Ambiguity: Old White Charities, Inc. v. Bankers Insurance, LLC

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia decision denying an Old White Charities, Inc. motion for partial summary judgment, and granting Bankers Insurance, LLC’s  motion for summary judgment. Old White Charities hosted a tournament featured on the PGA tour in July 2015 where they promoted a sweepstakes in which all spectators in the stands would receive a cash prize if a hole-in-one was scored on the 18th hole by any of  the golfers during the tournament. Old White engaged Bankers to secure an insurance policy against any payout resulting from this sweepstakes. The insurance policy that Bankers procured contained a provision that extended coverage for any payouts only if the hole was 150 yards or greater in length. When not one, but two, holes-in-one were sunk during the tournament, Old White’s insurer denied indemnification due to the fact that the length of the hole on the day of the tournament was 137 yards. Old White then sued Bankers with claims of negligence, reasonable expectation, and fraud- all of which were defeated during summary judgment by the USDC for the Southern District of West Virginia, with the 4th Circuit affirming.

The full decision can be viewed here: