Category Archives: Insurance Coverage

Gasquet can be avoided with careful policy wording says the Fifth Circuit

In a recent opinion the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Texas law, held that an excess carrier’s coverage was not triggered where the primary carrier settled claims against its insured for less than policy limits. In Martin Resource Mgmt. Corp. v. Axis Ins. Co., 803 F.3d 766 (5th Cir. 2015), Martin Resource Management … Read More »

Texas Supreme Court clarifies: When an MSA gives a party additional insured rights, the MSA can limit those rights

The litigation that seeped to the surface after the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon has not yet entered its cleanup phase, but today, the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling that addresses one important part of it. Transocean and BP had a “knock-for-knock” contract, where Transocean agreed to defend and indemnify BP for injuries to … Read More »

Fifth Circuit Issues New Opinion Regarding Application of “Contractual Liability Exclusion” Common in Most CGL Policies

In Crownover v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., 2014 WL 5473084 (5th Cir. Oct. 29, 2014), the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently granted a motion for reconsideration and withdrew and reversed an earlier opinion.  The suit arose out of the Crownover’s contract with Arrow Development, Inc. (“Arrow”) for the construction of a new home in … Read More »

Underwriters must be named in the MSA to invoke defense and indemnity provisions of MSA, says Fifth Circuit

Duval v. Deepwater  BHP Billiton Petroleum Deepwater, Inc. (oil exploration company) entered a Master Service Agreement with Deep Marine Technology, Inc., who was to provide offshore construction support vessels. BHP also contracted with Wood Group/Deepwater Specialists to provide offshore services. A Wood Group employee, Glenn Duval, was allegedly injured in a personnel basket transfer between … Read More »

Fifth Circuit allows excess underwriters to recover their defense costs from primary when primary improperly denied defense

In Continental v. North American et al, defendant Encompass had three different primary insurers: Continental, a GL carrier; Columbia, a professional liability carrier, and North American, where Encompass was an additional insured by virtue of an indemnity agreement with its subcontractor.  Encompass was also insured by National Union under an umbrella policy. All three primary … Read More »

Fifth Circuit: Despite similarities, federal Magistrate judges, unlike Bankruptcy judges, have Article III powers. Court then clarifies application of Eight Corners Doctrine

Technical Automation Services Corp. v Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp. In Technical Automation Serv’s Corp. v Liberty Surplus Ins. Corp., No. 10-20640, slip copy (5th Cir. March 5, 2012), the Fifth Circuit discussed the power of magistrate judges when it raised, sua sponte, the question of whether magistrate judges have the jurisdictional authority to enter judgment … Read More »