First Interpretation of Liquor Liability Exclusion in Illinois Goes to the Insurer

David Osborne and Joe Postel successfully concluded a declaratory judgment action by prevailing in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Netherlands Ins. Company v. Phusion Projects, Inc., 737 F.3d 1174 (7th Cir. 2013).  The insured manufactured alcoholic energy drinks, allegedly marketed to minors, and was sued in several wrongful death and serious personal injury actions.  It argued that the standard-form Liquor Liability Exclusion did not apply to it, because the claims were based, at least in part, on the high levels of stimulants contained in its product, for which there was no exclusion.  The Court, ruling as a matter of first impression in Illinois disagreed, holding that the insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify.