United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY United States District Judge
case principally concerns whether Defendants, Windermere
Baptist Conference Center and Kendra Brown, have insurance
coverage under a Great American policy for potential
liability in a suit pending in Morgan County. In that case,
damages are being sought against them for injuries sustained
by Karlee Richards after she fell while zip-lining at The
Edge, a ropes course at Windermere's Conference Center.
Kendra Brown was an employee of Windermere, working at the
Edge at the time of the accident.
2014, Karlee Richards and her Searcy Baptist Church youth
group were attending a summer camp at Windermere's
Conference Center, which was sponsored by Lifeway Christian
Resources of the Southern Baptist Conference, d.b.a. Student
Life contracted with Windermere to hold the church camp at
Windermere's facility in Missouri. Student Life had a
liability policy with Great American, and Windermere was an
additional insured on that policy. The additional insured
endorsement provides that the additional insured, in this
case Windermere, is only covered for “liability arising
out of the ownership, maintenance or use of that portion of
the premises leased to [Student Life] [by Windemere].”
[Doc. 35-17, p.1 (“Endorsement”)]. Great American
contends that Windermere is not entitled to coverage for
Kaylee Richards's injuries because Windermere did not
“lease” the Edge to Student Life because the Edge
was not specifically mentioned in Student Life's written
agreement with Windermere.
before the Court is Great American's Motion for Summary
Judgment. [Doc. 34]. For the following reasons, the Motion is
granted in part and denied in part.
Undisputed Facts 
The Student Life Camp at Windermere
Baptist Conference Center is a large Conference Center on the
Lake of the Ozarks with over 300 acres and 126 buildings,
including group lodging, a dining hall, conference space,
cabins, a chapel, and a gift shop. Windermere also offers
various recreational facilities and activities at its campus,
including the Edge. Organizations like Student Life use
Windermere's facilities for summer church camps.
Life had been conducting camps at Windermere for about ten
years prior to its June 2014 camp. In January 2014, Student
Life and Windermere executed an Amended Conference Contract.
The “Amended Conference Contract, ” provides:
Amended Conference Contract
. . .
Event Name: Student Life #1 '14 (June 2-6, 2014)
Expected #: 1000 Arrive Dated: Saturday, May
(Check in begins at 3:00 PM. Rooms may not be available until
6:00 PM. . .)
Depart Dated: Saturday, June 7, 2014
Lodging Check out time is 11:00 AM. Keys must be turned in by
this time. . .)
You will need to provide Windermere a rooming
list (names of individuals occupying each room) and a copy of
your conference or retreat schedule at the time of
Per Person (Student Life Extra)
Per Person (Student Life Extra)
Per Person (Student Life '14)
Total for Lodging: $71, 137.50
. . .
Total for Meals: $76, 570.00 Minimum $61,
. . .
All guests eating in the dining hall must have a meal ticket
or wrist band to be admitted into the Dining Hall.
. . .
CONFERENCE SPACE INFORMATION
Facility/Room Start End
Wilderness Creek Auditorium (1500) 6/1/14 8:00am 6/6/14
Deer Ridge Conf Rm 1 (30) 6/2/14 3:00pm 6/6/14 12:00pm
Total for Conference Space: $0.00
Use of conference space and facilities begins at the start
time stated in the contract. Conference or facility space
usage time ends at the time stated in the contract and must
be empty of all guests and guest items. . . .
Estimated Total Payment $147, 707.50
Total Minimum Payment $118, 643.00 . . .
The above named group will have financial responsibility for
any damages and excessive wear and tear it incurs to the
Windermere grounds, facilities or property to the extent that
such damage or excessive wear and tear arises from the
negligence or willful misconduct of the above named group.
Cleanup of any facilities or grounds that are excessively
dirty will be the financial responsibility of the group.
[Doc. 35-5 (“Amended Conference Contract”)].
parties' Amended Conference Contract does not identify
every building or activity that was available to campers
during Student Life's camp at Windermere. For example,
the chapel, which is made available to any group attending a
camp at Windermere, is not listed. In addition, the dining
hall is not specifically listed under the “Conference
Space Information” heading, despite the Amended
Conference Contract listing a price for meals Windermere is
addition, it is undisputed that Windermere offered various
free recreational activities to its guest campers, including
those who attended the Student Life camp. Windermere also
offered some special recreational activities that required an
additional fee and reservations. The Edge was one such
activity. The Edge, a ropes and zip-lining course, is not
accessible to campers at Windermere without special
scheduling, the purchase of tickets, and the execution of a
“Recreational Release” form. Student Life
advertised Windermere's recreational facilities,
including “The Edge, ” as available for use to
its campers, and it was Student Life's expectation that
these facilities would be available.
addition to the Amended Conference Contract, Student Life
also completed a Facilities Request Form, and Windermere
completed a Fax Back Response Sheet. [Docs. 40-3 and 40-4].
Back Response Sheet provides:
Student Life Camp Windermere Conference
What are some free-time options on your campus?
• Sand Volleyball, Outdoor Basketball, Tennis, Mini
Golf, Disc Golf, Pool, Hiking, The Edge (low/high ropes
course), Paintball, Waterfront Activities (Inflatable water
park, kayak, canoe, paddle boats, fishing, etc) (See attached
PDF on available Recreation Packages).
[Doc. 40-4, p. 3].
Great American Insurance Policy
Life is the named insured on a Commercial General Liability
policy with Great American. The policy requires that all
requests for medical payments be made within one year of the
accident that gives rise to the insurance claim. [Doc. 42-2,
p. 62 of 166]. Also, when there is other valid and
collectible excess insurance coverage, the Great American
policy provides that Great American will have no duty to
defend its insured against a claim for damages. [Doc. 42-2,
p. 67-68 of 166].
Student Life was contracting with Windermere for its event,
Windermere was named as an additional insured on Student
Life's Great American policy. The Certificate of
Liability Insurance was issued by Great American on May 8,
2014, and Windermere accepted. The Certificate referenced
Great American's policy issued to Student Life, Policy
No.: GLP 0310189 and stated:
Event: Student Life Event Dates: May 31-June 7 and June
14-20, 2014 Windermere Conference Center is included as
Additional Insured on the General Liability policy, as per
endorsement #CG 82 24, ed. 12/01, and on the Automobile
Liability policy, as per endorsement #CA 8518, ed. 6/09.
[Doc. 35-7 (“Certificate of Liability
The Underlying Lawsuit
Searcy Baptist Church youth group was one of the groups of
campers that attended Student Life's camp at Windermere
in June of 2014. Karlee Richards and the rest of the Searcy
youth group were scheduled to ride The Edge on June 4, 2014.
They paid Windermere an additional fee for this activity.
While zip-lining at The Edge that day, Richards fell and ...