JULIE G. THOMAS AND DONALD F. THOMAS, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT FRIENDS FOR S.T., A MINOR APPELLANTS
BESSIE PERKINS; JERRY PERKINS; AND STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY APPELLEES AND ELIZABETH RENNER AND JEFFERY RENNER, AS NEXT FRIENDS AND PARENTS OF C.R., A MINOR APPELLANTS
BESSIE PERKINS; JERRY PERKINS; AND STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY APPELLEES
FROM MADISON CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE JEAN CHENAULT LOGUE,
JUDGE ACTION Nos. 16-CI-00169, 16-CI-00133
FOR APPELLANTS: Zachary L. Taylor Louisville, Kentucky
ARGUMENT FOR APPELLANTS: Michael F. Eubanks Richmond,
Kentucky Co-Counsel Zachary L. Taylor Louisville, Kentucky
AND ORAL ARGUMENT FOR APPELLEE STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY
COMPANY: David T. Klapheke Louisville, Kentucky
BEFORE: COMBS, JONES AND L. THOMPSON, JUDGES.
THOMPSON, L., JUDGE:
consolidated appeal, Julie Thomas, Donald Thomas, Elizabeth
Renner, and Jeffery Renner ("Appellants") appeal
from declaratory judgments of the Madison Circuit Court
applying insurance policy exclusions in favor of State Farm
Fire & Casualty Company ("Appellee").
Appellants argue that the circuit court erred in concluding
that these exclusions shield Appellee from liability for the
alleged negligence of Jerry Perkins. We find no error, and
AFFIRM the judgments on appeal.
and Procedural History
approximately 2000, Bessie Perkins began working in the child
care business. She was employed at ABC Daycare as a teacher
of two- and three-year-old children until she was terminated
in 2015. After she was unable to find other child care
employment, Mrs. Perkins began providing child care at the
residence she shared with her husband, Jerry Perkins.
Perkins knew Donald Thomas from their place of employment.
When Mr. Thomas' wife, Julie Thomas, was pregnant, Jerry
and Donald discussed the possibility of Mrs. Perkins
providing child care for the Thomas baby at the Perkins'
residence. The Thomases' daughter, S.T.,  was born in
February 2015. About five months after the birth, Mrs. Thomas
returned to work and Mrs. Perkins began caring for S.T.
during the day at the Perkins' residence.
Renner was a friend of Mr. Thomas and asked Mrs. Perkins if
she would be willing to provide child care for the
Renners' baby boy, C.R. The baby's mother, Elizabeth
Renner, spoke with Mrs. Perkins, who agreed to provide the
child care. The Thomases and the Renners each paid Mrs.
Perkins $80 per week to watch their children. The parents
provided baby formula, diapers and wipes, while Mrs. Perkins
provided toys, a swing and a walker. The Thomases and the
Renners would later testify that they expected their children
to receive the level of care normally provided by a daycare,
including feeding, attention, playtime, and the changing of
November 12, 2015, baby C.R. began exhibiting symptoms of
illness including lethargy and fever. Mrs. Renner took C.R.
to the pediatrician the following day. C.R. presented with
additional symptoms including a "twitching" arm and
a bulging soft spot on his head. Based on these symptoms, the
pediatrician recommended that C.R. be taken immediately to
University of Kentucky Hospital. At the hospital, C.R. began
experiencing increasingly worsening seizures. MRI and CT
scans, in addition to a spinal tap and other investigative
measures, led to the diagnosis of "shaken baby
syndrome," i.e., neurological trauma associated
with physical abuse. Physicians told the Renners that C.R.
showed signs of both old and new acute injuries.
police detective interviewed Mrs. Perkins on November 15,
2015. Mrs. Perkins initially stated that she accidentally
dropped C.R., then admitted that she had shaken him on at
least three occasions because he would not stop crying.
on the police investigation of Mrs. Perkins, a social worker
and a detective contacted the Thomases and asked them to
bring S.T. to the hospital to determine if S.T. was also
injured. S.T. was examined on November 17, 2015. The
following day, the Thomases were informed that S.T. had two
spiral fractures of the left tibia which were about four and
nine weeks old ...