Insurance Law Section
ILS Events Calendar



20th Annual Insurance Law Institute (Dallas)

Nov. 12-13, 2015 – Cityplace Conference Center, Dallas - Presented by The University of Texas School of Law and The Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas (More)

The Implications of the Deepwater Horizon Decision
by Veronica Martinsen Bates

In a case worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the Texas Supreme Court definitively ruled that coverage to an additional insured, when acquired by contract, is limited not only by the policy terms but also by the terms of the contract itself. In Re Deepwater Horizon, 2015 WL 674744 (Feb. 13, 2015). The dispute arose from the April 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling rig resulting in what is commonly known as the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Transocean owned the drilling unit and operated it under a drilling contract with BP. Under the contract, Transocean agreed to indemnify BP for above-surface pollution regardless of fault, and BP agreed to indemnify Transocean for subsurface pollution. The contract also required Transocean to carry insurance naming BP as an additional insured, but specified that the scope of the additional insured coverage was for liabilities assumed by Transocean under the terms of the contract. The policies obtained by Transocean provided additional insured status to any person or entity to whom Transocean was obligated by way of an “insured contract” to provide such coverage.

BP strenuously contended that, pursuant to the case of Evanston Ins. Co. v. ATOFINA Petrochems., Inc, 256 S.W.3d 660 (Tex. 2008), the additional insured coverage was governed by the policy languag...(Continue)

Recent Decisions
District Court Agrees with Insurer, Stays Execution of Final Judgment Based on Use of Incorrect Interest Rate  
Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Stewart SD Tx 10/10/15—
Insurer's failure to deposit policy proceeds or post bond does not jeopardize jurisdiction, stay warranted based on clerical error
District Court Denies Motion to Remand, Applies Federal Pleading Standard  
Monclat Hospitality LLC v Landmark American Insurance Co. ND Tx 10/8/15—
Bare legal conclusions insufficient to support plausible right to relief against adjuster
Western District Court Refuses Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit in Favor of Pending Florida Case  
Maxum Indemnity Co. v. BRW Floors Inc. WD Tx 10/7/15—
Insured's purposeful contacts in Texas satisfy personal jurisdiction rules
Court Refuses to Remand Case to State Court, Finding Amount-in-Controversy Requirement Satisfied  
Villarreal v. State Farm Lloyds SD Tx 10/7/15—
Insured's pre-suit demand and claim for exemplary damages exceeds $75,000
In Revised Opinion, Fifth Circuit Dismisses Federal Antitrust Claims, but Reverses Ruling on State-Based Claims  
Sanger Insurance Agency v. HUB International Limited 5th Cir 10/1/15—
Court finds insurance agency had antitrust standing, but McCarran-Ferguson Act exemption applied
District Court Remands Case Back to State Court for Lack of Diversity  
Denley Group LLC v Safeco Insurance Co. of Indiana ND Tx 9/30/15—
Insured's claims against adjuster sufficient under Texas pleading standard for violation of Chapter 541
Trial Court Abused Its Discretion By Not Abating Bad Faith Claims In UIM Action  
In Re Farmers Texas County Mutual Insurance Company Tx 3-Austin 9/30/15—
The Austin Court of Appeals finds that because of the unique nature of UIM coverage an insurer should not be subjected to bad faith discovery until after the insured establishes its breach of contract claim.
Trial Court Abused Its Discretion By Refusing To Enforce Policy's Appraisal Clause  
In Re GuideOne National Insurance Company Tx 7-Amarillo 9/29/15—
Amarillo Court of Appeals finds that an appraisal clause that can only be invoked by the insurer does not violate public policy.
Fourteenth Court of Appeals Splits on Construction of Policy Language  
Nasser v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Tx 14-Houston 9/29/15—
The issue of whether a fence is part of the residence premises has divided the Houston Court of Appeals -- Fourteenth District
District Court Dismisses Prompt Pay Claim against Marine Insurer  
Beef Source Intl LLC v Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London ND Tx 9/24/15—
District court applies exception to statute for marine insurance
More Recent Decisions
Section News
Message From the Chair

Dear Insurance Law Section Member:

As Chair of the Section for the 2015-16 year, I want to personally thank you for joining the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. Whether yo... (Continued)

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