A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court decision in favor of a large U.S. insurance group. unit in a dispute with a real estate company for compensation for an injured worker.
The appellant's attorney in the case said that the panel of judges at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco failed to take into account a policy change that his client had not been aware of.
Great American E&S Insurance Co., a unit of the Cincinnati-based Great American Insurance Group, had issued joint insurance to Lancaster, California-based Lance Campers Manufacturing Co. and Lancaster-based J&J Realty Holdings, according to Friday's decision of the 9th American Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco J&J Realty Holdings v Great American E&S Insurance Co.
The policy contained an exclusion of employer liability which prevented according to the decision.
When a Lance employee was injured in the parking lot, he sued both J&J and Lance . Great Americans denied coverage to both insured on the grounds that the employee was employed by "all insured."
J&J brought an action before the U.S. District Courtin Pasadena, California, which determined the insurer's benefit. The decision was upheld by a unanimous court panel with three judges in Friday's decision.
"As a threshold issue, the employer's exclusion of liability initially excludes coverage for personal injury costs incurred by an employee of" the insured. "This language was modified through a recommendation that replaced & # 39; the insured & # 39; with & # 39; someone insured & # 39 ;.
"This language was modified by an inscription that replaced" the insured "with" all insured. "J&J challenges the enforceability of this approval for the first time. On appeal, but we conclude that the approval was clear and deliberate enough to be valid," the decision said, confirming the lower court's decision.
J & J's attorney, Stephen E. Young , senior lawyer at Theodora Oringher PC in Los Angeles, said that J&J had originally owned Lance, but sold it to another company.
He said that the Greater American had changed the policy wording upon renewal to exclude coverage for J&J in this case by changing policy exclusion to say "all insured" without properly notifying the company of the change. He said the 9th Circuit failed to address this issue in the opinion.
"They must, under California law, notify any significant change in coverage ", he said.
The great American lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.