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Going Separate Ways

In a lawsuit, you and an employee could be sent down different paths.

By Jacquelyn Lynn • May 5, 2006 Originally published Aug 8, 2004

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Consider this scenario: One of your employees assaults acustomer, and that customer sues the employee, the company and you.But your liability coverage excludes intentional bad acts. Doesthis mean you are on the hook for legal fees and damages? Notnecessarily, says attorney Richard Zevnik, an associate with BergerKahn in Irvine, California.

Most business policies contain a "severability" or"separation of insureds" clause, which means that ifthere are multiple defendants in a lawsuit, the insurance companycould deny or limit coverage on one and not on others. So you andthe company could be covered for vicarious liability, but theemployee who committed the assault may be denied coverage.

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