An insurer covering a subcontractor must defend the contractor in the death of a subcontractor, a Illinois district court ruled Monday.
Columbus, Ohio-based State Auto Property & Casualty Insurance Co. issued insurance to Centralia, Illinois-based Rock Branch Ironworks Inc. for the April 2018 to April 2019 insurance period, following the decision of the U.S. District Court in East St. Louis. Louis, Illinois, and State Auto Property & Casualty Insurance Co. v. Shores Builders Inc. v. Rock Branch Ironworks Inc.
Rock Branch entered into a subcontract agreement with Centralia-based Shores and agreed to name Shores as further insured on its policy and to replace Shores in connection with Rock Branch services, according to the decision.
In September 201
Disputes were settled after State Auto refused to defend Shores in the mood of the survivors.
"In order to find that an insurer is obliged to defend an additional insured based on the additional insured's potential deputy liability, two requirements must be met", the judgment is mentioned. "First, there must be a potential discovery that the named insured was negligent, and second, there must be a potential to hold the additional insured vicariously liable" for the insured's negligence, the decision said.
"According to the amended underlying complaint, the first requirement is met because Smith's successors allege that Rock Branch negligently and carelessly provided Smith with unsafe electrical equipment – including welding wires and wires that had exposed or insulated wires," it ruled.
"The second requirement is met. Because Smith goes on to claim that Shores, as the main contractor, exercised control over the Rock Branch so that the beaches were responsible for the Rock Branch's negligent acts and omissions," the decision in closing State Auto has a obligation to defend Shores in the case.
State Auto's attorney had no comment while other attorneys in the case did not respond to a request for comment.