintiff's reply. Also before the Court are the trial memorandum of defendant, [I].J.G., Inc., and of defendant and counter-plaintiff, Lieu Lai, respecting a variety of issues associated with trial and the trial memorandum of plaintiff respecting its authorization to write insurance policies in this jurisdiction and its standing to challenge the Consent Judgment of March 8, 2000.
In this case arising out of eye injuries sustained by Lieu Lai on October 11, 1997, at a nightclub known as The Bank, plaintiff has sought judgment declaring that it had no obligation to defend or indemnify its insured, I.J.G., Inc., trading as The Bank, in respect of tort claims asserted by Ms. Lai in an underlying civil action, Lai v. I.J.G., Inc., 99-CA-3962. By a Consent Judgment entered on March 9, 2000, in Lai v. I.J.G., Inc., supra, defendant, I.J.G., Inc., became obliged to pay Ms. Lai $375,000. Somewhat earlier, on February 28, 2000, Ms. Lai had released the officers and directors of I.J.G., Inc., from all liability for claims asserted by her in Lai v. I.J.G., Inc., supra, and on March 9, 2000, Ms. Lai, as counter-plaintiff in this action, filed against Penn-America Insurance Company, as counter-defendant herein, a counter-claim which alleged that I.J.G., Inc., had assigned to counter-plaintiff Lai its "claims, rights, and causes of action against Penn-America under the . . . policy relating to claims and causes of action it has against Penn-America on account of Penn-America's failure to defend Lieu Lai's ...