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Mining company an insured under contractor’s policy

August 30, 2012

The mining company that hired a truck company as a contractor is considered an insured under the truck company’s insurance policy with regards to an injured trucking employee, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

In Peabody Energy Corp., Peabody Coal Company, LLC, and Black Beauty Coal Company v. Richard F. Roark, Beelman Truck Co., and North American Capacity Insurance Co., 14A01-1112-CT-555, the Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for North American Capacity Insurance Co. on its motion that it does not have to defend Peabody in a negligence lawsuit filed against the company by Richard Roark. Roark worked for Beelman Truck Co., which entered into a master performance agreement with Peabody Energy Corp. In June 2005, Roark delivered a load of ash from a power plant to Peabody’s mine. When he got out of the truck and walked toward the middle of the trailer, the ground gave way and his left foot was injured.

Peabody demanded coverage from NAC, which was Beelman’s insurer. The insurance company claimed it had no duty to defend because Roark’s claims did not arise from Beelman’s work. Peabody also alleged that Beelman breached the master performance agreement. Both sides filed for summary judgment, which Daviess Circuit Judge Gregory Smith granted in favor of NAC.

The Court of Appeals reversed, finding Roark’s injuries arose out of Beelman’s operations, so Peabody is an additional insured under the insurance policy and is therefore entitled to summary judgment.

“Regardless of whether Roark was injured because of Peabody’s sole negligence, the designated evidence shows that Roark’s injuries — the basis of Peabody’s potential liability — arose out of Beelman’s operations. Thus, Peabody is an additional insured under the Policy,” Judge Michael Barnes wrote.

Since Peabody is an additional insured under the policy, Beelman did not breach the MPA, the court affirmed.

 

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