Wednesday, April 14, 2021
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Category: Texas Supreme Court

Betwixt and Between :: Texas Supreme Court Poised to Reconcile Gandy and ATOFINA

On September 3, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments in what might be one of the most important Stowers-related decisions of the decade.

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SCOTX Continues Debate Over Material Breach Rule

This week Tarron Gartner-Ilai's and Whitney Warren's in-depth article on what constitutes a material breach was published in The Journal of Texas Insurance Law, a State Bar of Texas publication. 

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Vail Remains “Un-Veiled”

On March 27, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court dismissed United National Insurance Company’s petition for review of United National Insurance Company v. AMJ Investments, LLC, 447 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. App.—Houston, June 26, 2014).  This development leaves intact AMJ, which follows Vail v. Texas Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, 754 S.W.2d 129 (Tex. 1988), with respect to Texas Insurance Code damages.

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Buckle Up: More Independent Injury Turbulence

Churning the already choppy seas of Insurance Code damages case law, the Dallas Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently issued an opinion in Charla G. Aldous PC and Charla Aldous v. Teresa Lugo and Darwin National Assurance Company, supporting the Fifth Circuit’s so-called “independent injury requirement.” 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159684 (N.D. Tex. Nov. 12, 2014).

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SCOT Drills BP's Hopes of Coverage

On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in the Deepwater Horizon coverage litigation in response to questions certified by the Fifth Circuit in 2013. In an 8-1 opinion, the Texas high court limited the scope of additional insured coverage to liability assumed by the named insured in a drilling contract.

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Multi-million Dollar Question Before the Texas Supreme Court :: Is a PRP letter from the EPA a “suit” that triggers the duty to defend under commercial general liability policies?

On January 15, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments concerning whether a “potentially responsible party” (PRP) letter from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for liability for hazardous waste contamination triggers the duty to defend under commercial general liability (CGL) policies.

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Insureds Pre"Vail" over the Independent Injury Rule

The pendulum seems to always swing to the left and right before it balances somewhere in the middle. For those who are old enough to remember the meteoric rise of insurance bad faith claims in the late 1980s, decisions issued in the latter part of the 1990s and beyond seemed to signal a near-anaphylactic reluctance by Texas courts to hold any insurer responsible for its conduct.

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SCOT Confirms the “No-direct-action” Rule Applies to Non-monetary Claims for Declaratory Relief

In a per curiam opinion issued Friday, the Texas Supreme Court confirmed third-party plaintiffs do not have standing to assert claims for declaratory relief against a liability insurer before establishing the insurer’s legal obligation to pay damages . 

In In re Essex Insurance Company, the Court granted Essex’s request for mandamus relief after the trial court refused to dismiss declaratory judgment claims filed by Rafael Zuniga in a personal injury suit Zuniga filed against San Diego Tortilla (“SDT”).   Zuniga lost his hand while operating a tortilla machine at SDT’s manufacturing facility.  Zuniga alleged that he was working as an independent contractor at the time of the injury, not as SDT’s employee.  

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United National v. AMJ May Have Insurers Seeing Red

Our Texas Supreme Court must be having the time of its life. Over the past few years, the High Court has issued a number of watershed decisions that have changed the way we think about insurance. On the heels of its decision last year in Lennar Corp. v. Markel American Insurance Co., and with the Deepwater Horizon case on the horizon, the Court is knee deep in liability policies.

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Construction Industry Prevails :: Texas Supreme Court Limits Scope of Contractual Liability Exclusion

On Friday, January 17, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that construction defect lawsuits alleging faulty workmanship are generally covered under a commercial general liability, concluding that the contractual liability exclusion does not operate to preclude coverage for defective work. The high court’s unanimous opinion in Ewing Construction Company v. Amerisure Insurance Company provides significant reassurance to both property owners and contractors that the liability insurance pur ...

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