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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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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