United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Benjamin H. Settle United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Homesite Insurance
Company of the Midwest's (“Homesite”) motion
for summary judgment. Dkt. 23. The Court has considered the
pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion
and the remainder of the file and hereby grants in part and
denies in part the motion for the reasons stated herein.
PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL HISTORY
September 10, 2017, Geico Insurance Agency, Inc. issued Danny
and Kim Walker (“the Walkers”) a homeowners
insurance policy underwritten by Homesite (“the
policy”). Dkt. 1-2. The policy period began on
September 7, 2017, and ended on September 8, 2018. Dkt. 1-2
The Underlying Lawsuit
25, 2018, James Dunn (“Dunn”) and his minor child
L.D. (collectively “the Dunns”) filed suit
against the Walkers in Kitsap County Superior Court for the
State of Washington claiming outrage and negligent
supervision and care. Dkt. 1-1, ¶ 4.2. The Dunns alleged
that while she was a minor, L.D. was sexually abused on
multiple occasions by R.M., a minor child in the legal
custody of the Walkers. Id. ¶ 3.1. The abuse
occurred between 2014 and 2018. Id. The Walkers are
L.D.'s grandparents, and the Dunns argue that she stayed
at their home when the material events occurred. Dkt. 24 at
Dunns alleged that the Walkers knew or should have known of
R.M.'s propensity to commit the acts alleged and breached
their duty to protect L.D. and that the Walkers' actions
and inactions “made it more difficult for Plaintiff
L.D. to make any complaint about the sexual abuse or to
protect herself from said abuse, and further . . .
contributed to the occurrence of sexual abuse.” Dkt.
1-1, ¶ 3.1 The Dunns alleged that the Walkers'
actions and inactions caused them physical and emotional
injury requiring medical treatment, as well as pain and
suffering. Id. ¶¶ 3.2-5.4.
Walkers tendered defense to Homesite. Dkt. 1-3 at 2. On
October 19, 2018, Homesite sent the Walkers a letter agreeing
to defend them under a reservation of rights. Id. In
the letter, Homesite set out its view that the policy did not
provide coverage for the claims in the underlying lawsuit,
explaining in relevant part that coverage was only available
for accidents and for unintentional acts by an insured, both
of which precluded coverage for sexual abuse. Dkt. 1-3 at 5.
On October 30, 2018, Homesite filed the instant complaint
against the Walkers, L.D., and Dunn requesting a declaration
that it owes no duty to defend or indemnify the Walkers in
the underlying lawsuit. Dkt. 1.
February 15, 2019, the Dunns filed an amended complaint in
the underlying lawsuit. Dkt. 19-1. The complaint removed Dunn
as a plaintiff and added additional facts explaining that the
Walkers, as the only adults supervising L.D., had breached
their duty to ensure L.D. received appropriate medical and/or
psychological care. Specifically, the complaint alleges as
During plaintiff's childhood she was sexually abused on
multiple occasions, between the years 2014 and 2018 by R.M.
Defendants Danny and Kim Walker, are the legal guardian of
R.M. Defendants Danny and Kim Walker knew or should have
known of the propensity of Defendant R.M. for the behavior
complained of herein, and had a duty to protect minor
Plaintiff L.D. from sexual abuse harm, which they failed to
do. Defendants Danny Walker and Kim Walker, by their actions
and inactions, made it more difficult for Plaintiff L.D. to
make any complaint about the sexual abuse or to protect
herself from sexual abuse; further defendants, by their
actions and inactions, contributed to the occurrence of
As a direct and proximate result of the actions and inactions
of defendants Danny Walker and Kim Walker, plaintiff, L.D.
has damages in an amount to be proven at the time of trial.
At material times L.D. stayed with defendants when they were
the only adults with supervisory responsibility. This gives
rise to a special relationship between defendants and L.D.
which gives rise to supervisory responsibility which includes
but is not limited to the duty to insure L.D. receives
necessary medical and/or psychological care.
Following the sexual abuse of plaintiff by R.M., L.D. over a
period of time developed anxiety, distress, impairment in
family and childhood activities and other important areas of
Following the sexual abuse of plaintiff by R.M. reasonable
grandparents should foresee the possibility of psychological
harm and the need for psychological therapy and counseling
The psychological changes to L.D. as set forth in Paragraph
3.4 were reasonable given the period of time after the sexual
abuse, and L.D. needed psychological therapy and counseling
to address the psychological changes set forth in Paragraph
The psychological changes to L.D. were unintended by
defendants Danny and Kim Walker. Nevertheless, defendants
Walker failed to assist in getting L.D. necessary
psychological treatment to address her developing
L.D. developed objective psychological symptomatology as a
result of the failure of defendants Danny and Kim Walker to
assist in getting L.D. necessary treatment to address the
psychological changes set forth in Paragraph 3.4.
Defendants Danny and Kim Walker had a duty to foresee the
possibility of the psychological injuries to L.D. set forth
at Paragraph 3.4. This is because of the "special
relationship" between defendants and L.D. which give
rise to supervisory ...