Monthly Archives: February 2008


5TH ANNUAL DALLAS/FT. WORTH INSURANCE CLAIMS SEMINAR – FEBRUARY 2009

A one-day seminar designed for insurance claim managers, supervisors and adjusters. Approval for seven hours of credit will be requested through the Texas Department of Insurance. Exact date to be announced soon. Continue reading

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COVERAGE DENIALS MAY PROMPT CONSENT JUDGMENTS AND SETTLEMENTS

The Texas Supreme Court has issued a new opinion we see creating more consent judgments and settlements by insureds to whom coverage has been denied. On rehearing, in Evanston Ins. Co. v. ATOFINA Petrochemicals, Inc three issues were involved: (1) whether an additional insured clause provided coverage; (2) whether an insurer which rejects coverage is bound by a settlement reached by the insured; and (3) whether the prompt pay statute applies to an insurer’s failure to pay a settlement funded by the insured. In its original opinion, issued May 5, 2006, the Court addressed only the first issue, and unanimously held that ATOFINA did not qualify as an additional insured for its own, sole negligence under an Evanston umbrella policy issued to Triple S, which had two somewhat inconsistent additional insured provisions. Because of its resolution of the first issue, the Court’s original opinion did not reach the other questions. In its new opinion, the Court completely changed its analysis, and added discussion of the two other issues. On the additional insured issue, the Court … Continue reading

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TEXAS SUPREME COURT HINTS COVERAGE FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES MAY BE PERMITTED

Every Texas construction defect case involving subcontractors now potentially covered Continue reading

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TEXAS SUPREME COURT ESTABLISHES NOTICE-PREJUDICE RULE FOR OCCURRENCE POLICIES

The state Supreme Court Court has denied the Motion for Rehearing in PAJ, Inc. v. Hanover Insurance Co., ___S.W.3d ___ (Tex. 2007). PAJ (by a 5-4 margin) and imposed a notice-prejudice rule in Texas for all occurrence-based insurance policies – even those which do not contain the Texas Department of Insurance’s mandatory notice-prejudice endorsement. PAJ arguably represents a significant departure from prior Texas case law (such as Members Mut. Ins. Co. v. Cutaia) which had held that in the absence of a specific endorsement requiring proof of prejudice, the breach of a notice condition voided coverage. By Sid Davis Sidney H. Davis, Jr. passed away on October 26, 2009. If you are seeking legal help, or have a question about this article or a pending legal matter, please contact Dawn Woelfel Hansen at (214) 741-1166.

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TEXAS SUPREME COURT: NO DUTY TO DEFEND WHEN NO DEFENSE REQUESTED

The Texas Supreme Court Court, in National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA. v. Crocker.1 In Crocker, has taken a decidedly pro-insurer stance, holding that an insurer has no obligation to defend an additional or omnibus insured, despite knowledge that such insured has been sued and served, where there is no request for a defense. The case arose on certified questions from the Fifth Circuit. The two questions ruled upon by the Court were: “Where an additional insured does not and cannot be presumed to know of coverage under an insurer’s liability policy, does an insurer that has knowledge that a suit implicating policy coverage has been filed against its additional insured have a duty to inform the additional insured of the available coverage?”, and “Does proof of an insurer’s actual knowledge of service of process in a suit against the additional insured, when such knowledge is obtained in sufficient time to provide a defense for the insured, establish as a matter of law the absence of prejudice to the insurer from the additional … Continue reading

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