Michael Sean Quinn*

In a complex coverage case key words in the standard and almost universally used “Commercial General Liability” have been listed and then criticized both the language and its organization. The court called it 


In this particular case, the Court also found that the language was unambiguous, and decided the case in favor of the insurer. U.S.Metals, Incorporated v. Liberty Mutual Group, Incorporated, Doing Business as Liberty Insurance Corporation, #14-0753 (Texas Supreme Court, December 4, 2015). (The details of this case may be discussed in another blog/blawg.)

What makes the use of the one term, “convoluted,” significant is that if a document is convoluted it is much more likely to be confusing that if it straight forward. Convoluted documents are unclear. Indeed, it is part of the definition that a convoluted document is difficult to understand. Form and language are folded into each other in very complex and therefore confusing ways. 

 If a nearly universally used document, like a contract of insurance, is confusing, unclear, and at least close to misleading it is more likely that an ambiguity will be found by a court than if the language of the document is clear and the document not confusing. 

Though the document’s convolutedness did not help the insured in this case, it is a valuable source of argument for insureds in other cases. This idea will be even more generative of and a supportive beginning places in disputes involving insurance policies where an ordinary individual outside a business context is the insured. This point is  especially applicable to auto and homeowners insurance.  

*Michael Sean Quinn
1300 West Lynn Suite 208
Austin, TX 78703
Phone: 512-296-2594
Fax: 512-344-9466

Law Office of Michael Sean Quinn