Ejusdem generis is a Latin phrase roughly translated as "of the same kind, class or nature." Its use is similar to that of noscitur a sociis 1 in that it usually includes a list of terms, but in this case one that ends in a catch-all category. Whether a particular item or event that is not specifically referenced in the list is the subject of the list's exclusive function depends on its similarity to the other items in the list. 2
President Clinton was accused by the House but acquitted by the Senate. A president can be accused of "treason, bribery and high crimes and misdemeanors." The question is, what is the phrase "high crime or misdemeanor?" It is a ejusdem generis question. The legal consensus was that such illegal activities must escalate into treason and bribery, and the Senate probably decided collectively that this was not the case for the president's actions or that the term was ambiguous. 3
Insurances can be full of generic or ambiguous terms that can cause ambiguity. Ejusdem generis is simply when a general word or phrase follows a list of details, the general word or phrase will be interpreted to contain only objects of the same type as those specified. 4 specific lists are not an exclusive, exhaustive class, but the central investigation of the meaning of the general words is to determine what falls within the same class as those specifically listed. 5 So the general words should be limited to things of the same kind. 6 Otherwise, the legislator would simply have said, "any building", "any service", "any vehicle" or similar conditions relating to political coverage. [1
In a more practical and insurance-oriented example, an expensive carved wooden bowl was broken. The adjuster denied the claim under the insurance's homeowner policy and cited an exception for "breakage of art glass windows, glassware, statues, marble, bric-a-brac, porcelain and similar fragile items." The question is whether a wooden bowl is "the same" in both nature and fragility to the listed objects.
In another case, not a claim but a coverage dispute involving a new application for a business owner, a detached garage was separated from the dwelling by a covered attic that was covered but without sides. The question was whether the garage was part of coverage A, or whether it was a coverage B structure. These were the boundaries of coverage A and B, depending on which coverage the garage structure fell under. The household policy defined coverage B to apply to structures that are separated from the dwelling by free space or those that are "connected to the dwelling with only a fence, a pipe or similar connection." The question was whether the covered wind road "resembled" a fence or a pipe. The new agent and insurer agreed that it was not "similar" and therefore the value should be included in coverage A.
In addition to illustrating the meaning of ejusdem generis this last example is also an excellent example of how Resolving coverage issues before loss can prevent a damage dispute later. Avoiding or preventing a claims dispute is a much better approach than trying to settle a rejected claim after the loss has occurred.
Resolving claims is often not about right or wrong, about right or wrong. It is often enough just to determine through logic and language that a term in dispute is ambiguous.
It is important to be aware of the jusdem generis conditions in politics before they become the center of discussion. Read the entire policy and know exactly what it contains to avoid ambiguity or lack of understanding. The terms of the policy will be limited under the rule ejusdem generis the general language that follows the list of specific articles is interpreted so that they only apply to similar articles rather than being interpreted in their broadest sense. 7
"There is no greater obstacle to the development of knowledge than the ambiguity of words."
1 Noscitur a Sociis : [Latin “it is known by its associates”] A canon of construction that means the meaning of an obscure word or phrase, spec. one in a list, should be determined by the words that immediately surround it. Black & # 39; s Law Dictionary (11th Edition 2019).
2 Doyle v. State 148 SW3d 611, 614 (Tex. App. – Austin 2004, pet. Ref.).
4 https://saunderswalsh.com/the-difference -between- a-rule-of-interpretation-and-a-canon-of-construction /
5 Tex. Dep & # 39; t or Transp. v. York 284 SW3d 844, 847 (Tex. 2009).
6 Thomas v. State 65 SW3d 38, 41 (Tex. Crim. App. 2001).
7 City of Houston v. Bates 406 SW3d 539, 545 (Tex. 2013); SSP Partners v. Gladstrong Investments (USA) Corp. 275 S.W.3d 444, 450 n. 21 (Tex. 2008); State v. Fidelity and Deposit of Maryland 223 S.W.3d 309, 311–312 (Tex. 2007); City of San Antonio v Boerne 111 S.W.3d 22, 29 (Tex. 2003).