COA rejects insurer’s new arguments

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An insurance provider was unsuccessful in its attempt to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to change its mind that the company has a duty to indemnify or defend.

In the rehearing of Peabody Energy Corp., Peabody Coal Co., LLC and Black Beauty Coal Co. v. Richard R. Roark and Beelman Truck Co., and North American Capacity Ins. Co., 14A01-1112-CT-555, the COA affirmed its August 2012 opinion in all regards. The court rejected the insurance provider’s petition on the grounds that North American Capacity Insurance Co. was making arguments in its petition for a rehearing that it did not raise on its appeal.

The suit started when Richard Roark, a truck driver for Beelman, was injured while delivering a load of ash to Peabody’s mine. He filed a compliant against Peabody alleging the company’s negligence caused the injuries to his left foot.

Peabody, which had a Master Performance Agreement with Beelman, demanded coverage from the trucking company’s insurance provider, NAC.

After the trial court granted a summary judgment to NAC, Peabody appealed. The COA reversed the lower court, finding Peabody was an additional insured under the policy because Roark’s injuries were directly related to his work for Beelman.

In the petition for rehearing, NAC asserted that the opinion does not explain whether it had a duty to indemnify or only a duty to defend. Also NAC claimed that an open-ended obligation to indemnify Peabody would be premature because the underlying case against the energy company is still ongoing.

 The COA dismissed those arguments.

“Although NAC’s appellee’s brief acknowledged the general principle that an insurer’s duty to defend is broader than its duty to indemnify, NAC made no argument distinguishing between its potential obligation to defend and its potential obligation to indemnify Peabody based on the facts of the case or the language of the Policy,” Judge Michael Barnes wrote for the court. “Nor did NAC argue that it would be premature to determine whether it owed a duty to indemnify at this stage in the proceedings.”


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.