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IDS Property Casualty Insurance Co. v. Ivanov

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

June 27, 2019

IDS PROPERTY CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
DIMITRI IVANOV, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company's (“IDS”) motion for judgment on the pleadings (Dkt. No. 29) and request for judicial notice (Dkt. No. 31). Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby GRANTS in part and DENIES in part both motions for the reasons explained herein.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This action for declaratory relief seeks a determination of rights and obligations under three homeowner's insurance policies purchased by Defendants Dimitri and Anna Ivanov (the “Ivanovs”) from IDS. (See Dkt. No. 15.)[1] The first homeowner's insurance policy covers the Ivanovs' reported home address in Mukilteo, Washington, and has a personal liability limit of $300, 000 for each occurrence or offense. (Id. at 3.) The second homeowner's insurance policy covers a condominium in Everett, Washington, and has a personal liability limit of $100, 000 for each occurrence or offense. (Id. at 3-4.) The third homeowner's insurance policy covers a condominium in Lynnwood, Washington, and has a personal liability limit of $300, 000 for each occurrence or offense. (Id. at 4.)

         The policies contain identical language in the personal liability protection sections. (See Dkt. Nos. 30-1-30-3.) The policies obligate IDS to pay for “any one occurrence which any insured person becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of bodily injury or property damage covered by this policy.” (Dkt. No. 15 at 5) (boldface omitted). The definition of “Insured person” includes the policyholder (in this case, the Ivanovs) and the Ivanovs' “relatives residing in [their] household.” (Id.) “Bodily injury” is defined as “bodily harm . . . [and] includes required care, loss of services and death resulting from covered bodily harm . . . .” (Id.) “Occurrence” is defined as “an accident which is unexpected or unintended from [the policyholder's] standpoint resulting in bodily injury . . . It also includes repeated or continuous exposure to substantially the same general harmful conditions.” (Id.) (boldface omitted). The policies exclude “[b]odily injury . . . expected or intended by one or more insured persons . . . .” (Id.) (boldface omitted). The policies applied “separately to each insured person against whom claim is made or suit is brought, subject to [IDS's] limits of liability for each occurrence.” (Dkt. No. 29 at 10.)

         Each of the policies list the Mukilteo residence as the Ivanovs' primary address. (See Dkt. Nos. 30-1 at 3, 30-2 at 3, 30-3 at 3.) In 2016, Anna Ivanov and her son Allen Ivanov were primarily living at the Ivanovs' Mukilteo residence. (Dkt. No. 15 at 4.) Anna Ivanov stayed at the Mukilteo residence to take care of her elderly parents, and occasionally stayed at the Lynnwood residence. (Dkt. No. 24 at 12-13.) Dimitri Ivanov was living at the Everett residence. (Id. at 13.)

         In July 2016, Allen Ivanov fatally shot three people and wounded a fourth at a party in Mukilteo, Washington with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. (Dkt. No. 15 at 6-7.) Allen Ivanov ultimately pled guilty to first-degree murder and stated that the deaths were premeditated and part of a common plan. (Id. at 8; Dkt. No. 24 at 5.) The estates of two of the deceased-Jacob Long and Anna Bui (collectively, “the estates”)-sued the Ivanovs in Washington state court, alleging that the Ivanovs were negligent in failing to prevent the shooting. (See Dkt. Nos. 1 at 12-19; 16-1 at 6-12; 36-1.) The estates' complaints allege that Allen Ivanov purchased the rifle approximately a week before the shooting. (Dkt. Nos. 15 at 7, 16 at 5-6, 16-1 at 9.) The complaints further allege that the Ivanovs were aware of Allen Ivanov's history of mental health issues and the fact that he had purchased the gun but failed to take steps to protect others. (Dkt. Nos. 15 at 7-8, 16 at 8-9, 16-1 at 10-11.) The Ivanovs tendered the defense and indemnity to IDS, which has provided a defense under a reservation of rights. (Dkt. No. 15 at 9.)

         IDS brought this action seeking a declaratory judgment that it does not have a duty to defend or to indemnify the Ivanovs because the shooting was not a covered loss under the policies. (Dkt. No. 1.) The Ivanovs filed an answer and counterclaimed for a declaratory judgment that: (1) coverage exists under the policies; (2) IDS owes them a duty to defend and indemnify in the state court actions and in all future actions arising out of the shooting; and (3) each shot Allen Ivanov fired was a separate occurrence for purposes of coverage under the policies. (Dkt. No. 9 at 13-14.) IDS has since filed an amended complaint that joins the estates as additional Defendants in this case, names “doe defendants, ” and recognizes, but disputes, the Ivanovs' contention that each shot constitutes a separate occurrence. (Dkt. No. 15 at 1, 9-10.) Defendants have each filed an answer to the amended complaint. (Dkt. Nos. 22, 24, 25, 26.) IDS moves for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). (Dkt. No. 29.)

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Judicial Notice

         IDS requests that the Court take judicial notice of the following documents filed in Snohomish County Superior Court, as well as the facts contained therein: (1) the affidavit of probable cause against Allen Ivanov; (2) Allen Ivanov's guilty plea; (3) the Snohomish County Superior Court judge's amended report regarding the guilty plea; (4) the complaint of the estate of Jacob Long; and (5) the complaint of the estate of Anna Bui. (Dkt. Nos. 31, 31-1-31-5.)

         The Court may take judicial notice of adjudicative facts, but only in the absence of a reasonable dispute about those facts. Fed.R.Evid. 201(a)-(b). Adjudicative facts concern the parties in an action, or their properties and businesses-the facts that a jury would review. See Fed. R. Evid. 201(a) advisory committee's notes to 1972 proposed rules. Facts are not subject to reasonable dispute if they are either “generally known” or “can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.” Fed.R.Evid. 201(b).

         The Court may take judicial notice of documents filed in Washington state court cases. See Khazali v. Berns, No. C16-1022-JLR, Dkt. No. 7 at 3 n.3 (W.D. Wash. 2016) (collecting cases). If the facts in such documents are disputed, “judicial notice is limited to recognizing that the documents exist, but not for the truth of the matters set forth therein, as those factual matters remain contested.” Brown v. Home Depot, No. C14-0896-RSM, Dkt. No. 20 at 6 (W.D. Wash. 2015) (citing NuCal Foods, Inc. v. Quality Egg LLC, 887 F.Supp.2d 977, 984-85 (E.D. Cal. 2012)).

         The documents IDS seeks judicial notice of are adjudicative in nature because they concern facts that a jury would review at trial. Further, the parties do not dispute the documents' existence. Therefore, the Court shall take judicial notice of the fact that the documents exist have been filed in the Snohomish County Superior Court. However, the affidavit of probable cause is not sworn testimony and reflects the beliefs of the signing deputy prosecuting attorney, and thus the facts therein are not properly subject to judicial notice. (See Dkt. No. 31-1 at 2); see United States v. Lopez-Solis, 447 F.3d 1201, 1210-11 (9th Cir. 2006). Similarly, the factual allegations in the estates' state court complaints have not been tried and are being contested in state court by ...


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