An insurer is required to defend the energy company Phillips 66 Co. in disputes brought by the family of a truck driver who died of benzene-induced blood and bone marrow cancer, says a federal district court.
Like a gasoline car, Elwyn Webb loaded gasoline-containing gasoline at various terminals operated by companies, including ConocoPhillips Co., now Houston-based Phillips 66 Co., according to a Tuesday ruling by the U.S. District Court in Houston in Canal Indemnity Co. v. Caljet, II, LLC, et al.
Mr. Webb was diagnosed with cancer, Myelodysplastic Syndrome, in January 2016 and died in March 2016, according to the trial. His mother and son sued the defendants, including Phillips 66 in the Arizona state court, who prosecuted local liability and failure to warn of negligence.
Phillip 66 had a principal service agreement with a carrier insured by Greenville, South Carolina-based Canal. After receiving the notice of claim, Canal stated that it was not obliged to defend or indemnify the energy company under both its auto and commercial general liability policies. Phillips 66 then brought an action against the insurer.
The court ruled that the underlying lawsuit triggered Canal's car and CGL policy.
Canal agreed in its car coverage to defend all insured persons in a lawsuit in connection with the loading. and unloading a owned car, the decision said.
The underlying trials aim to "recover damages or bodily harm suffered by Mr. Webb, in part caused by the loading of gasoline during his employment as a gasoline driver," it said.
Similarly, the CGL policy channel agreed to defend an insured person in legal proceedings claiming damages for bodily injury during the insurance period. "Here, the underlying lawsuit seeks to recover damages for bodily harm sustained by Mr. Webb during his employment within the insurance periods," it said.
Lawyers in the case did not respond to a request for comment.