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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.