A federal appellate court has upheld a lower court decision in a unit in Traveler Cos. Inc. in a dispute with an Axa SA unit and Lloyd’s in London regarding a verdict awarded to an injured construction worker.
Braithwaite, Louisiana-based United Bulk Terminals Davant LLC hired New Orleans-based Centaur LLC, a marine and industrial construction company, to build a concrete containment wall around the edge of the dock, following Tuesday’s decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans i Devin Barrios v. River Ventures, LLC, XL Specialty Insurance Co .; Some underwriters at Lloyd’s London v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America.
During the project, Centaurs employees relied on New Orleans-based River Ventures for crew boat services. To manage the port project, United Bulk and Centaur entered into a main service contract in which River Ventures did not participate.
Under the main service agreement, Centaur purchased several insurances from Traveler Unit Travelers Property Casualty Co., including a protection and compensation policy and an excess umbrella-bumbershoot policy, which provides specialized umbrella coverage.
Devin Barrios, a Centaur employee working on the port project, was seriously injured when he moved equipment from a River Ventures vessel to a work barge when he fell into the river and a portable generator hit his head.
River Ventures was found to be 100% responsible for the damage after a bench negotiation and Mr. Barrios was awarded $ 3.3 million.
River Ventures compromised and complied with the ruling and then filed a third-party complaint against Travelers in the U.S. District Court in New Orleans to seek coverage as an additional insured under Travelers P&I and bumbershoot policies. River Ventures’ insurance companies, XL and Lloyd’s, also lodged a complaint in the case, requesting defense and compensation.
The district court ruled in favor of the travelers and was upheld by an appellate court with three judges. The judgment of appeals pointed to the exclusion of employees in the P&I policy. The exclusion “unequivocally excludes coverage for all employees’ claims, regardless of whether the entity seeking coverage is the employer of the injured employee”, the decision stated.
Lawyers in the case did not respond to requests for comment.