Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The dispute concerned a Master Service Agreement ("MSA") between BP and a service company. Contained within the MSA was an indemnification provision, which contained an insurance agreement supporting the service company's indemnification obligations. An employee of the service company was injured, sued BP and the service company, BP tendered the employee's claims to the service company, which in turn settled all claims with the employee. The service company's insurer then filed an action for declaratory judgment, seeking a declaration that it did not owe coverage payments to the service company. The service company countersued the insurer for breach of contract.
At issue in the case was whether Louisiana law governed the indemnity provisions. The Fifth Circuit agreed with the district court that in order for the OCSLA indemnity provision in the MSA to apply, maritime law must not apply upon its own force. The court agreed that the employee's work on a oil field platform was not maritime in nature. Therefore, Louisiana law applied, invalidating the indemnity provisions in the MSA.
If you are interested in receiving a copy of the complete decision, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Monday, October 22, 2012
If you are interested in this topic and have never been to this seminar, it is a well-known conference held every year as a "kick-off" to the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. If you have any questions regarding this seminar or are interested in receiving the outline for my presentation, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Florida Mediation Rules Require Physical Presence of Full Decision Makers of Both an Insured Party and Its Insurance Representative
Thursday, October 11, 2012
In this breach of contract case, a policyholder who suffered property damage from Hurricane Katrina alleged that the insurer failed to pay all proceeds due from the related claim. In response, the insurer invoked the policy’s appraisal provision. An appraisal award was entered in the policyholder’s favor and the insurer paid it within the required time frame.
When the insurer moved for summary judgment on the breach of contract claim, the trial court granted the motion, but also granted the policyholder’s motion to amend its complaint to raise a statutory bad faith claim. This new claim alleged that the insurer “engaged in a pattern of delay and denial before and after litigation was filed.” To counter, the insurer again filed for summary judgment, arguing that the policyholder could not bring a bad faith claim because it had not obtained a “favorable resolution” from the underlying breach of contract action. The trial court agreed and granted the insurer’s motion. The appellate court reversed.
Under Florida law, before a policyholder can bring a bad faith claim, the underlying claim must be “resolved favorably for the insured.” The Trafalgar court noted that the requirement for a favorable resolution does not require a policyholder to obtain a court judgment in its favor – an arbitration award may also satisfy the condition. The Trafalgar court went on to hold that there was “no meaningful distinction” between an arbitration award and an appraisal award for the purposes of deciding whether an underlying action was “resolved favorably.” Thus, the court held that the policyholder’s appraisal award was a “favorable resolution,” and satisfied the necessary precondition for a bad faith claim.
The Trafalgar decision is significant because it reaches a conclusion different from that reached by other Florida courts that have held that a policyholder cannot bring a bad faith claim if an appraisal award is paid by the insurer within the requisite time frame. See e.g., North Pointe Insurance Co. v. Tomas, 999 So.2d 728 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008). In these situations, insurance carriers still may consider arguing that invoking a policy’s appraisal provision – and paying any award within the time prescribed – represents compliance with the policy and precludes a finding that the insurer has breached the policy, which should in turn preclude a finding that an underlying claim has been resolved in the policyholder’s favor.
If you are interested in receiving either the Trafalgar decision or the Tomas decision, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
The transcript of the oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court is now available. It is quite interesting discourse for those following this case. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the transcript, please feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your copy.
If you are interested in receiving a copy of the DBR article, you may also ask me for an electronic copy.
Skipper - Matt Valcourt
First Mate - Charles Davant
Purser - Kristene Lundblad
Yeoman - Bryan Emond
Program Chair – Michelle Otero Valdes
Bos’n – Elaine Frawley
Historian – Terry Jones
Activities Chair – Arlene Weicher
Seminar Chair - Jonathan Dunleavy
I am excited with this new position and will be looking to my colleagues in the maritime community to be ready to speak about matters of interest to the Club.
If you have any interesting topics to present, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.