A federal appellate court on Wednesday changed a lower court and ruled in favor of a unit in the Great American Insurance Group in a dispute with Employers Mutual Casualty Co. regarding cover-up in a death sentence.
Gerald Decker, employee. from Venus, Texas-based Corona Management Ventures LLC, was driving a tractor trailer when it lost control and collided with two vehicles. New Orleans i Great American Insurance Co. v. Employers Mutual Casualty Co .; Corona Management Ventures, LLC.
After extensive litigation, the parties settled all claims with a $ 7 million settlement agreement. While the primary coverage of Employers Mutual and Liberty Mutual Insurance Group covered the first $ 2.7 million of the settlement without debate, the surplus insurance companies Great American and Employers Mutual disputed their respective responsibilities for the remaining $ 4.3 million, the ruling said.
To conclude it underlying lawsuit, Great American paid the remaining amount and sued Employers Mutual in the U.S. District Court in Dallas, requesting a declaratory judgment on the priority of coverage between the umbrella policies and damages for the employer's alleged breach of its umbrella policy for refusing to fund the underlying settlement.
The district court held that Employers Mutual was required to provide coverage before Great American but granted a summary judgment to Employers Mutual, concluding that Great American had failed to apportion damages between covered and uncovered claims.
The verdict was overturned by a unanimous three judges in the Court of Appeal. The panel agreed that EMC's umbrella policy had priority over coverage and that Great America was not required to pay the settlement until EMC's umbrella policy had been exhausted.
With regard to the question of award, the judgment stated that Great American had "submitted sufficient evidence to create a factual dispute about the distribution."
Lawyers in the case did not respond to a request for comment.
In September, a federal district court ruled that Great American was not required to defend or indemnify a marketing agency. in litigation over a failed franchise agreement.